Friday, October 31, 2014

Buffalo Sends Reinhart Back to Junior

Sam Reinhart played his ninth game with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, suiting up for 7:45 of ice-time against the Boston Bruins and that will be the last that we will see of the number two overall pick in last Summer's entry draft, as he is now on his way back to Kootenay of the Western Hockey League.

With this move, the Sabres will not lose a year on Reinhart's entry-level deal, given his age and the slide rules for these early deals.  This means that he'll still have three more seasons to play before he reaches restricted free agency, which is good news for the club.

The Sabres did like what they saw from their top prospect, but they did note that he did not have the strength to hang in the NHL and his 1 assist in nine games was a reflection of that.

Unfortunately for Troy, his gamble did not pay off, as he was likely looking for a Nathan MacKinnon-like season from the top pick, but it just wasn't to be.  Troy will now lose out on a roster spot until the first Waiver Draft, which is still over a month away.  His team is hanging tough in 14th place, now 16 points out of the money, but still kicking.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Backlund Out Indefinitely

The injuries continue to stack up for the Calgary Flames and since they were a popular team at the hockey pool draft, they continue to get mentioned on the blog.

On Thursday night, the Flames placed forward Mikael Backlund on the Injured Reserve, as the 25-year old centre has been dealing with an abdominal injury, which has been haunting him since the preseason and it has just been too much to deal with, obviously, so the move was made to open up a roster spot for someone else.

There is no immediate timetable for Backlund's return to the line-up, so the injury-prone forward will likely be on the shelf for quite a while.  He is currently listed as out indefinitely.

In 11 games this season, Backlund has been good for 1 goal and 3 assists for 4 points, which has him ranked 248th after Thursday night's action and he'll be sinking like a stone from here on in.

Bad news for Wyllie, who's team hasn't been floating very well of late either.  His team currently sits in 13th place, heading into Friday's action and has had a reasonable Week Four, scoring 12 points, to date, but his team did get off to a rockin' start, finishing 2nd in Week One, but dropped to 11th in Week Two.  Hasn't been very rosy since.

Wyllie still has 19 projected games this week, which is four games better than the pool-worst, but six games short of the pool best in the column.  This injury will hurt until the first Waiver Draft, for sure.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 30)

On Thursday, the Dallas Stars activated forward Valeri Nichushkin from the Injured Reserve, but they have sent him to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. The maximum amount of time he could spend is two weeks, but I would imagine this would be a weekend departure, back for the start of Week Five.

Nichushkin has yet to register a point in two games this season, all before suffering a lower-body injury, which has kept him out for the better part of a few weeks.

The young Russian is the only naught on Scott's roster in the young part of this NHL season.  It will be good for him to get a body back soon, as his team is littered with injuries at the moment.  His team still sits in 11th, 16 points out of the money.

Sounds like all systems are go for the return of Winnipeg forward Evander Kane, as the Jets prepare for the Devils on Thursday night.  Kane suffered a knee injury in the opening game of the 2015 season and has been out since.  He is scheduled to line up with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler upon his return, which should be good for some immediate offense... in theory.

Good news for Grant K., who gets an extra three projected games added to his weekly total.  Grant has been doing okay, despite the injuries he suffered, as he still leads the pool in goals scored and he ranks 8th in the standings, 14 points out of 1st.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Concussions Rock the Blues

The list of teams that are not safe from the injury bug appears to be growing exponentially in the last few days, as the St. Louis Blues have been dealt a couple of major blows this week.

Forwards David Backes and T.J. Oshie are now on the shelf with concussions, as per the team's coaching staff, which means they will have to follow league protocol for their head injuries.  This means both players will be out for at least a week, but until all their tests are passed, they will remain out of the line-up, which today, is an indefinite period of time.

Backes has not exactly been off to a rocking start in the 2015 season, scoring only 2 goals and 3 assists in the first eight games of the season, just above half a point-per-game.  He goes on the shelf in 178th in pool scoring overall.

Oshie has not been any better, much worse, actually.  Only 1 assist for Oshie in the first eight games, which has him ranked a way down in 521st spot.

ImplicationsThis takes down a couple of key pieces of a couple hockey pool teams, both going in opposite directions.  Backes belongs to Grant, who is in a dog fight for 1st place at the moment, going into Thursday's busy night, 5 points back of the leaders, while Oshie belongs to Benson, who is 2 points out of getting out of the basement.

