Monday, November 30, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 30)

And then there were seven!

Kicking off the last day of November, the final week of the first segment and the last week of bums playing on our teams, we have four games on the NHL schedule.

Out of those four games and eight teams, only two goalies are possibilities for the survivor pool and according to, neither of them are going to start.  Go figure.

So, instead of worrying about the survivor pool today, we'll go over the four games and we'll preview those goalies who could be (or already have been) taken in the Waiver Draft.

The schedule opens up in Brooklyn, with Semyon Varlamov (Kristy & Don) taking on Thomas Greiss (Eric), when the Avalanche visit the Islanders.

Next up, the Hurricanes are in the Big Apple to take on the Rangers, where the goaltending match-up will be Cam Ward (Neil) taking on Henrik Lundqvist (Derek & Dan).  Neil will be trying to get back up to top spot with a big win, but he's in tough to get that done here.

How about an all-available goaltending match-up tonight?  Anders Nilsson of the Oilers will be going up against Garret Sparks of the Maple Leafs, who will be making his NHL debut tonight.  With James Reimer (John S.) hurt and Jonathan Bernier (Cindy) lacking confidence, the Leafs will move to their third string goalie tonight.

Finally, the Canucks and Ducks will be going head-to-head on the pond tonight, where it is expected to be Ryan Miller (Clayton) and John Gibson (non-pool) will get the call for each team.  Gibson, who is quickly earning the trust of the coaching staff in Anaheim, might turn out to be a reasonable gamble this week.

Week Eight Newsletter

Well, here we go!  It's now Waiver Draft time!

The order has now been set and we can now start aligning our stars for when Week Ten gets underway and that new blood is officially injected into our lineups and the real races begin.  I suppose we should look at the week previous before anything, so here comes the review of the past week.

I would be taking a rest too, if I posted a 10-point week as well, like Braden Holtby of the Capitals did in Week Eight.  Holtby is the first player to post a double-digit week this season, going 4-0-0 with a shutout in the week, absolutely dominating the last week before the Waiver Draft happens.

Holtby got his week off with a bang, making 33 stops for a shutout against the Oilers on Monday and then followed that up with wins against the Jets, Lightning and Maple Leafs and has regained that same confidence that helped him finish 2nd overall in pool scoring last season.

With his 10 points, that brings his season total up to 32 points on the season, which now ranks him 4th overall in pool scoring and is now the top goaltender in the pool, much to the delight of Jeremy, who took him with the 7th overall pick in the draft this year.  Holtby was also the 5th goalie taken, held to some high standards after last season, most certainly.

And of course, this brings us to yet another week, where the Player of the Week takes us directly into the Mover & Shaker of the Week, as Jeremy's team becomes the fourth to have both honours associated to it in the same week.  John S., Brian and Scott each had the same in Weeks Two, Three and Four.

Jeremy's team finished with 36 points, one of only two teams to eclipse the 30-point barrier in the week, as most teams wanted to tank a little bit to improve their Waiver Draft position, not Jeremy.  Oh, no... he's made his move for the top of the pops, moving into a tie for 1st place in the standings, finishing 2nd in the week, thanks to his lower goal-scoring totals.

Besides having the Player of the Week, Mark Stone helped lead the way with 5 points of his own, which was also complimented by Matt Duchene of the Avs and Tomas Plekanec of the Habs, each picking up 4 points as well.  Kris Letang of the Penguins chipped in with 3 points and then there were a lot of deuces and singles to help out as well.

There were only a couple of zeroes on his team, but I don't think that will be enough for Jeremy to drop anyone at the Waiver Draft, since there isn't a great deal out there that is too much better.

If we've noticed anything with this big jump, it just takes one really good week, once your team is in the top 10, to jump into the money.  Jeremy's team was hovering around 5th to 7th to start the year and now his team jumped into a tie for 1st place.  Sure, the rest of the pool dogged it in the week and that helped a great deal, but at least we all know it's possible.

In the basement this week, it's John R., who has now picked up his second Basement Dweller of the Week nod of the season and just in time, too!  His poor week ensured that he would be using the 1st overall pick in the Waiver Draft, to which he dropped Carter Hutton and took Mike Condon, but we'll have more on that later on in the day or tomorrow, for that matter.

