Sunday, December 21, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 21)

One note out of the Buffalo/Colorado game last night, as Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers left the game early with a lower-body injury and is now thought to be questionable for Sunday's game in Boston.  The Sabres are now running into a plethora of injuries and illnesses, but most of the players that are getting affected, except for Myers, were either dropped or never picked in the pool.  Maybe now a string of losses for the Sabres won't be considered tanking.

Myers hasn't been nearly as productive as some may have hoped, only picking up 8 points in 32 games, scoring a point every four games.  The former rookie of the year belongs to Mike in the pool this year.

There was also a healthy scratch in the Buffalo/Colorado game, as the Avalanche sat defenseman Nick Holden for the first time this season.  The young defenseman had quietly found a place in the Avs lineup last season and has managed to find a few points this season, but the healthy scratch is a good indicator that he hasn't quite found the same stride as he did the year before, which could be one of the reasons why Colorado hasn't been nearly as good in the standings.

Grant S. hasn't exactly needed Holden to be outstanding to keep his 2nd place standing this year, but he arguably could have used a better start to the year, if he wanted to be closer to the chase for 1st place.

The Philadelphia Flyers amazingly found enough offense to make up for an injured player on Saturday night, giving the Maple Leafs a 7-spot on the scoreboard at home, which has to sit poorly on the home side.  The Flyers got the win, despite not having their number one goalie, Steve Mason in net.  Mason was hurt in practice at the end of the week, taking an upper-body injury of some sort, which has forced him to stay home, while the team is on this current road trip.  The updates have been few and far between, but that's what we know so far.

This would be considered a missed start for Allan, who has Mason in this year's edition of the pool.  Mason has been less than okay this year, 6 wins, 1 shutout and 2 assists for 16 points, picking up less than a point for every 60 minutes on the ice.

The Montreal Canadiens received a bit of good news before playing against Ottawa last night, as Lars Eller returned from his upper-body injury and Max Pacioretty was deemed good to go after leaving the ice the game before against the Ducks on Thursday.  The nature of Pacioretty's injury was never disclosed, but it wasn't considered major, to which his return to the ice confirmed.

This was good news for Stacey M., who has both players on her roster and her team is climbing up the standings in Week Eleven.  Her side went into Saturday as the Mover & Shaker of the week through Friday night and by the look of things, it all continued the right way for her team.

It was a trip up to the press box for Florida's Jimmy Hayes on Saturday night, as the Panthers took on the Penguins in Pittsburgh.  Hayes got off to a decent start to the year, but with the Panthers slowing down on offense and winning games, Hayes has certainly gone with that trend.  Hayes has 13 points in 23 games this season, but could certainly do a little bit better.

Hayes was a Waiver Draft pick-up for Wilton this season and has only seen 1 goal in five games since his pick-up.  Wilton isn't very far back in the standings at this point, but could certainly use some help moving forward.

A couple of key defensemen were put on the Injured Reserve for the Penguins before their game against the Panthers on Saturday, as Christian Ehrhoff was put on with a lower-body injury and an undisclosed injury put Paul Martin on the list as well.  Both players will miss three games, including the game against Florida, before they are eligible to return.  The details for both players have been sketchy, at best, so it is hard to say whether or not they will be ready to return when they're eligible.

These are injuries to two teams that are in the bottom half of the pool, so there isn't a great deal of threat to the money race at this point in the season.  Brian has Ehrhoff and Stacey C. has Martin this year and they'll need to get back into the top half of the standings before they make a big mark.

The New York Rangers welcomed back Derick Brassard back to their line-up on Saturday night, as they took on the Hurricanes, which meant that someone had to come out of their lineup and that someone ended up being Lee Stempniak, who had been a healthy scratch from time to time earlier in the year.  The Rangers seem to want to stay fast in their lineup, so they certainly added some better skating by taking some of their aged legs out of the lineup.

Brassard going back in was good for Scott, while Stempniak coming out was bad for Leo, in terms of pool transactions.  This is another pair of teams that haven't fared all that well in the season, also sitting in the bottom half of the pool standings.  Both teams could work their way back up, but they'll definitely need more skater games to do so.

A couple of big returns in the Chicago lineup on Saturday night, as their number one goalie Corey Crawford returned to the crease and their number one defenseman Duncan Keith returned to the blueline, but neither helped the team earn a W, as they dropped a shootout decision to the Blue Jackets.  Crawford had missed the last few weeks with a lower-body injury and Keith missed one game with an unspecified illness.

Returns are good, even if they don't get points right away, at least they'll be on the ice to get points going forward.  Dale C. and Clayton each had a player come back in this post and they'll need them, as they are both on the outside looking in on the money, having been leapfrogged earlier in the week.

The stomach virus that took out Darcy Kuemper of the Wild may have jumped over to Mikael Granlund, as he was a late scratch for Minnesota last night for their game against the Nashville Predators.  Granlund missed out on a bit of a shooting match with the Preds, as the Wild dropped a 6-5 overtime game, a game where there were many points to be had and Granlund is the type of player that could have lifted Minnesota to a win.  He's day-to-day with the bug.

It hasn't been a great week for Stuart, who saw his fourth player be added to the injury list with this post.  This doesn't look like it will be a major problem, but Stuart is in the thick of the top 10 race, just sitting on the outside, thanks to some tie-breakers.

One more scratch of note, as the Maple Leafs sat defenseman Jake Gardiner for the loss against the Flyers.  The 7-4 loss seemed to prove that some of the struggles that the Leafs may have been happening were not Gardiner's fault, as they key cog to the blueline disappeared and so did the rest of the defense.  I would have to think that the coaching staff will be looking at that move closely for their next game, tonight in Chicago.

If I was Mike, I would be hoping that Gardiner gets traded for a fresh start somewhere else, since Toronto hasn't been too kind to him or his potential.  Gardiner would fetch a lot and would likely put up some numbers elsewhere, which would definitely improve Mike's 13th place standing.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

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