The outlook didn't look so good for the Colorado Avalanche, who started the night in 8th place in the West and looking to defend their playoff spot against the Calgary Flames without defenseman Erik Johnson on Tuesday. Johnson was held out of the line-up due to back spasms and he has now been listed as out day-to-day. The Avalanche were still able to pull out a 2-1 overtime victory over the Flames, moving themselves into 7th for the time being, but they are paying awfully close attention to both Johnson's situation and the out-of-town scoreboard these days.
No money impact here, as Johnson belongs to the 21st place team of Derek W.'s and it looks like he is becoming safe from the the drop into last place these days. Even the loss of Johnson shouldn't set him back down there in the last few weeks.
The Ottawa Senators are by no means safe in the Eastern Conference race, but they were without one of their top players on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils, as Jason Spezza was held out of the game with a bout of the flu. Spezza is considered to be day-to-day right now and I imagine we'll see him back in the line-up for the team's next game, Friday night in Montreal.
No money impact here either, as Spezza belongs to John P. this year, who currently sits in 13th place, in his own little race for 11th spot, the highest spot available to four teams in the standings at the moment. A day off for Spezza only affects this race, possibly a little bit more, depending on his believed impact to the rest of the team.
The flu bug was also the cause of Radim Vrbata's absence in Phoenix's loss to Dallas on Tuesday night. The Coyotes probably didn't want him to miss this game, especially a tight match that ended up being settled in overtime, making it into another key 3-point game in the Western Conference playoff fight. The Coyotes host the Avalanche on Thursday night and I would imagine that they will see Vrbata back in the line-up.
In that race for 11th place, the pool duo of Kristy and Don currently hold that position, putting on a big week in the process, but the loss of Vrbata likely won't help their cause outside of this race.
A lower-body injury was to blame for Nikolai Antropov's gap in the line-up for the Jets against the Penguins on Tuesday night. Antropov's spot was taken by Ben Maxwell, who was called up from the AHL on Tuesday, but he wasn't enough to keep the team from getting shelled in an 8-4 loss. Antropov reportedly didn't travel with the team to Pittsburgh, which likely makes his status for Friday in Washington rather doubtful.
Not much Niesa S. can do here, as her team sits in 10th through Tuesday night's action, having the poorest week in the top 10 at the moment, but not by much. 10th would be a solid result for Niesa, but she could reach a higher spot in the next few weeks, with her team getting healthy again.