Thursday, November 24, 2011

Draft Player News (Nov. 24)

In the Sabres game against the Bruins on Wednesday night, forward Brad Boyes left the game with a lower-body injury, not to return to the game. One tweet I had seen last night suggested that it could be a ankle injury, after having a player land on it during the game, but there has been no confirmation, as of Thursday morning.

Boyes belongs to Clayton C. in the draft this season and his team has struggled in Week Eight, which isn't a bad week to struggle, as the end of this week will determine the drafting order in the waiver draft, which goes next week.  Clayton will go into Friday's action in 6th place, but is only 7 points out of 2nd place, so it's a tight race at the moment.

Reports on Wednesday night suggest that Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson has suffered a groin injury, but the extent of the injury is not known right away. Johnson didn't dress for the team against the Canucks on Wednesday night, apparently missed practice on Tuesday as well, so they are giving him some rest right away.  An extra day off on Thursday will likely help, but like all new injuries today, I imagine we likely won't get any updates until Friday.

Derek W. has the underachieving defenseman from the Avalanche in the draft this year and he's poised to have a great pick in the waiver draft this week, as he will likely pick 3rd when the draft starts next week.  Derek currently sits 59 points out of 3rd place, but he will likely be in line for a player that is on fire at the moment and if Johnson can get back on track, he could start the recovery process.

A minor upper-body knock held Dallas Stars captain Brendan Morrow out of the line-up against the Kings on Wednesday night, but the coaching staff are confident that the injury is minor enough to not keep him out of the line-up much longer than last night's game. His availability for Friday's game against the Maple Leafs does sound rather probable, which is good news for the Stars.

This is also likely good news for Benson G. in the draft this season, who isn't very far from the big race into the top three of the standings.  Benson currently sits in 11th spot, 20 points out of 3rd place, but a couple good weeks and he'll be back in the mix.  Getting Morrow back for the weekend will certainly help, despite him being cold to start the season.

The Florida Panthers were without defenseman Dimitri Kulikov on Wednesday night, as they took on the Rangers at home. The offensive defenseman sat out of the contest with a lower-body injury, but it sounds like the injury is considered to be minor, so he isn't expected to be out much longer than the one game he has already missed.  The speculation is that he was injured in the Panthers' game previous to Wednesday night, but Kulkov did finish that contest, so that should be a fairly solid indication of how minor it is.

Peter H. didn't really need to see another injury on his side this week, as he already went into the week with a lot of injuries on his side and not many skater games scheduled to be played because of it.  Peter is among the lower teams in scoring in Week Eight, having dropped down to 18th spot in the last couple of days and there is a possibility that he could drop a bit further to get a better pick in the waiver draft.

An emergency set of circumstances saw Niklas Backstrom unable to dress for the Minnesota Wild and set off a wild day of making sure that the team had a back-up goaltender for their game against the Predators.  Backstrom is expected to be back from his personal situation, when the team resumes their schedule on Friday, at home to the Oilers, so there shouldn't be much concern from his standpoint.

As it so happened, Leon G. did miss a start from Backstrom, as the Finn was scheduled to get the start against the Predators, which may have turned into 2 points for him, as the Wild played well last night for the win.  Leon could have used those points, as there is a 7-point gap between himself in 16th and 15th place.

The start to the 2012 season has not been kind to Scott Gomez, opening the season on the injured reserve with an upper-body injury and not long after returning, he suffered a lower-body injury, having to leave the game against the Hurricanes, long before the game went to a shootout and his side picked up the victory.  Gomez will be re-evaluated on Thursday and his availability for Friday's game against the Flyers will likely be disclosed late on Thursday or after the morning skate on Friday.

There is a pretty good chance that Gomez will get plenty of consideration from Wes M. at the waiver draft, as he is the worst forward on the side this season, having only 4 points in 13 games to this point.  Wes sits in 14th spot in the standings, 22 points out of 3rd place, so a good waiver draft could go a long way for Wes.

Jaromir Jagr's return from a lower-body injury didn't last very long on Wednesday night.  In the game against the Islanders, Jagr left the contest in the second period with the injury and did not return to the ice.  Early speculation suggests that Jagr re aggravated the lower-body injury he had just returned, which is believed to be a groin problem.  There is no immediate word what his availability will be like for their next game against the Canadiens on Friday, but if it is believed to be long-term, there will be another post for him.

This isn't good news for Scott G., who has benefited greatly from Jagr's presence in the Flyers line-up.  Without Jagr over the last week or so, Scott has dropped off a little bit, falling down to 8th in the standings and now has an 11-point gap between himself and 7th and doesn't have a lot of breathing room between himself and 15th spot, so missing out on Jagr could hurt.  Stay tuned.

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