John's goaltending certainly hasn't been the worst in the pool, thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury, but he'll need to address the rest of his scoring in the 2nd round, since his forwards are tied for last in the pool, through eight weeks, with 78 points.  Oh yeah, his defense has bottomed out as well, tied for last again, this time with 16 points.  For argument's sake, his goaltending ranks 14th through eight weeks.

Patrick Marleau was John's biggest contributor in Week Eight, picking up 3 points, while each of his goalies picked up wins in the week.

Nevertheless, it sounds like he wants to make a push out of the basement, so we'll see how those new picks work out for him, starting in Week Ten.

So, Week Eight saw a huge dynamic change in the trophy hunt, as we have a newly configured top three.  John P. moved up from last week's finish of 2nd place to 1st place, while Jeremy jumped from 5th to 2nd, leap-frogging Neil, who stayed in 3rd place and Dale B. fell out of the money, down into 4th place.

Only 4 points separate 1st to 4th place, while Troy is 10 points out of 1st, 8 points out of 3rd and 6 points out of 4th.  After Troy, it's John S., who is already 6 points back of 5th, then it's another 10 points down to the big group, which isn't separated by very many points again.  This season is far from over.

This is the week where teams decide on whether or not they want to join or improve their standing in the rookie pool, as Ryan and Troy keep their own pace, each picking up 4 points from their rookies in the week.  Still, Ryan holds a 21-point lead in the contest, but there are plenty of freshmen to take in the Waiver Draft, so there is plenty of intrigue here, as we look to swap out some players.  Will anyone use both picks for rookie forwards and hope that they can catch Troy and/or Ryan?

Speaking of Ryan, his team was eliminated from the goalie survivor pool this week, as Pekka Rinne failed to pick up a win for the Predators in Week Eight and his other goalie, Joni Ortio, spent the week in the AHL, as the Flames now have three healthy goalies.  Ryan was hoping that Rinne could have offered up a win, so he could improve his chances in this pool in the Waiver Draft, but that isn't to be.  He'll likely be looking to pad his lead in the rookie pool now.

Scott, Stuart, Dale B., Jeremy, John P., Allan and Derek W. are all that remains in the pool, as we head into one of the busiest weeks of the season, where there will be 50 NHL games to be played.  A huge finish to the first segment of the year.

This week, I've added a link to the entire race in the PIM pool, just in case you were not in the top five, you could see how far back you are and decide whether or not you wanted to goon it up this year at the Waiver Draft, trying to chase down Wes, who will definitely be gooning it up this week.  If you want to see the whole race, click here.

Wes and Benson's team were tops in the week, each picking up 27 PIM, Wes adding to his lead, which now sits at 51 PIM, which will be tough to beat right now, but with the right combination of goons and just the right amount of agitation, it could just work in someone else's favour.


It was a statistically horrendous week, but Jeremy doesn't mind, I'm sure.  Scoring was down considerably, working at 12.2 points per NHL game for the pool, down from 13.1, which did seem to add up, when you looked at all the numbers down the line.  Skater participation and goalie minutes were up slightly, which meant that either the defenses were getting better or there were a lot less pucks hitting the net on a regular basis.

With 50 games on the NHL schedule this week, let's hope that things pick up a bit, just before we swap out all of our duds.


The timetable for Derek Stepan dropped on Monday morning and it's about what we were thinking, 4-to-6 weeks on the shelf for the scoring forward. Okay, that's exactly what I had forecasted this weekend. Yeah, I've seen it before.

With that being said, that will take Brian into either 3-to-5 weeks into a 9-week segment without Stepan.  Is that enough to make the drop?  Probably not.

Montreal is saying roughly the same thing about Carey Price, saying that he won't be re-evaluated for six weeks, but his lower-body injury won't require any surgery, just a whole lot of rest to heal.

That hasn't stopped John S.'s bravado, as he's still giving Stuart and Benson the business in the 1st round picks side bet, where he has Price pitted against Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen, still confident that he can win this bet, despite losing out on another six weeks.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Elbow Infection Sidelines Braun

On Saturday, the San Jose Sharks placed defenseman Justin Braun on the Injured Reserve after already missing a game this week, thus missing Saturday night's game against Calgary, as he is dealing with an infection in his elbow.