Both teams had their projected games cut down with the losses, which doesn't help them going forward.  Grant now has 27 games to work from for the rest of Week Four, while Benson now has 28 games.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Jackets Add Two More to the IR

Probably the only thing harder in the NHL than being a part of the Calgary Flames is being a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, as they placed both forward Mark Letestu and defenseman James Wisniewski on the Injured Reserve on Thursday, making nine regulars out of their line-up, now in Week Four of the season.  Letestu is on the shelf for a few weeks with a groin injury and Wisniewski has been sidelined with a broken finger, which was initially listed as day-to-day, but now appears to be keeping him out longer.

Wisniewski is the only one of the two newly injured Jackets in the pool this time around, so we'll focus on him for this post.  In nine games so far this year, the 30-year old blueliner only has 3 assists, well down from where he is likely supposed to be, scoring-wise, according to his expectations.

The Injured Reserve will keep Wisniewski out for at least a week, but being as though there is a broken bone in his hand, it would seem like a fair assumption that he would be out of the line-up for longer, possibly in the 3-to-4 week range, but there has been no confirmation of that.

ImplicationsThis is Scott's second hand injury in as many weeks to be suffered by his pool team, as he is currently without Isles forward Josh Bailey with a broken bone in his hand as well.  Scott still sits in 11th place after Wednesday night's games, 16 points out of the money, but is among five teams that only have 25 games left in the week, the lowest projected total through Sunday's action.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 30)

It sounds like Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy may need a bit more seasoning or possibly he needs some saving from a horrible season, as Carolina has decided to send down one of their top prospects to the AHL on Wednesday.

In six games this season, Murphy only has 1 assist, and the team around him is not giving him a positive atmosphere to grow as a player, so it would seem like the best option for the 21-year old prospect, who was taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

Not exactly good news for the pool's 3rd place team, belonging to Wes at the moment.  Wes does hold a 5-point cushion on teams chasing him down for the last money spot and he is 11 points back of 1st place,   Wes' defense has been above average to this point, even with Murphy only picking up a single point, so it may not be the biggest loss to his team at this point in the season, but you don't want your players away from the game, regardless.

The New Jersey Devils are rotating defenseman Adam Larsson back into their line-up on Thursday night, as they prepare to take on the Winnipeg Jets, which means that Eric Gelinas is coming back out of the line-up as a healthy scratch.

Gelinas hasn't been bad on the offensive end of the ice, picking up 1 goal and 3 assists in eight games this year, but the Devils don't want to give up on Larsson, which is making these decisions hard for the team, I'm sure.

Wilton will have his defender sit once again, which hurts his pool team, which is not off to a great start in Week Four, only picking up 4 points to this point, dropping from 14th to 17th.  Wilton's defense has been above average to this point, picking up 18 points thus far (average is 15), but it won't improve any with one in the press box.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Knee Injury Places Stajan on IR

It has been a rough week to be a part of the Calgary Flames.  First, it was Mason Raymond and then Joe Colborne and Matt Stajan go down with injury.  For all intensive purposes, we're worried about Stajan, as he was taken in the pool this year.

As it was posted earlier today, Stajan suffered a knee injury in a collision with Habs defender Jarred Tinordi and it sounds like there is ligament damage, which will keep the 30-year old centre on the shelf for upwards of six weeks.  The Flames placed Stajan on the Injured Reserve on Wednesday and called up forward Markus Granlund to take his place.

Stajan has been less than productive with the Flames in the early part of the 2015 season, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist in 11 games.  Going into Wednesday night's action, Stajan was ranked 351st overall in pool scoring, which is not very good, even early on.

This likely means that Stajan will miss the remainder of the first segment, which will hurt Leo's chances at the opening trophy of the season.  Already 23 points back of 1st place, Leo has now had Stajan's projected games taken off for the rest of the week and now his team is down near the bottom of games to be played this week.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Another D-Man Hurt in Boston

Hasn't the Boston blueline suffered enough? Well, that would be a well-argumented point between Bruins fans and the rest of the hockey world, but with Zdeno Chara already on the shelf for a while, the Bruins will now have to deal with the loss of Torey Krug for a few weeks as well.

