Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week Eighteen Waiver Draft (Jan 31)

There was a little bit of Saturday night movement, in line with the NHL All-Star Skills Competition last night, but amazingly, no one even looked twice at John Scott.  There is still lots of time in this draft and someone might be looking for that extra bit of All-Star representation, well after the game is even played.

John R. made his pick, the 2nd overall pick in the draft, by dropping Sergei Plotnikov of the Penguins and hopping into the PIM pool (or at the very least, trying to spoil it) by taking Tom Wilson of the Capitals.  Before the addition of Wilson, John's team sits in 10th in the PIM pool standings, 130 minutes behind Wes, so it's a bit of a long shot to come back from that deficit.  If anyone can do it, Wilson can.

With the 3rd overall pick, Mike was pretty quick on the draw, adding to his rookie squad, taking the leading rookie, heading into the Waiver Draft, San Jose's Joonas Donskoi and dropping an add from the last draft, Brett Connolly of the Bruins.  The rookie pool is a bit of a lost cause, but it's fun to cheer for those freshmen and with a good add, Mike's team has a slight chance to jump into the top five of the pool, as he sits tied for 6th, 12 points back of 5th.

On Sunday morning, after much humming, hawing and stinking...errr, I mean, thinking... Benson wanted to save face in the standings and to not finish last overall, despite the added feature of improving your draft position next year.  He opted for goaltender Louis Domingue of the Arizona Coyotes, who may have earned himself the number one job, even if Mike Smith comes back from abdominal surgery.  On the way out, New York Rangers back-up, Antti Raanta, who hasn't seen much action behind Henrik Lundqvist.

Now, we wait to see who Wes' big drop is going to be... I'm sure he'll want to pad his head in the PIM pool this week and if I had a guess, he'll be looking towards the blueline this week.  His forwards lead the pool in time spent in the box, but his defense are still skating out on the ice, most of the time.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Week Eighteen Waiver Draft (Jan 30)

Yes, technically we're nearing the end of Week Seventeen, but with the regular season schedule for the week already done, as of Wednesday night, and the Newsletter is already published, we can, in fact, start the Waiver Draft, if the participants are ready to go.

Well, before the end of the night on Wednesday, Grant decided to make his pick nice and early, as the decision for him was pretty easy.  He decided on dropping Mikhail Grigorenko of the Avalanche, his failed pick from Week Nine, and took Mikael Backlund of the Flames, a player dropped by Mike in Week Nine, also in a negative situation.  Two negatives make a positive, right?  Backlund was the highest scoring forward available after Week Seventeen concluded, having 22 points in 48 games so far this year.

So, it's Saturday now and John R. hasn't really done anything and that's fair... it hasn't officially started yet.  Maybe he's scouting John Scott at the Waiver Draft, wondering if he'll get recalled by the Montreal Canadiens after a good showing at the All-Star event this weekend.  That could happen, right?

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 30)

As it was highlighted in the rosters of the All-Star teams, Jonathan Toews was "forced" to miss the festivities in Nashville due to an "illness" and that decision will cost him the first game back from the break, just to make sure that he misses some quality time for what ails him now.  This is nothing new, as the league has forced other star players to sit out a game for their absence from their marquee weekend in the global marketplace.

This will be one game missed for John R., Tuesday's game with the Blackhawks in Colorado, but that'll be it.  Not a big problem in the grand scheme of things, unless John feels real bad about the situation and decides to drop him in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft.

Alex Ovechkin will have the same treatment done to him as well, as a "lower-body injury" is the apparent cause for his absence and it will also cost him the first game back from the break.  Ovechkin played and finished the last game for the Capitals before the break, so there is an indication to the NHL that something isn't quite right.

"That'll be one game, please."

For Neil, this means that he'll be without one of his top forwards for the Capitals' opener, Tuesday, home to the Panthers.  That may mean more to the rest of the team or the goalie of record in that game, because it will be a tough game without their captain.

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Linesman Collision Costs Wideman

The notion of the suspension for Dennis Wideman dropped on Thursday, as the NHL said that the Flames' veteran defenseman was suspended indefinitely for his part in a collision with a linesman in the team's final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday night against the Predators.

