It has started a bit later this year, compared to years past, but the flu bug seems to be getting around the league a little bit more these days. On Tuesday night, Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly fell victim to the flu bug, giving him an early start to the All-Star break. The Avs themselves fell victim to not having one of their better players in the line-up for the game, losing to the Minnesota Wild, 3-2. I would imagine the week off will be good enough for O'Reilly to return to the line-up in tip-top shape.
O'Reilly belongs to Peter H. in the draft this year, who picked him in the first waiver draft, seven weeks ago. In 23 games since the draft, O'Reilly has collected 8 goals and 7 assists in that time, not exactly blowing the doors off, but not doing too badly. Peter goes into the break in 19th, with a 3-point lead and a game in hand over 20th place.
A touch of the flu kept Rangers back-up goalie Martin Biron from doing what he does best... back-up Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers called up goalie Chad Johnson to take Biron's spot on the bench for their last game before the All-Star break and sat on the bench he did. This did not sound like a scheduled start for Biron, so there was no actual loss of minutes for his season, but he did lose the possibility of going in for their number one, if he got shelled by the Jets. Instead, Johnson sat and watched Lundqvist shut out Winnipeg, giving the Rangers quite the high into the break.
As I said above, there was no loss of minutes for Biron, so this really had no effect on Benson G.'s team. Benson's team will go into the last evening's worth of action before the break in 8th place, with one skater game left and little chance of making the Mover and Shaker or Basement Dweller.
An unfortunate situation for Brent Burns and the San Jose Sharks, as the defender got caught in an ugly knee-on-knee collision with Oilers forward Ales Hemsky on Monday night, which resulted in Hemsky getting the boot from the game and Burns suffering an injury. The word out of the Sharks camp is that the injury has been limited to be being only a charleyhorse, but it was scary there for a moment, thinking it could have been much worse. I would expect Burns to be close to returning when they resume play after the break.
With that being said, Burns did miss Tuesday night's game in Calgary, but he is considered day-to-day, which comes as a pretty big relief to Leon G., who has him in the pool. Leon doesn't need another player that could be an automatic drop in the next waiver draft, which is coming up pretty soon. Leon goes into the break in 15th spot, which appears to be locked in.