Krug suffered a broken finger in Boston's Tuesday night game against the Minnesota Wild and it will cost the 23-year old defender 2-to-3 weeks on the shelf.  The team announced the loss with the call-ups of defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky, which likely means Krug is already on the Injured Reserve.

The preseason holdout hasn't done too badly, despite missing some of training camp, scoring 2 goals and 4 assists in 11 games thus far for Boston, which has him ranked 122nd overall in pool scoring, 20th among all defensemen.

ImplicationsThis will likely hurt Ryan for a couple of weeks, at the very least, as his already below-average defense loses its best player. The real kicker here is that Ryan also has Chara, so the depleted blueline in Boston is a depleted blueline in the pool for Mr. Miller.

Ryan has been on the move, moving up to 15th place in the last couple days, after finishing Week Three in 17th.  The Week One Basement Dweller was well on his way to recovery, but these injuries will likely take its toll on his team.  Hopefully for his sake, the rest of his players can come around and make up for the losses.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 29)

The Anaheim Ducks were fortunate enough to welcome Dany Heatley into their line-up for the first time in the regular season, as he managed to work his way back from a preseason groin injury.  Heatley was held to no points in his season debut against the Blackhawks, but the Ducks did come away with a 1-0 victory, so that is something the club can be happy about.

This is really good news for Stacey C., who has been mired near the bottom of the standings since the beginning of the season.  His team sits near the bottom of the pool in skater games played, but now that Heatley is back, he can start to climb up the ranks a little.

The revolving door on the Ottawa Senators blueline isn't spinning nearly as fast as it was last season, but it is involving the same players.  Patrick Wiercioch found his way back to the press box on Tuesday night for the game against the Blue Jackets, as Jared Cowen went back in for the first time in over a week.  Wiercioch hasn't blown the doors off in his appearances, failing to register a point in five games, so Cowen got a shot and the team won, 5-2.

Dale C. one player return from injury, another dodge missing some time due to illness, but couldn't escape Scot-free with this move to the press box for Wiercioch.  Dale had a good night, moving to 6th place in the standings, now only 7 points out of the money.

St. Louis Blues forward David Backes was not on the ice for practice on Wednesday afternoon, a day after leaving Tuesday night's game against Dallas with an injury.  The injury is believed to be an upper-body injury, some speculating that it could be a head injury.  There hasn't been an official announcement from the club, as they are still awaiting some test results, but it doesn't sound like a positive for the Blues.  This will be on our monitor for a bit, I think.

This is bad news for the new leader of the pool, Grant S., who took over from the pool's first duo with a big night on Tuesday.  Grant took the lead on the tie-breaker, but does hold the lead for the Mover & Shaker race in Week Four, so if he can keep up that pace, he will be in great shape.  Backes has 5 points in eight games for Grant, so far this year, so it may be a significant loss, if he is out for the long-term.

The Calgary Flames are awaiting the word on some tests on forward Matt Stajan, who left last night's game against the Canadiens with a knee injury. Stajan reportedly collided with Habs defender Jarred Tinordi and it went knee-on-knee, which usually doesn't end well for someone, in this case, it's Stajan.  There is no confirmation on the injury just yet, but it is worth mentioning.

In 11 games this season, Stajan has a goal and an assist.

Stajan hasn't been Leo's best forward by any means, but everything helps.  Leohas fallen down to 11th place in the standings this week, sitting at the bottom of the weekly totals with only 1 point to his name.  His team has games to help make up the gap, but it could be a long week, especially if the Stajan injury is for the long-term.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Raymond Week-To-Week in Calgary

The Calgary Flames offered an update on injured forward Mason Raymond, as he is dealing with a shoulder injury, which he suffered on the weekend against the Washington Capitals.

On Tuesday, the Flames put Raymond on the Injured Reserve, as he is expected to be week-to-week with his new injury.  On the plus side, by comparison, the St. Louis Blues saw the same sort of injury with Paul Stastny, just over a week ago, and he was back skating, but of course, each injury is different.

Raymond has been one of the Flames more consistent scorers early on in the season, having 7 points in 10 games to start the year, ranking 62nd overall in pool scoring, going into Tuesday night's action.

ImplicationsThere is no question that Raymond was a big part of Leo's surge to the top, acting as quite the bargain pick.  Leo picked Raymond in the 9th round, 195th overall, so he's really out-kicking his coverage here.

