According to the Sabres coaching staff, Thomas Vanek left the game against the Maple Leafs early on, after only having four minutes of ice-time, due to an illness, either the flu or food poisoning. Combine the aches and pains of a flu bug with some of the upper-body issues he has been suffering from over the past couple of weeks and a game off doesn't seem so bad. His status for their next game, Friday at home to Toronto, is still up in the air.
Not a great start to his first week of defending 1st place in the pool, as Clayton C. saw a small lead shrink down to only 1 point on Tuesday night, with only a little help coming on Wednesday night. If Vanek is only suffering from a flu bug, then his return should be imminent on Friday, but we can never tell from this vantage point.
There is a new coaching staff in place for the Blue Jackets and the first order of business by Todd Richards and his new crew was the scratching of defenseman Grant Clitsome on Tuesday night, when they took on the Blackhawks. This strategy didn't seem to help the team, as they still lost 5-2, but it may give the illusion that no one is safe on that roster and everyone should be prepared to work hard or sit. It's either that or he just has it out for Clitsome.
A healthy scratch is fairly easy to come back from, unless you're in the coach's doghouse, so Chris M. is hoping it was just a one-time thing and that Clitsome can get back into the line-up before too long. Clitsome is his second-best defenseman this season.
A minor lower-body knock was enough to keep Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk out of the line-up, as they took on the Islanders on Long Island. Both the player and the team are saying that the injury is very minor and they do not expect to miss him from the line-up for too much longer. With the season getting closer to the dog days, some maintenance days are not terribly uncommon, especially when players are dealing with injuries already.
It didn't look like Dale B. needed Datsyuk on Tuesday night, as the rest of his team was doing well, picking up 8 points and moving into 2nd, only 1 point back of 1st place. Of course, if Datsyuk was able to play against the Islanders, even in a loss, he may have been able to pick up a point or two and the story would be a bit different.
Disciplinary actions were laid down upon Minnesota Wild forward Devin Setoguchi, ahead of the team's game against this former club, the San Jose Sharks, because of a meeting that was missed earlier in the day. This is not the first time we've seen this happen to a player with some real scoring talent (or a part of the draft) this year and it likely won't be the last time that we see this either. I would expect Setoguchi back in the Wild line-up for their next game, Thursday in Chicago.
I'm sure if Peter H. had any control over his own players, he would make sure that they would get to all their mandatory meetings, just so they were in the line-up that night to help him get points. Unfortunately, Peter is just going to have to suck this one up and take it on the chin. It's really tough to do when your team is in 20th spot in the standings, but that's the way this situation is going to go.
An undisclosed upper-body issue had made Senators All-Star defenseman Erik Karlsson into a surprise scratch on Tuesday night, as the Senators took on the Penguins. There are no specifics available to the general public about the absence from the line-up and if Karlsson is able to return on Thursday in New York, then we may not get very many specifics. Still, it was fairly surprising to see his name under the scratches, but the team won and that's all they care about.
So, it worked out to be the better part of two games missed out on for the new draft leader, Clayton C., who missed out on most of a Vanek game and a Karlsson game on Tuesday night, which didn't help his small lead much. Neither player are expected to be out long, so this may not be a cause for panic... yet.
A lower-body injury forced Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian from their game against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. Bogosian left the game in the 2nd period and didn't return and there doesn't appear to be any sort of definitive update, early on Wednesday morning. The Jets are back home to the Sharks on Thursday night, so an update should surely be provided before then. If there is nothing significant to report, consider him day-to-day.
Another money team affected by an injury on Tuesday night, as Stacey C., the 3rd place team in the pool, suffered another setback. Stacey lost his spot in 2nd on Tuesday night and this is now the third injury on his roster in the last couple of weeks, so it has just become a little bit more difficult to hold his position among the top end teams in the pool.