With placement on the IR, Braun will then miss at least one more game, which is Tuesday's contest against the Penguins, but there is no mention of any real timetable for his return.  He'll likely be on antibiotics and they'll wait for it to clear up.

In 21 games played this season, Braun has picked up 6 assists and 12 PIM this season, ranking 380th in pool scoring, to date.

For Dale C., his team sits in a state of limbo heading into the Waiver Draft, as his team is in the middle of the pack, not too far out of the money for a good pick to help him out, but he is also in the midst of the PIM pool too, which makes his decision interesting going in.  Braun is a part of a disappointing blueline on his team, one that ranks 25th in scoring, with only 22 total points.

Decisions, decisions...

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 29)

It all happened so quickly, it doesn't get it's own post today. On Friday night, Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky was caught cross-checking Sidney Crosby of the Penguins in the head, which he was penalized in the game for and then called to the carpet for, just before Saturday night's game against the St. Louis Blues. Dubinsky was handed a 1-game suspension for his cross-check and he sat out of Saturday's game in the process. He'll be available when Week Nine kicks off, which is why he doesn't get his own post today.

It's another skater game lost for Dale C., who, for the most part, has stayed relatively healthy all year, unofficially ranking 5th (tied) in skater games played, heading into Sunday's action, only nine game back of the pool leader in the category.  Still, his team needs a bit of a scoring boost next week, as his team sits 28 points out of the money.

The Blackhawks certainly haven't been suffering through this salary cap crunch they've been having this year, but the coaching staff is still trying to squeeze as much offense out of this group as possible, even if that means moving players in and out of the lineup to do so. It looks like Marko Dano was a healthy scratch for the team on Saturday night, in the game against the Kings. Dano was thought to be an off-season steal for the Hawks, but has only picked up 2 points in 11 games, spending some time in the AHL this year.

In my mock draft, I have Dano being dropped by Troy, but there is no guarantee that the mock draft is at all right.  Troy is right there in the mix this year, only 6 points out of the money and any kind of boost to the forwards would likely be appreciated next week.

The Nashville Predators were working on back-to-back nights, which you would have expected the back-up, Carter Hutton, to have played after Pekka Rinne got his start the night before, right? Well, that wasn't at all the case. The Predators surprisingly called up Juuse Saros to take the start, scratching Hutton, and adding a little bit of confusion to the mix. The Predators lost to the Sabres, 4-1, in the process, so maybe there isn't many more questions... who knows?

For John R., he is looking to pick first in this coming week's Waiver Draft and after a healthy scratch like this, I would imagine that Hutton's days are numbered on his side.  John will have his pick of the litter of all the available keepers, if he so chooses.

The St. Louis Blues have been shuffling the deck a little bit, as their lineup continues to get healthy again and on Saturday, against the Blue Jackets, they decided to sit forward Dmitrij Jaskin for the game, as he has only 5 points in 22 games this season.  Jaskin hasn't found a whole lot of consistent offense this year, so the Blues have been wise to look elsewhere at times.  The Central Division remains a difficult decision to play in, so they need all the help they can get.

Jaskin is another drop candidate for Troy, who saw a couple of healthy scratches on Saturday night.  As we've already outlined in this post, Troy is hunting for money, so he'll be busy, I'm thinking, during the Waiver Draft.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 28)

Well, it's crunch time for both Ryan and Derek W., who each didn't find a win in yesterday's games, although it looked certain that one would walk away with one.  Michal Neuvirth (Neil) ended up getting the start for the Flyers on Friday night and beating Pekka Rinne, which was a big kick to the groin for the survivor pool.

So, what does that mean in the 12 games that we'll see tonight in the league?

Well, since Neuvirth got the start yesterday, that means that Steve Mason (confirmed!) will get the start today for the Flyers, giving Derek W. that key start today.  It has been confirmed that he will be taking on Antti Raanta (Benson) of the Rangers and that will be the early start of the day, an 11:30am start.

