Friday, April 06, 2012

Draft Player News (Apr 6)

Reports during the games on Thursday night saw that Lubomir Visnovsky was lifted from the Ducks' game against the Oilers, due to an upper-body injury.  There have been no further reports about this injury on Friday morning, but this could very well mean that one of their top defensemen will not be around for the team's final game, which goes Saturday afternoon in Calgary.  The Ducks have no playoff aspirations this year and will play in a meaningless game against the Flames, so holding him out could be done for his own good.

With that being said, Wayne H. could be without Visnovsky for one more game, which isn't good for him, since he's in the money race.  Wayne finished off Thursday night with the tie-breaker in hand, finishing 4th and he is only 4 points upon 6th place.  The race for the last money spots is tight going into the last couple days, so an injury will be frowned upon.

The Boston Bruins had a meaningless (to the standings) tilt against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, their potential first round opponents in the playoffs, so they were a little bit more proactive, resting the likes of both Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara for the game, avoiding any shenanigans from their potential opponents.  There were no injury reports for either player, so the night off was a likely scenario and I would imagine that they would figure into the team's last game, Saturday afternoon against the Sabres.

A night off for Chara didn't hurt Stuart G. and his money placement too badly.  Stuart sits in 2nd place, with 1st place now out of reach at 26 points and he does have a healthy gap of 8 points over 3rd place, so there is a good chance he could survive the finish to 2nd place.  Bergeron, on the other hand, belongs to Chris M., who is down in 17th spot and will likely finish there this season.

An undisclosed injury held Calgary Flames forward Alex Tanguay out of the team's second-to-last game of the season against the Canucks and he is now listed as out day-to-day.  There is no indication as to what the injury is or the likelihood that he will miss the last game of the season against the Ducks on Saturday afternoon, but we'll just have to play this one by ear.  The Flames have no playoff hopes, so there is only one more day of value to this news byte.

The only thing that this hurt was the race for the basement, as Darren S.' struggle to escape the bounds of 22nd place took a little bit of a hit here before the last couple days of the season.  Darren will go into Friday behind by 7 points and his Saturday could be troubled, if Tanguay can't go.

Things are not looking so rosy for Rick Nash and the last game of the regular season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, as Nash left the game in the 2nd period against the Avalanche and did not return for the 3rd period and things do not sound positive that he will play in the finale on Saturday.  The injury was not disclosed on Thursday night, but the feeling is not positive from the things that I have read.

Not very positive news for Munden G., who had a shot at redeeming some face at the back end of the season, with the potential to go as high as 14th in the standings, but losing Nash will certainly put a damper on those hopes.  Munden had a tough d├ębut year in the pool, but with a little homework, he could do much better.

The final week of the season for Corey Potter has been marred by a concussion, which finished his season early.  Potter missed out on Monday and Thursday's game, due to the concussion and his availability for Saturday's game against the Canucks is likely nil.  This isn't great news for the Oilers, but it doesn't mean much to their season in the grand scope of things.  Potter will have plenty of time to recover for the 2013 season now.

This is another hit to Wayne H.'s chances for the money, which was outlined above with the Visnovsky injury.  Two defensemen going down isn't the end of the world, but it certainly won't help, especially if he ends up out of the money by 1 point.  Wayne has the tie-breaker on the two teams chasing him, so he will have to be beaten outright to fall out.

The reports out of the Long Island dressing room is that one of their top forwards, P.A. Parenteau has suffered an ankle sprain and this will likely shut him down for the final game of the season against the Blue Jackets, which doesn't mean too much to the team or their playoff hopes (which they have none), but it is a disappointing way to finish off a breakout year for the Islanders winger.

This will hurt Dale B., as Parenteau was one of the most surprising players on his side and a big reason why he is in the money at this point in the season.  Dale's charge for 2nd place will take a sizeable hit with this loss of manpower, if indeed Parenteau doesn't play on Saturday.  Dale is only 8 points back of 2nd place, but is finding the worst time to have a poor week in scoring, with only 9 points to this point in the week.

New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan had to leave the game against the Penguins on Thursday night after taking a knee-on-knee hit from Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik. Stepan was not able to return to the game and now the team is holding their breath waiting on an update on one of their key scoring forwards for the last game of the season and the start of the playoffs.  An update will likely be provided, especially if the news isn't very positive.

Well, it looks like Benson G. is going to do more defending of 7th place in the standings than make a charge for 6th place, but if Stepan cannot go on Saturday, that'll be a big hit to his 4-point gap between himself and Dale C..  The playoff status for Stepan is also a big concern, since the Rangers are likely going to be a powerhouse in the playoffs and people will want to load up on them.

Lower-body injuries/precaution saw the Penguins sit both James Neal and Steve Sullivan for the team's game against the Rangers on Thursday night.  Both Neal and Sullivan have been huge for the Penguins this season and the team wants to make sure that they are preserved to give that same level of compete in the playoffs.  It sounds like both players will be good to go for Game One, but likely needed the rest to heal up for a long run.  I would imagine, if they were rested for Game #81, they will also be rested for Game #82 as well, but that's just a guess.

Sullivan becomes yet another hit to Dale B.'s charge to the 2nd place money in the draft, while Kristy and Don are thought to be protecting 11th place in the standings without Neal.  Sullivan, much like Parenteau above, has been a pleasant surprise in the pool and will give Dale at least some 3rd place money this year.

There should be some genuine concern for Michal Neuvirth and the leg injury he suffered on Thursday night, playing against the Panthers.  Neuvirth had to leave the game in the 2nd period and was not able to return.  His status is not yet known and if Neuvirth cannot continue on, it looks like Braden Holtby will get the duties of the starting job going into the playoffs, since Tomas Vokoun is still dealing with an injury as well.

The main pool concern may not be in the draft, as Munden G. has Neuvirth in a non-money position, but rather in the playoff pool, where he was selected as the Capitals goaltender of choice for the playoffs.  Now that the Capitals have clinched their spot, the team is waiting on news as to whether or not he will be able to go.  Scary stuff.

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