All Sergei Bobrovsky wanted for Christmas was to stay healthy and happy, but what he got was a stomach virus and that will keep him from starting the big game against the Bruins on Saturday evening. The Blue Jackets are in need of a good start to the post-Christmas break, as they are well out of a playoff spot at the moment and a good stretch before the All-Star break could really set things in motion. The virus is supposed to keep Bobrovsky out for a couple of days, by the sound of things, as the team has recalled Anton Forsberg to play back-up behind Curtis McElhinney.
Bobrovsky has made 24 appearances in the Columbus net so far this season, picking up 28 points in those games for Wilton in the pool standings. As of Saturday morning, that would place him 52nd overall in pool scoring, 17th among goalies. The loss of a start is a tough break for Wilton, who was tabbed in yesterday's preview for the Mover & Shaker this week, but he'd need his number one guy for a couple points, at least.
The New York Islanders started off the post-holiday break with placing Jaroslav Halak on the Injured Reserve, retroactively to December 20th, which would mean he is eligible to come off at any time. Halak had missed the last couple of starts for the Islanders before the break with an undisclosed injury and the only indication from the beat reporters on Saturday morning was that it is likely a lower-body injury, more likely a groin tweak. Either way, they have placed their number one goalie on the IR and have recalled Kevin Poulin and he'll start in front of Chad Johnson, as the Islanders are in Buffalo tonight.
Bad news for Tony, who loses a goalie start, whilst fending off teams from his 3rd place perch and bad news for Mike, who doesn't pick up a start, while trying to work his way back into the top 10. A lost pool start all around from the Islanders, who are not helping the stats very much. Also, with Halak going on the IR, it means that the projected game gets taken off and Tony has no goalie games projected for the rest of the week. Yikes!
At Saturday morning's pregame skate for the Lightning, forward Jonathan Drouin was sent home after saying he wasn't feeling very well. The speculation is leaning more towards the stomach bug that had sidelined a couple of his teammates before the break, more than it could be the mumps, but as the way mumps testing has gone, it has taken a few days to get a final diagnosis on the case. Nevertheless, Drouin is now expected to miss tonight's game against the Hurricanes, as the Bolts start the post-holiday break with a division game.
Drouin has been up and down all season long for Dale C., who really could have used Drouin's participation tonight. Dale is 5 points out of 3rd place and has seen decent production out of Drouin, when he is in the line-up, 14 points in 27 games.
There are 13 games on the schedule tonight and we've already touched on a few goalies who won't be dressing tonight for their respective teams, so we might as well collect some more data, see if we can provide with a better preview of the upcoming action.
The early indications for the hockey pool are not very good, however. Four out of the 15 goalies already tabbed to start tonight, as of Saturday morning, are not pool goalies, which won't add to our overall totals. Niklas Svedberg for Boston, Curtis McElhinney for Columbus, Calvin Pickard for Colorado and Kevin Poulin for Long Island are all taking starts away from our guys.
Notable starters so far... Jimmy Howard returns to the net for the Red Wings after missing some time over the last seven days, Darcy Kuemper starts for the Wild, Jake Allen tabbed over Martin Brodeur in St. Louis, Ben Bishop returns from a bout of the flu for the Lightning and Michael Hutchinson gets the start for Winnipeg tonight.
As for our potential Mover & Shaker this week, Kristy & Don, they do have both of their goalies projected to play tonight, Frederik Andersen against the Coyotes and Pekka Rinne against the Flyers. That doesn't bode well for the teams chasing them down again.
An updated list of injuries can be found here.