Derek's other goalie, Devan Dubnyk, will not be going again today for the Wild, as it was decided on Friday that Darcy Kuemper (Tony) would be getting the start against the Dallas Stars.

For Ryan, there is a chance that Pekka Rinne will get back-to-back starts, but that has yet to be confirmed.  The Predators are at home to the Buffalo Sabres, which could be a great time to give Carter Hutton another start, which would eliminate Ryan from this contest.  Ryan has a lock on the rookie pool, so he shouldn't be too sad about this, if it happens.

Since we have an early game today, a lot of the games have yet to see confirmed starters, so I won't go into too much detail about the games that don't have them, but we'll look at some interesting confirmed starters.

Jonathan Bernier (Cindy) will try for his first win of the season, as he will take on Braden Holtby (Jeremy) and the Capitals.  Cindy's team is the only one without a goalie win this year and opportunities have been few and far between this season.  Can the Leafs pull this one out?

Scott Darling (Eric) is the confirmed starter for the Blackhawks tonight, when they take on the Los Angeles Kings, who should be starting Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward), but that was unconfirmed at the time of the post.

Stepan Out With Broken Ribs

The argument rages in the Twittersphere, as to whether or not Matt Beleskey's hit on Derek Stepan was late enough to warrant some kind of supplemental discipline, but at the end of the day, it isn't going to happen and Stepan was caught admiring his pass, when Beleskey finished his check in open ice, sending the Rangers forward into the boards awkwardly and he suffered a broken bone or two in his ribs.

Stepan still had some tests to undergo this weekend, so his status for now is out indefinitely, 4-to-6 weeks would be a very reasonable guess at this point, but indefinitely, nonetheless.

This season, Stepan hasn't nearly been as dominant on the scoresheet as some may have predicted, only registering 6 goals and 12 points in 23 games to this point, which is only good enough for 159th overall in pool scoring.  Some may have expected more, but this injury will cease many high expectations, surely.

Brian picked Stepan with the 91st overall pick in the draft, taking him in the 4th round, so there is proof that expectations were much higher for him.  Instead of being a 4th rounder, like he was selected, he was playing as a 6th rounder, surely to drop.

I would assume that Brian will be waiting intently to hear what the final diagnosis is, as the Waiver Draft starts to ramp up on Monday.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Sabres Place Ennis on the IR

It was a little bit of a surprise to see Tyler Ennis' name stricken from the roster on Friday night, just before the Sabres dropped the puck against the Hurricanes, but he wasn't there.  Rather, he was placed on the Injured Reserve on Friday, as he is currently dealing with an upper-body injury.

Currently, there is no timetable for his return, but he was likely placed on the IR retroactive to November 24th, so he would be eligible to come off the list on December 1st, which isn't too bad, but it would still mean some missed games in the end.

The Buffalo News seems to be rather pessimistic going forward, which isn't likely a good sign.

Ennis hasn't been great this season, only picking up 5 goals and 10 points in 20 games this year, already having missed some time to injury this year.  His 10 points has him ranked 224th overall, which would make him a 9th round pick in this year's draft.

Scott took Ennis in the 7th round, 187th overall, so with an injury already against him this season, he hasn't done terrible, in comparison to his draft ranking, but he was still a bust pick, by virtue of the drop.  Scott will have some decisions to make in 12th place in the overall standings, 29 points out of the money.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 28)

New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey is ready to rock and roll again, as he was activated from the Injured Reserve on Saturday morning and he should be in the lineup, when the Islanders take on the Lightning tonight in Tampa.  Hickey has been out since the middle of October with a lower-body injury, having only played in four games this season.

At the time of Hickey's placement on the IR, Cindy's team was already 30 points back of 1st place and with him coming back, her team is 59 points out of 1st place, 53 points out of the money.  Her team is 29 points back of the rookie lead, which could be an idea for her team at the Waiver Draft.

An undisclosed injury forced Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson from yesterday afternoon's game against Washington, after only 48 seconds on the ice. There has been no indication about what the injury is or whether or not it is related to the undisclosed/upper-body injury, which forced him from a few games already this season.  We'll keep you posted on his status, as it is made available.

