Sunday, December 06, 2015

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 6)

It may not be such a rare occurrence at the start of the season, but a midseason game, where there are three players from the same team, healthy scratches at the same time, being added to the news page and being blogged about the next morning... very rare.  The Bruins, in Vancouver, went in scratching forward Jimmy Hayes and defensemen Colin Miller and Dennis Seidenberg.  The only thing I could see for a reason, was that there were some healthy bodies coming back to the lineup, mostly on the blueline, which forced the decision and it looks like it paid off by looking at the result.

Only Hayes forced a skater game missed last night, as Jeremy didn't get a forward game last night, while the other two were picked up in the Waiver Draft this week and will start Week Ten on the news page, surely to return at some point, I'm thinking.  Eric took Miller with the 14th pick and John S. took Seidenberg with the 22nd pick.

The Hurricanes played host to the Canadiens on Saturday night and they scratched forward Kris Versteeg for this game, likely due to some cold play in the last couple weeks. In his last five games, he has only managed 1 assist and the Canes are trying to stay relevant in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race, currently dead last in the East and 8 points out.  Changes could be coming in Carolina before too long.

Overall, Versteeg hasn't been terrible in Carolina this season, picking up 14 points in 24 games for Cindy, but some cold play of late doesn't help anyone's cause.  Cindy finished Saturday night in 20th place, 50 points out of the money.

One of last year's breakout defensemen, Kevin Connaution, has not found that same stroke this year, having only 4 assists this season for the Blue Jackets, so he's not a big asset for the team moving forward, acting more like the 7th defenseman at the moment.  On Saturday night against the Flyers, he was a healthy scratch, taken out of the lineup for the 7th time this year, according to my scratch count, so it has been a semi-regular occurrence this season.

For Wes, however, he has been resigned to the PIM pool, where Connauton has been okay in that respect, already picking up 19 PIM this season.  As of Sunday morning, the PIM pool count is very unofficial, but Wes was holding quite the lead heading into Saturday's action and should still have a good hold on it, but he'll have company.

It wasn't a great night for goalies in the pool last night and we'll lead that conversation with Devan Dubnyk of the Wild, who was forced from Saturday night's game against the Avalanche with an undisclosed injury, which appeared to be something lower-body like. Dubnyk was forced from the game and Darcy Kuemper came in to finish a 4-0 shutout win, which they'll share and statistically eliminate a full shutout from either goalie.  Adding insult to injury, the Wild didn't score the winning goal until after the injury occurred, so Kuemper ended up getting credit for the win as well.

Dubnyk belongs to Derek W., who is right in the thick of the goalie survivor pool, thanks in part to the Wild keeper and he's also not too far out of the money conversation either.  After Saturday night, despite not getting the 2 points from Dubnyk, he's still in 13th, 28 points out of the money.

Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris left last night's game against the Islanders after getting tangled up with Casey Cizikas and was helped off the ice.  The early reports from last night were positive, as there were no broken bones and he did travel with the team to New York, where they will take on the Rangers this evening.  The coaching staff said on Sunday morning that he is actually a game-time decision and the injury looked far worse than it was, so that's definitely a positive.

It doesn't look like Stacey M. will have to consider dropping Turris in the bonus 3rd round of the Waiver Draft on Sunday, which is good for her, because he has been dynamite this season, picking up 22 points in 26 games so far.  Her team enters Sunday in 9th place, 24 points out of the money.

Scary moment for Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the sturdy keeper took a stick through his mask and it caught him just around his eye, barely missing the important optical piece.  On the plus side, it did miss his eye and all he was left with was a small cut under his right eye and it shouldn't cost him very much time in the end.

The Lightning will be playing back-to-back games tonight, as they visit Los Angeles, where Bishop wasn't likely expected to start, but the coaching staff were wondering after the game, whether or not he'll be available for back-up duty, if needed.  Allan already has his win for the week, so there isn't a great deal of concern there.

One note from Sunday morning, as the Arizona Coyotes claimed forward Viktor Tikhonov off of waivers and there is a possibility that he could suit up for the team, assuming he gets to Carolina in time, as the dogs will face the Canes this afternoon, although it does sound rather doubtful.  Tikhonov was originally drafted by the Coyotes, when he entered the league and he might have a few more chances to play with this young team, but it's hard to say where he might fit in.

Unfortunately for Grant, he won't get any spoils of this move, as he dropped the Russian winger with the 2nd overall drop/pick in the Waiver Draft, so he will be available in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, if he does go buck wild with the Coyotes in the next nine weeks.

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