The Columbus Blue Jackets welcomed Marc Methot back to the line-up on Thursday night against the Maple Leafs and making room for his return was Grant Clitsome, who looked to be a healthy scratch for the team. Clitsome has 5 assists in the first 12 games of the season this year, but with the Blue Jackets still having trouble posting wins, drastic measures have to be taken to get the team off the ground and shaking up the blueline was one way of getting the job done.
Of course, that isn't going to sit well with Chris M. in the pool, as he currently sits in 19th spot in the standings and hasn't had the best of weeks, scoring only 6 points through Thursday's action. A number of injuries and now some extra scratches are not helping his cause much. Fortunately, he's still 21 points ahead of last place, so there shouldn't be much fear of dropping down to the basement... yet.
Lower-body injuries were the order of the evening for the Devils on Thursday night, as the team was going into Thursday night's game against the Flyers without defenseman Andy Greene and then in the 3rd period, forward Ilya Kovalchuk went down with an injury of the same nature, which kept him out of the overtime period and the shootout. There was no immediate update about either player early on Friday, but both are considered to be day-to-day for right now.
Kovalchuk, one of the team's leading scorers, already has 2 goals and 7 assists in 11 games for the Devils this season, while Greene has 4 assists in 10 games. Both players are thought to be key to the team's offensive success, so they will be missed, if they are out for longer periods of time.
Kovalchuk belongs to Allan S., who currently sits in a tie for 3rd place in the draft standings, losing the position in the first tie-breaker, while Greene belongs to the pool leader, Wayne H., who has a 5-point lead after Thursday night's action. It might be safe to assume that a few teams near the top of the standings are hoping that these injuries keep these players out for a little while now.
It's been a very rough start to the season for Wojtek Wolski, who has now suffered a new groin injury, which could keep him out a little while. Wolski suffered the injury on Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks and wasn't able to return to the game. On Friday, he underwent an MRI, which the results were not immediately known, so we'll probably be looking for an update before the team plays on Saturday evening.
Wolski has only figured into six games for the Rangers this year, amassing only 2 assists in that time. The new surroundings in the Big Apple were thought to be the makings of some great scoring potential for Wolski, but that hasn't materialized just yet.
Another top team has a player going down, as Dale C., who currently sits 2nd in the standings, has likely lost Wolski for a little while, but the rest of his team is sure doing some good things. Dale is currently 5 points back of Wayne and 7 points up on Clayton and Allan. There is a buffer there, but he hasn't seen much production from Wolski any way, so he might not miss him.
There is some reports that James Van Riemsdyk was healthy enough to play in Thursday night's game between the Flyers and the Devils, but the team was likely being cautious with one of their young stars and his lower-body injury. There is also a possibility that him being scratched was a coaching decision, citing some sub-par play from the youngster, but since there is no real confirmation to that point, we're going to assume it is a minor injury that has kept him out.
Van Riemsdyk has put up some good numbers in his start to the season, which was likely hard not to do, as the Flyers have been scoring in bundles and from all over their line-up. In 12 games, Van Riemsdyk has 5 goals and 3 assists, ranking just out of the top 100 in pool scoring today.
If the injury is the actual reason for JVR's absence, Scott G. is likely hoping that the injury is minor and that it won't keep one of his prized forwards out of action for too long. Scott is currently in the mix this season, sitting in 6th place with 99 points, 3 points back of 5th place and only 2 points up on 8th.
A lower-body injury was also the reason why Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal didn't dress on Thursday night for the game against the Predators, but there has been no immediate update as to how severe the injury is or how long the team expects him to be out of the line-up. For now, we'll consider Hanzal out day-to-day, but I imagine that we will get an update on his condition before they play Saturday night against the Oilers.
Hanzal has been a key part of the Coyotes offense this season, scoring 3 goals and 7 assists in 11 games, ranking 65th in pool scoring after Thursday night's action. He's currently 4th in team pool scoring, so any time missed beyond Thursday's game may be harmful.
This is really bad news for the Ryan M., who already sits in last place in the pool, as Hanzal is one of his best players this season, tied for his team lead in pool points. This loss could be very significant, especially if it is for the long-term. Ryan is already 8 points back of 21st spot and still losing ground.
Finally, the Vancouver Canucks were without the services of defenseman Sami Salo on Thursday night in Minnesota. Salo has reportedly been dealing with some groin pains and it likely came to a head before the game on Thursday, so he was kept out of the line-up. There was no immediate update to his condition, but there was no official mention of there being an injury, which could mean that Salo was held out for precautionary reasons, but his availability for the second half of back-to-back nights is still rather questionable.
Salo has been quite good on the back end for the Canucks in the early part of the year, scoring 3 goals and adding 5 assists in 12 games for the club already. He has been very steady, especially after the loss of Christian Ehrhoff to free agency.
This also gets chalked up as another injury to Dale C.'s team, which is seeing some excellent production from his blue line, currently ranking 2nd in the pool with 30 points. Dale is in the mix for the Mover and Shaker nod in Week Five, but with a couple of injuries on this post, that could be in trouble.