This is not the time for a major injury for Neil, who has dropped down to 3rd place in the standings and could really use Johnson in the lineup on Saturday night, which is still a possibility.  If he misses time, he will be day-to-day, but he is questionable, at best.

The Toronto Maple Leafs recalled goaltender Garrett Sparks on Saturday morning, ahead of their game against Washington, because James Reimer, their current number one, suffered an injury in practice and is now going to sit out this game.  There was no indication about the injury in the early reports, but he'll be on the list as out day-to-day for right now.

John S. went out of his way to pick Reimer this season, taking him in the 2nd round of the draft, 54th overall, among the craziness that surrounded last year's Year of the Goalie.  The Maple Leafs haven't been good, but when they have won, Reimer has been in the net, so I suppose that says something.  Still, Reimer is a bit of a bust pick, but still relatively good... I guess.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Friday, November 27, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 27)

We have to get this post early today, because of the Black Friday matinees today... okay, well, we don't HAVE to get this post done early, but it's nice if I do, right?

Well, let's start with the early, early game... as the New York Rangers travel to Boston for a "Thanksgiving Showdown" game against the Bruins.  It should be a battle of the number ones, as Henrik Lundqvist (Derek & Dan) is expected for the Rangers, while Tuukka Rask (Dale C.) is confirmed for the Bruins.

It doesn't take long before we get into a survivor pool battle, as it's probable that both Pekka Rinne (Ryan) and Steve Mason (Derek W.) will face off against each other, as the Predators and Flyers go in Philadelphia at 1:30pm MT today.  Ryan and Derek W. are the only two teams left without a win in the survivor pool this week, but it doesn't end there for them.

Okay, it is for Ryan, he'll need a win in that game, because the Predators are playing on back-to-back nights tomorrow and it would seem unlikely that Nashville would push Rinne in two games.

For Derek, he'll get another start this afternoon, as Devan Dubnyk and the Wild will host the Winnipeg Jets, who will likely be going with Michael Hutchinson (Mike) on the other side.  This will be a 2pm MT start for this game, so Derek will know how many nails he'll need to bite off this weekend, if any, before he gets home from work today.

Otherwise, there isn't a lot of out of the ordinary starters for our pool teams today, especially given that we had the one-day US Thanksgiving break on Thursday.

Dale B., who sits atop the standings, will have both of his goalies going tonight, as Jaroslav Halak will get the Panthers and Mike Smith will get the Flames in the late game.  2nd place, John P., will have Chad Johnson in net for the Sabres against the Hurricanes this evening.  3rd place, Jeremy, gets one starter as well, seeing Braden Holtby go against the Lightning this afternoon.  4th place, Neil, has one goalie going, as Cam Ward will go opposite of Johnson in Buffalo tonight.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 27)

The New York Rangers coaching staff have confirmed, prior to their matinee Black Friday start against the Boston Bruins, that defenseman Dan Boyle will be one of two scratches for the team today, likely saving the aged veteran from the early start, where injuries are known to happen to the ill-prepared.  Not saying that Boyle isn't all that prepared, but given his status, he may not be quite as prepared as some of his younger counterparts.  Not to mentionn, Boyle isn't expected to be running a full schedule this season, which we highlighted the last time he was scratched.

This is the risk that Scott has to run with having Boyle on his team, which isn't necessarily paying off, even though he was a 14th round pick in the draft.  Boyle currently ranks 459th in pool scoring, while being taken 354th overall, thanks to only 4 points.  He is definitely a candidate for being dropped next week, which would save the blog an extra paragraph or two, here and there.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Price Needs More Time

The argument is certainly there that the Montreal Canadiens and/or Carey Price may have jumped the gun for returning from his lower-body/leg injury, as he was pulled from Wednesday night's game against the New York Rangers, starting the game, playing two periods and not starting the 3rd, after his injury flared up again.

The first time around, Price missed 11 games with the injury and already on Thursday, he was placed on the Injured Reserve, which will cost him at least a week on the shelf and it will be interesting to see whether or not it will cost him any more than that.

When Price left the first time from his injury, he was 1st in pool scoring, upon his return, he was 37th and now, with 24 points this year, he leaves again in 18th place in pool scoring.  Price has already won 10 games with 2 shutouts and has been good for 2 points for every 60 minutes he plays.

