As it was noted in the sheet news earlier, Duncan Keith returned to the Blackhawks line-up after missing a couple of games to an upper-body injury, which meant that veteran defenseman Sean O'Donnell was returned to the press box as a healthy scratch. The moves in the line-up didn't seem to help the team, who dropped a 3-0 decision to the Blues, which may signal some more shuffles before too long.
O'Donnell has 3 assists in 12 games this year for the Blackhawks, which isn't the worst scoring rate on the team, so his presence may looked upon before too long with the team struggling. If he was to be called upon for action, it wouldn't necessarily be for his offensive prowess, but he may be able to contribute while he is on the ice.
O'Donnell belongs to Munden G. in the draft this year and it has been a steady decline for Munden in the standings, who now stands in 19th spot with 97 points, through Tuesday's action. Munden's defense has not been great this season, with accounting for only 19 points to this point, which is just below the pool average of 22 points.
It was a return to the press box for Avalanche forward T.J. Galiardi, who has been in and out of the line-up a few times already this season as a healthy scratch. The Avalanche have cooled off in the Western Conference standings, dropping down to 11th after a couple of losses in a row and a 3-6-1 record in the last 10. A roster shuffle is only the first stage of necessary changes, but we might start expecting a bit more soon.
In 12 games this season for the Avalanche, Galiardi only has 1 goal to his name, which is a pretty poor scoring performance to this point, something which could earn him a trip to the minors before too long.
Ryan M., who has a pool-low total in points from forwards and goals scored in total, isn't really missing Galiardi this week, as he has started Week Six with some blazing offense, leading the pool with 16 points this week, finally climbing out of last place and into 21st. He is on pace to beat his best week in the pool this season, which is 20 points, already having more points than three of the five weeks we've had already.
The combination of Ales Hemsky returning to the Oilers line-up and having only 1 point in 13 games to start the season, meant that Magnus Paajarvi was going to be the odd-man out when the Oilers took on the Canadiens in Montreal on Tuesday. Although the Oilers are flying in the league at the moment, there is still the impression that there is room for improvement and that there is no time to rest on what they have already done this season, so the decision to scratch Paajarvi was one that was to help improve the overall look of the team.
Any scratch is not a good scratch, even if that player has only 1 point this season and Scott G. is right in the thick of the main race in the pool, but he needs all the skater games he can get right now. Scott currently sits in 6th place, after Tuesday's games, 6 points out of 3rd place at the moment. Scott is running in the middle of the pack in games played by his skaters and has a very good points-per-game scoring pace from his skaters, despite Paajarvi's numbers.
A nagging groin injury was the reason that Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck was held out of the game against the Flames on Tuesday night. Apparently, this groin problem has been bothering the grinding forward out of training camp, so it was only a matter of time that he was going to be held out of the line-up or be injured much more. I would imagine that the scratch was more precautionary than necessary and that he should be a game-time decision again, when the Wild play the Sharks on Thursday.
Clutterbuck has not been very productive in the early part of the season, despite the Wild's efforts in the standings. The hard-checking forward only has 2 goals in 13 games for Minnesota, but if the groin problem has been a hindrance, you can certainly attribute it to his lack of production.
Clutterbuck is certainly one reason why Darren S. has not seen much success in the pool this year, now falling down into last place in the standings after Tuesday's action. Darren's team has not seen a week of 20 points or more yet this year and is quickly already behind Ryan by 7 points. His team is among the top half of the pool in skater games played, but has a very poor scoring pace among his skaters, a pool-low 0.39 points-per-game.
An undisclosed injury suffered in practice on Monday was enough to keep forward Andrei Kostitsyn off the ice against the Oilers on Tuesday night. Reports on Wednesday morning have him not in practice with the club and it doesn't sound likely that he will be dressing for the team on Thursday, when the team travels to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes.
In 13 games with the Habs, Kostitsyn has 5 goals and 4 assists, which isn't a bad scoring rate, but it hasn't helped the team very much, as they still sit near the Eastern Conference basement.
In the pool, Kostitsyn belongs to Derek W., who's team arguably should be much better than they are at the moment. After Tuesday's action, Derek stands in 20th spot with only 92 points and has seen a fairly steady decline since Week Two, when he finished the week in 11th. As of Wednesday morning, Derek only has one player on his team that has 10 points, everyone else is still in single digits, although three players, including Kostitsyn have 9 points.