Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scheduled Returns (Jan. 19)

The Edmonton Oilers are preparing to have Jordan Eberle back in their line-up on Thursday night, when they take on the Blues in St. Louis tonight. Eberle is well-ahead of schedule of his 3-week absence from the Oilers from a knee injury, but his team can sure use him and his scoring abilities, especially with the recent loss of Taylor Hall to a facial laceration.

Given that it was only nine days since the injury update to Eberle, the loss of his services hasn't been completely devastating to Stacey C. in the draft.  Stacey was only 3 points out of 1st, sitting in 2nd place at the time, so going into Thursday night's action, he now sits in 3rd place, 5 points out of 2nd, 9 points out of 1st.  He lost ground, but it could have been much worse.

Now, this isn't much of a significant return as some of the players in this post might be, but Adam Henrique is returning to the Devils' line-up tonight after missing a little bit of time with a groin injury. Henrique has been great for the Devils this season and they are holding onto a playoff spot in part because of the rookie's play.

Dale C. currently stands in 4th place, about the same spot before the injury, but sits 20 points back of 3rd place and has some heat coming up on him from 5th place, as Stuart G. is making a move on him in the standings at the moment.

It has been a little while since the Penguins had some positive injury news, but they will be getting defenseman Kristopher Letang back in their line-up on Thursday night, when the team takes on the Rangers at Madison Square Gardens.  Letang has been out of the line-up since the beginning of December with a concussion and he couldn't come back at a better time.  The Penguins are barely holding on to a playoff spot and some All-Star help will never be turned down.

At the time of Letang's concussion announcement, Scott G. was 32 points back of 3rd place, as the benchmark of comparison, sitting in 11th place.  Going into Thursday night's action, several weeks past the injury, Scott has suffered, dropping down to 16th place, 86 points back of 3rd place, 65 points out of the money.  Letang wasn't wholly to blame here, but his absence didn't help much.

The Blues will get one of their young defensemen back from injury on Thursday night, as they will get Kris Russell back from a groin injury on Thursday night, when the Oilers come calling. Russell, who was acquired from the Blue Jackets earlier in the year, found a good thing in St. Louis and it could be argued that he is a better fit in St. Louis then he ever was in Columbus. Russell is on schedule for his three weeks away from the club, so the diagnosis was just about perfect.

At the time of the injury, Darren S. was only 19 points back of his nearest rival, which says 20th in the post, but it probably meant 21st.  With Russell coming back, Darren now sits 21 points out of 21st and getting a defenseman back is not likely going to help a great deal, since it really didn't hold him down all that much.  That's just the comparison that can be made for him at this time.

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