John S., who was sitting in 3rd place for four weeks, has dropped down to 5th place in Week Eight, improving his Waiver Draft position and could still improve upon that draft pick before the end of the week.  His team is only 2 points up on Troy, but now 11 points clear of Ryan in 7th, so it would take a pretty good collapse to fall that far.  If he can improve his pick and still keep pace, that would be ideal, but it would be even more ideal if all of his players were healthy for upcoming games.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Lehtonen Heads to the IR

The goalie conundrum is a little less puzzling in Dallas, as we head into the weekend, but it should only be a short-term problem.  Kari Lehtonen, who was pulled from a relief appearance on Tuesday night, due to an upper-body injury, missed practice on Wednesday and has now been placed on the Injured Reserve, expected to miss the minimum amount of time, around 7 days, with the injury.  When the NHL returns from its quick Thanksgiving break, Jack Campbell will be called upon to be the team's back-up behind Antti Niemi.

Lehtonen has been good in the 1A/1B situation with Niemi, winning 9 games and adding 2 assists this season for 20 points, ranking 47th overall in pool scoring and averaging 2.1 points per 60 minutes played this season.  That is a very solid effort, despite not getting all the game, thus far.

Again, on the plus side, it isn't supposed to be a long-term injury and it would be considered questionable to suggest how many starts he would have actually have missed in this upcoming week, but you would be fair to assume two.  Dale C. could use those starts, now 33 points out of the money and his team barely hanging on to a top five spot in the PIM pool as well.  I would imagine that he will push for the points in the Waiver Draft next week, but he'll want that boost of one of his goalies coming back before too long as well.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Yakupov Sidelined With an Ankle Injury

An unfortunate turn of events for Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov, who was the innocent victim of a falling official, who grabbed him and pulled the Russian down awkwardly after a faceoff, forcing Yakupov to twist his leg awkwardly and force him from the game against the Hurricanes.

On Thursday, the team announced that Yakupov will miss the next 2-to-4 weeks with an ankle sprain and it has been suggested that the team may recall Anton Slepyshev to take his place, likely putting Yakupov on the Injured Reserve in the process.

His start to the 2016 season has been much better to his previous starts, already posting 2 goals and 12 points in 22 games with the club, having been paired up with Connor McDavid, before he was hurt this season.  On Thursday morning, he was ranked 163rd overall in pool scoring.

In the draft, John S. was getting some bargain production out of the slick Russian, getting about two rounds better in scoring, than where he was picked, before this time of the injury.  John's team may be on the verge of falling off a cliff here, thanks to injury problems, but may be able to take advantage of the Waiver Draft here next week.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 26)

There wasn't much notice before Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan was scratched from Wednesday night's game against the Ducks, but a lower-body injury is the concern for the veteran forward, but he's currently listed as out day-to-day, so it shouldn't be considered serious... until otherwise notified.

Well, if anything, Doan is keeping Derek & Dan in the PIM Pool race, with a whopping 40 minutes in the box, thus far in the season, by far their most penalized player.  As we move to the Waiver Draft, they're 56 PIM back of Wes at this point and today, they are two picks behind Wes, up by only 1 point, so things could change there for them, for the better, soon.

Things don't sound too good with Tyler Ennis at the moment, as he missed last night's game against the Nashville Predators with an upper-body injury and the coaching staff revealed that they needed to re-evaluate him before they gave out any sort of status or a timetable for a return, so that doesn't leave a great deal for optimism.  Nevertheless, he'll be on the list as out day-to-day with an upper-body injury and we'll update his status, as soon as it becomes available... or thereabouts.

This isn't quite the news that Scott wanted to see, as his team sits in 12th place, 27 points out of 2nd-3rd place and hovering closer to the Basement Dweller than the Mover & Shaker for the week.  Ennis hasn't been great yet this year, only having 10 points, but there is always potential in his game to come back around... when healthy.

As expected, the Calgary Flames elected to send down Joni Ortio to the AHL on Thursday, after he had cleared waivers at Noon ET.  The young Finnish netminder has made four appearances this season with the big club, failing to register a win in 140 minutes worth of action, so it should come as no surprise that he was sent down, as Karri Ramo has carried the load in Jonas Hiller's absence.  With Hiller returning from a hip problem, they wanted to make room for him with the demotion.

