The Anaheim Ducks are falling prey to some early season consistency issues these days, so a lot of the depth players have been served their notice, they will likely be the ones going in and out of the line-up this season. This brings me to Sheldon Brookbank, who has been scratched once before this season, he was scratched again on Saturday evening, as the team took on the Red Wings. Brookbank is a 5-6 pairing defenseman, who can shift to play some 4th line wing, but doesn't bring a lot of pizazz to the side, so to find some more, they brought him out of the line-up as a healthy scratch.
In 12 games this season, Brookbank has only managed to muster up 1 assist for the Ducks this season, which isn't the calibre of scoring you'd like from a pool player, but you roll the dice and take your chances.
It looks as though Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell was a healthy scratch for the team on Saturday night, as they took on the Philadelphia Flyers (or appeared to take them on, as per their scoreline). Russell has been one of many Blue Jackets that have struggled this season and their record is showing it. I'm not sure that minor line-up shake-ups are going to be enough for this team, as they can't seem to buy many wins. It just isn't pretty right now in Columbus.
In 12 games this season, Russell has 2 goals and 1 assist for the club, which is nowhere near the team needs him to be to be successful. Russell has been given quite a few chances with the Jackets to prove that he is the offensive dynamo he was in junior, but it just hasn't worked out for him there.
Between both Brookbank and Russell, Darren S. missed out on a pair of defenseman games on Saturday night, which has kept his team in close proximity to last place and a little bit further away from moving up to 20th spot. With his players going in and out of the line-up on a regular basis, we should be able to chart Darren's team quite well this year.
The revolving door of depth defenseman continues to spin for the San Jose Sharks, as Jason Demers found himself back in the press box on Saturday night, constantly trading spots with Justin Braun throughout the early part of the year. I would have to believe that the Sharks would try and settle for a constant player on that 5-6 pairing, but neither player seems to want to step up and take it as their own.
Demers has seven games under his belt this season and 2 assists to his name, while Braun has figured into the line-up five times and has not registered a point yet. Even if they are not scoring points, they should be playing solid hockey to keep a spot in the line-up, but I don't think we can be certain that they are doing that.
In the draft, Derek W. is holding onto Demers, hoping that he can get his act together and stay in the line-up consistently. That would be a step in the right direction for him, as he currently sits in 20th spot. Derek's team is one of the healthier, more consistent teams to play game this year, as he ranks quite well among all teams in skater games played. Unfortunately, he hasn't seen many points out of these games, ranking near the bottom in points-per-game this season.
The Jets made a late scratch on Saturday night, deciding not to put forward Nik Antropov at risk of further injury, as the Russian centre blocked a shot on Thursday night, injuring his hand in the process. Antropov took all the skates before their game against the Devils, but they thought it was wise not to dress him. The Jets go again on Sunday evening, playing against the Rangers and I imagine that he will be a game-time decision for that one.
Antropov currently leads the Jets in pool scoring this season, scoring 3 goals and 8 assists in 12 games for the club, even after taking the night off against the Devils. The Jets may not have a lot of expectations placed upon them this year, which may make Antropov into a pretty good bargain this year, flying under the radar.
In the draft, Antropov belongs to Niesa S., who has seem some very good returns from the Jets forward. Picked 260th overall in the draft, Antropov unofficially chimes in at 69th in pool scoring, after Saturday night's action. With the possibility of going on Sunday, she could see some more good returns from one of her best bargains of the year. With that being said, Niesa sits in 13th spot, just outside of triple-digits in total points at 95.