The trip to the IR means that we have to remove his projected games from the week, which now puts him in at 38 games for Week Four, going into Tuesday, ranking near the bottom among all teams.  It could work out to be a tough week for Leo at this rate.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Finger Sidelines Bobrovsky

Devastating news for the Columbus Blue Jackets, as their 2013 Vezina Trophy winning goaltender and backbone of the team, Sergei Bobrovsky, has been placed on the Injured Reserve on Tuesday, as he suffered a broken finger in practice on Monday.  This likely means that the 26-year old Russian netminder will be out for at least a month, possibly even more.

Bobrovsky hasn't exactly gotten off to a blistering start, but it isn't too bad, either.  He has come away with 8 points in 448 minutes worth of work, which works out to be about 1 point per game played, working at about a .500 winning percentage.  Going onto the IR, he is ranked 58th in pool scoring overall, 14th among all goalies.

ImplicationsThis turns into a pretty big blow for Wilton, who was relying on Bobrovsky for wins in the pool this year.  The Columbus stopper has accounted for 4 out of his 5 wins thus far in the season and he is 15th in the standings to this point.  Wilton stands 18 points out of the money and is now facing an extended period of time without his 2nd round pick (26th overall).

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 28)

It had been confirmed on Monday afternoon, Eric Staal will be in the Carolina line-up tonight, when the Hurricanes take on the Canucks in Vancouver, starting a Western road swing. The Canes captain has been out for the last week or so with an upper-body injury, which had really taken a toll on the Hurricanes, as the injuries really piled up on them.  We should expect to see Staal activated off the IR late on this morning.

Staal has only played in two games this season, scoring a goal and an assist thus far.

This is good news for Troy, who has just hovered around the average mark for skater games this season, also hovering around the mid-point of the standings, sitting in 13th place after Monday night's games.

So far, it looks like a good week for bodies returning to their respective line-ups, as Alex Killorn appears to be ready to play on Tuesday night, as the Lightning go back home to host the Coyotes.  Killorn was on the first power play unit in practice on Tuesday morning, which has to be considered the most positive sign that he'll return, so we'll expect him back tonight.

Definitely positive news for Dale C. in the pool this morning, but as you will see below, the positives somewhat stop here.  Nevertheless, Killorn heading back to the line-up, in a favourable offensive position, could mean good things for Dale, who goes into Tuesday night in 7th place, 19 points out of the money.

The St. Louis Blues are in Dallas to take on the Stars on Tuesday night and they may be doing so without scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who is under the weather with a bacterial infection, which has been circulating through the Blues dressing room. He is listed as questionable for the evening.

As of Tuesday morning, he was still considered to be questionable.

In the pool, Dale C. has been getting some reasonable return on his pick of Tarasenko, collecting 5 points in seven games, to date.  Dale's 117th overall pick is currently ranked 174th overall in scoring, but has yet to find his stride.  I don't think he would be considered a bust pick, yet, but he's certainly no bargain right now.

It looks as though Anze Kopitar will indeed miss Tuesday night's game against the Flyers and the Kings will likely be playing a man short, thanks to some salary cap concerns.  Kopitar is considered to be day-to-day with his mysterious upper-body ailment and his availability for Thursday night's game against the Penguins will still be considered "up in the air."

Brenda & Seward managed to climb out of the pool basement with a big night on Monday, but the loss of Kopitar for Tuesday night won't help them maintain their position outside of the basement.  They now sit 5 points clear of 23rd place, but there are a lot of games to be had, so it will be an anxious evening for the bottom of the pool.

It sounds like New Jersey forward Mike Cammalleri didn't make the trip to Pittsburgh for Tuesday night's tilt between the Devils and the Penguins. The scoring winger was elbowed in the jaw over the weekend and underwent X-rays in the last couple of days, but the results of those X-rays have not been revealed, so the extent of the injury is still undisclosed.  We'll consider him day-to-day with a jaw injury for now, but there is a part of me that is expecting a little bit more.

Cammalleri becomes the second player in successive days to hit the injury list for Leo, who has enjoyed a much better start to the regular season, than what he did in his first season in the pool last year.  We won't know how long Cammalleri is out quite yet, but we know he won't help Leo's 8th place standing going into Tuesday night.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.