It has been a bit of a steep learning curve for Carolina rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin, who found his way up to the press box again as a healthy scratch on Saturday. With only 2 assists in his first 12 games this year, he hasn't quite been the offensive dynamo that the Hurricanes may have wanted or expected this year, which is likely the leading cause to his nights off. He's still exceptionally young, so any ice-time at this level is going to be beneficial to his development now.
Of course, Derek & Dan want points now! They have had a good enough week, to this point, to work their way out of the absolute basement, but they would likely prefer to be safer and further along in the rookie points race too.
The Colorado Avalanche, with no games left between Saturday and Sunday, sent defenseman Nikita Zadorov down to the AHL on Saturday morning. Zadorov has been a scratch a few times already this season, but has still played 11 games, picking up 2 assists and 8 PIM. The Avalanche management is saying that they want to see Zadorov play some big minutes again, but since he wasn't doing it with the big club, that he'll have to do so in the minors. We'll see how long that lasts.
Zadorov was the last pick in the draft, so his demotion didn't really warrant its own post, but John S. may think otherwise, who knows? John saw a small drop off in his team's scoring rate, which has dropped him out of the money, heading into Sunday. He's only 1 point out of 3rd place and 17 points back of 1st place.
There was nothing to suggest that Christian Ehrhoff was hurting on Saturday, when he was elected to be the player sitting against the Panthers for the afternoon game, but having been dealing with an upper-body injury earlier in the week, it could have been something that just flared up... but that's unsubstantiated speculation. For now, he'll be considered a healthy scratch and we would expect him to be back in the Kings' lineup on Tuesday, home to Arizona.
Stuart's defense is a part of two side bets this year, as he goes up against Clayton and John S., to which he is losing the former and winning the latter. If he is going to win both, he'll need Ehrhoff back in the lineup and scoring the way he used to.
Before the Senators took to the ice on Saturday night against the Hurricanes, they had already announced that Cody Ceci was not going to be able to play, due to a lower-body injury. The Senators defenseman was reportedly hurt on Thursday night against the Jets, but there was no more to the explanation, except that he is listed as out day-to-day. Ceci hasn't been great to start the year, only scoring 2 goals in 13 games this year, but his game will come along, surely.
Scott has been riding some hot goaltending to get up close to the money, as his team is only 4 points out of the money, heading into Sunday's action, but he only has one projected game on the schedule on Sunday, so he'll likely have to wait for next to make his big move.
Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto left Saturday's game against the Jets, those defensemen killers, with a lower-body injury, after taking a slew foot trip behind his own net. The injury was to his leg, where he said he lost a bit of feeling to it, but had since got it back. The injury isn't thought to be very serious and he could very well be back in the lineup for Tuesday's game, home to the Avalanche.
After 2nd place money in last year's pool, Grant has not had a great deal of luck to start the 2016 season. His team, with only one projected game to be played on Sunday, owns the Week Five Basement Dweller spot and he would need some help and a 3-point effort from Chicago's Viktor Tikhonov to have a chance.
A lower-body injury that "doesn't look good," according to the Tampa Bay coaching staff, forced forward Ondrej Palat from Saturday night's game against the Minnesota Wild. The reports that have surfaced have suggested that the young Czech forward was favouring his left leg when he left the ice, combined with the coaching staff's pessimism about the injury, it just doesn't sound very good to this point. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one.
Talk about not having a lot of luck this year, Tony has been one of those teams without a ton of luck. His team has been decent this week, but his team is still mired in 22nd, thanks to being ranked 25th in skater games played and 23rd in minutes played from his goalies. He is in desperate need of the Waiver Draft this year.
Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website