Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Player Notes in the Draft (Apr 1)
There was one note that I wanted to offer up its own post to on Monday, but thanks to some work commitments and other events going on, it really didn't happen for me. So, we'll give it a quick post, thankfully, it doesn't have the biggest bearing on the final result of the draft.
Kristopher Letang is hurt... again. On the weekend, he took an awkward and nasty fall after being caught off-balance from Arizona's Shane Doan, forcing him to land funny and suffer a concussion. Letang was taken to hospital shortly after the incident, but was released shortly after. It is an indefinite time on the shelf for Letang, but as an injury prone defender, it should come as no surprise when he makes it to the shelf again. I can't see Letang making it back for the end of the regular season, but there hasn't been anything definitive on his timetable yet.
Letang is still Kristy & Don's best defenseman this year, having collected 54 points in 69 games this year and their lead is untouchable with less than two weeks left in the season.
The biggest question mark will be for the playoffs, where he does still feature on the Playoff Pool sheet, which was just recently released. Since there is nothing to say he won't be back, he remains on, especially since the Penguins could still be considered somewhat of a favourite to go long in the Spring Dance.
There wasn't anything big from Monday night, so we'll jump right into Tuesday night's notes.
There was a late scratch from the Detroit Red Wings, as Pavel Datsyuk was held out of the game against the Ottawa Senators, due to a lower-body injury. Datsyuk is dangerously approaching injury prone status himself, with another injury in this 2015 season, as he has only managed to play in 59 games this season, but he has been good for 60 points, which is hard to argue with. He is on the list as out day-to-day, but with Detroit playing his news close to the vest, who is really to say how long he will be out or whether or not he'll be ready for the playoffs.
Going into Wednesday night's action, Benson was only 14 points out of the money in 5th place and he likely missed the night from Datsyuk. Benson is 3 points back of Scott for 4th place and he'll need all hands on deck for a money finish.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vladimir Tarasenko was announced as being out for Thursday night's game against the Flames, due to a lower-body injury. With their place in the playoffs, all but assured, down the stretch, the Blues can afford to make sure their best players are ready for a run in the playoffs, which may start with a date against Central Division foes from Chicago.
Tarasenko has been a pleasant bargain pick for Dale C. this season, who has seen 71 points in 76 games from his 6th round pick in the draft. Unfortunately for Dale, his team had dropped off, well before this injury had occurred and his team went into Wednesday in 9th place, 29 points out of the money. This injury may see his team drop out of the top 10, as he is only 3 points up on 11th.
You think the Penguins are done? Oh, no. Pittsburgh announced, just before their game against division rivals from Philadelphia, Evgeni Malkin was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury. He starts on the list as out day-to-day, but with the team relatively safe in the Eastern Conference standings, resting one of their key players for a hard battle against their cross-state rivals, doesn't sound like a horrible idea.
Leo has seen his team move up into 17th in the standings this week, just eclipsing Brenda & Seward for the spot, but his team is only hanging on by a thread there, going into Wednesday night. He doesn't hold much worth in the money race or any other race at the moment, so the news becomes somewhat moot.
However, his playoff value is also quite high, in theory, if he is just getting to rest leading up to the dance. Keep your eye on him, especially if you think the Penguins are poised to make some noise this year.
An updated list of injuries can be found here.