Friday, February 07, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 7)

Florida Panthers defenseman Dylan Olsen has started to make a name for himself this season in Sunrise after being dealt from the Blackhawks in November.  In 20 games with the Panthers, Olsen has picked up 3 goals and 6 assists and has provided a decent spark for the team on a number of occasions.  Unfortunately, he has gone cold over the past few games and for that, he found his way to the press box for the game against the Red Wings.  Olsen may find himself on the bubble, if his play doesn't improve right away, but I'm sure the Olympic break should help some.

Olsen was a pick-up in the second Waiver Draft for John this season, but hasn't been able to pick up a point yet from the defender in three games played since the pick-up.

An upper-body injury that has been plaguing Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom has been related to some abdominal problems and on Thursday, he was a scratch from being the back-up behind Darcy Kuemper, with soreness in the area.  Backstrom is listed as out day-to-day and will likely be welcoming the three week break for the Olympics.  The Minnesota Wild are done and already putting their feet up for the extended time off and Backstrom will likely be re-evaluated when the teams start to meet up again after the break.

It doesn't appear that this gamble is going to pay off for Grant.  Backstrom has only played a total of 23 minutes on the ice since being picked up in the second Waiver Draft and that total may have trouble climbing, especially if Josh Harding is ready to go at the other end of this break.

It sounds like a bout of the flu was enough to keep St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko off the ice for the day on Thursday, which meant that he missed out on the game against the Boston Bruins.  The Blues were able to pull out a key win without their young Russian sniper, but I would assume that he should be good to go for their finale before the Olympics, Saturday afternoon, at home to the Winnipeg Jets.

Tarasenko belongs to Scott in the pool this year and he is enjoying some success, going into Friday's action in a tie for 4th place, in 5th to the tie-breakers.  Scott is only 7 points out of top spot and has enjoyed having Tarasenko on his side.

The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered another couple of injury blows on Thursday night, as both goaltender Ben Bishop and forward Valtteri Filppula left the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with various injuries.  Both players have been hurt in recent weeks, previous to these new injuries, but have since battled through.

Bishop left the game with an upper-body injury after playing two periods, relieved by Cedrick Desjardins.  There was no immediate update on his condition on Friday morning, but he was not out with the team for practice, if that gives any indication.  He is listed as day-to-day, likely questionable for the Lightning's Olympic finale on Saturday against Detroit.

Filppula, on the other hand, left the game with a lower-body injury, which has been reported as a fractured ankle and will not be able to play on Saturday.  Filppula is expected to be off his ankle for the entire Olympic break and his participation after that will be dependent on how well he heals during that time.

Bishop also belongs to Scott, who may miss out on a start from his MVP this season, while Filppula belongs to another team in the money race, as Brenda has enjoyed some good numbers from this flying Finn.

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