Friday, November 20, 2015

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 20)

Let's kick off in Montreal, where Alexander Semin is back in the doghouse with the Canadiens, as the enigmatic winger found his way back up to the press box as a healthy scratch on Thursday night, when the Habs took on the Coyotes.  It's getting harder and harder to imagine that Semin is going to have a place in this lineup on a full-time basis this season.

Dale C.'s team has had more than its fair share of lineup troubles in the last few weeks and not having Semin produce with any sort of urgency is the cherry on top of this hot crap sundae.

In net for the Canadiens, it's a mix of good news and bad news, depending on which side of the fence you're on. The Canadiens are in Brooklyn tonight to take on the Islanders on Friday night and it is expected that Carey Price will be dressed for the game and he'll be ready to start, while Dustin Tokarski has been sent back to the AHL, to make room for the number one goalie.

John S. will get the number one overall pick back in his lineup tonight, while Clayton will see his 14th round pick head back to the minors, after making one appearance for one period in Price's absence.  That makes for a quick swap of projected games from each other's lineups.  Price left the lineup as the best player in the pool, ranking 1st at the time and now comes back in 37th, 12 points back of 1st place.

There were a couple injuries in the Ottawa lineup on Thursday night, as defenseman Patrick Wiercioch left the game early on with an upper-body injury and forward Bobby Ryan left the game, late in the 3rd period.  Wiercioch isn't expected to play this weekend, while Ryan is doubtful for the weekend, but it's possible that he plays.  Both are considered to be day-to-day right now and that's how they'll show up on the list for now.

Both Ryan and Troy, two teams near the top of the table, have a couple of injury concerns, making the teams below them a little happier, maybe giving them a little extra hope that they can catch these two teams, thanks to these injuries.  We'll see how that goes.

There were reports that St. Louis welcomed Paul Stastny back to practice on Friday, which means he's getting close to returning to active duty from his broken foot. He was put on the IR on October 21st, suggesting a maximum of five weeks on the shelf and we're up to a month now, so that works out to be about right.

St. Louis next plays Saturday night, home to Detroit, which Neil should be keeping an eye on, since his team has fallen into 2nd place and now sits 5 points back of Dale B., heading into Friday night's action.  This could prove to be a shift in power at the top of the table.

Finally, Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler reportedly left practice today after taking a puck to the side of the head, ending up on the wrong end of a Dustin Byfuglien shot.  It was said that he left under his own power, but in considerable pain, which puts his status for Saturday night's game, home to Arizona, in question right now.  We'll probably hear more on Saturday morning and we'll relay anything major, if it comes up.

Wheeler has been one of the best players in the pool, so far this year, currently ranked 13th overall in pool scoring with 21 points.  If he can't go on Saturday, that would potentially be a big loss to Derek W.'s team, so he'll be keeping a close eye on this situation, I'm sure.

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