Ryan's gamble on the Flames' 3-goalie situation backfired and it appears it will stay that way until the next injury or a trade happens in their organization.  Ryan, who is still in the survivor pool, may want to elect another back-up goalie as his safety net moving forward.

On Thursday, the Edmonton Oilers have suggested that defenseman Justin Schultz should be ready to go for Friday's tilt, away to Detroit, returning from a back injury. Schultz went onto the IR on October 28th and was expected to be out for four weeks and that's about where we are now, so there should be an expectation that he should be as close to 100% as he needs to be to play.

Great news for Stacey C., who may or may not have been on top of Schultz's status, ahead of next week's Waiver Draft, but it will be like he's getting a fresh body for his lineup, without having to drop anyone.  His team could use the boost, as it now stands 44 points out of the money, but it could be ready for a stretch of good health and good production.  Stay tuned!

The Minnesota Wild are also expecting to have a big name player back in their lineup, after the US turkey break, as Zach Parise was expected back in practice on Thursday and was said to be probable for suiting up against the Winnipeg Jets at home on Friday night.  The franchise forward has been out of the lineup since the beginning of November with a sprained knee, which was expected to keep him out on a week-to-week basis and thankfully for the Wild, it was only a few weeks on the shelf.

Benson's team will also get a much-needed kick in the ass, as they are barely on the outside of the Basement Dweller spot for the week, 1 point up on the current dweller, heading into the weekend's action.  Parise left with 9 points in 13 games, so there is a good chance he'll be good for points upon his return.

Even more good news, what a Thanksgiving miracle this has been for the hockey pool! Ryan Strome has been recalled by the New York Islanders, ahead of their next game, Friday night in Florida, after a few weeks in the AHL.  Strome was running quite the cld streak on the Island, before his demotion, so they sent him down to regain a little bit of that confidence.  Now we'll see if that will work out in their favour.

Strome was taken by Clayton in the 6th round, 140th overall, but ranks 404th now with his 5 points.  In order for Strome to be worthy of his draft position, he would need to be at 13 points right now, exactly where Sidney Crosby is in the rankings.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 25)

It was the night before US Thanksgiving and all through the league, most players were skating, even Kris Versteeg.  There are 13 games on the schedule tonight, which will open up the door for a lot of teams to pick up some wins for the pool, both overall and the survivor pool.  Of course, we'll concentrate on the latter.

We'll start off with an all-survivor pool match-up, as we focus on the game in Brooklyn, where the Flyers and Islanders will meet, Steve Mason (Derek W.) against Jaroslav Halak (Dale B.), where one team will move on to next week, guaranteed, and the other will look to another game tonight for some help.  And yes, they both have another goalie going, which is why they're still in the pool at this point in the season.

Derek will have Devan Dubnyk going for the Wild tonight, as they play host to Ryan Miller (Clayton) and the Canucks, while Dale B. will see Mike Smith return from a small injury, as the Coyotes will play the Ducks, who should have Frederik Andersen (Benson) back in the net after a small bout of the flu.

In Tampa, Allan will see Ben Bishop back in the Lightning net, as they will welcome Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward) and the Kings into their house tonight.  The Bolts have been reeling from some injuries, while the Kings are starting to pick up their socks a bit.  This could be a tough one for Allan's keeper tonight.

The Blackhawks are in San Jose tonight and Corey Crawford will get the call for the visitors, while it is expected that Martin Jones (Scott) will get another call to arms in the team's defense.  This has some real potential for a good game as well, a tough one for Stuart's goalie to get him through to next week.

Outside of the survivor pool, we have one game, Columbus in New Jersey, where Troy will have both of his goalies starting in the game.  Sergei Bobrovsky versus Cory Schneider... Troy should get at least 2 points tonight from the crease, in theory.

And for a notable start, how about Carter Hutton getting a rare start for the Nashville Predators, giving John R. a quick appearance, likely before getting cut next week.  Hutton is scheduled to take on a possible replacement in Linus Ullmark, who gets the call for Buffalo tonight.