The indefinite suspension was a precursor to the actual finite suspension that Wideman will be given, upon his hearing on Tuesday, after the All-Star weekend concludes.  The speculated lengths of the suspension have been ranging between 5-to-20 games, not including what may or may not happen with an appeal of the incident from the player and the union.

It is difficult to speculate what kind of impact that this suspension will have, given that the length of it has not been determined, but with 34 games left on the Flames schedule and four weeks until the trade deadline, there could be a significant impact to the team this season.

In 48 games played this year, Wideman ranks 267th overall in pool scoring with 2 goals and 19 points, not quite making the significant impact that he has had in recent years.

Mike has the 3rd overall pick in the upcoming Waiver Draft and has a decision to make, pending the decision on Wideman or possibly even before.  Mike's team finished the week in 25th place in the standings, already 75 points back of the money and has little to no chance to make it up there.  Mike's only mini-game chance, which is also quite minimal, is in the rookie pool, where his team is already 56 points back of 1st there.

This incident has turned into quite the contentious subject, especially in Calgary, and it has made for an interesting conversation.  Those that are aware of the way that Wideman plays the game would know that he isn't known to be a very outlandishly violent player and I don't think that is really up for debate.

To me, the video is quite damning, no matter what Wideman has said in his post-game pressers about being woozy and hurt from the hit that Miikka Salomaki laid on him moments before, which likely didn't help his cause at all, for sure.  Nevertheless, reviewing the clips of the incident, it never appeared that Wideman had been looking down, his head and line of vision (assuming his eyes were open on the way back to the bench) never deviated, therefore he saw the linesman the entire way, before engaging him with his hands and his stick up, around the head/shoulders area.

The additional argument, which I've heard in numerous places, that he didn't stop to say sorry or help the linesman up from his fallen position, leads everyone to believe that the hit was intentional.

Woozy, concussed or not, the statement needs to be made by the league, a decision that will transcend hockey into the other pro leagues and youth sports, that any sort of contact with officials will not be tolerated.  I am expecting a serious suspension in this case, one that will be appealed and may be lightened in the end, but it still needs to be made.

That's my take and I will update this post with the end result and hopefully the video description as well.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 All-Star Game Rosters

The rosters for the All-Star Game 3-on-3 tournament were announced some time ago, but I thought it was better to have the pool listings done during the break, just looks a little more apt that way. Oh, and of course, there are going to be roster changes, as there were a couple of players pulling out on Thursday to "injury" or "illness," which should cost each player a game after the weekend for missing out on the game.

Nevertheless, I think we're in for an interesting format this year, given that it is four teams of divisional representatives, playing 3-on-3 in hour long (or so) games, leading up to a West versus East situation.

I don't think I have to go into the circus, that was the "fan" vote for the divisional captains, which caused quite the stir, other than the NHL got what they deserved for their lack of foresight in the voting process and I'm glad they slept in the bed they made.

I think there is a real chance for another mini-game that revolves around the All-Star Game in the hockey pool, which would at least give us a reason to watch it... it could potentially make us our money back.  That's a good enough reason, right?

With that being said, let's see how this year's teams stack up and who would have had the best chance to win their money back, if it was a mini-game.

We'll start with the host team from the Central Division, who are arguably the favourites.

Player NHL Pool
Jamie Benn DAL Brian
Matt Duchene COL Jeremy
Patrick Kane CHI John S.
Tyler Seguin DAL Cindy
Vladimir Tarasenko STL Tony
Jonathan Toews ** CHI John R.
James Neal NAS Wes
Dustin Byfuglien WPG Eric
Roman Josi NAS Scott 
Shea Weber NAS Stacey M.
Pekka Rinne NAS Ryan
Derek Dubnyk MIN Derek W.

Even with the injury to Toews, this team is going to be one heck of a 3-on-3 team, to say the least.  I would have to think that the hometown Predators got to be pumped for this one, which will make this team tough to beat.

Staying in the West, we'll have a look at the Pacific Division team, which is the butt of all the jokes.

Player NHL Pool
Johnny  Gaudreau CAL Brian
Taylor Hall EDM Stacey C.
Joe Pavelski SAN Eric
Corey Perry ANA Allan
John Scott AHL Non-Pool
Daniel Sedin VAN John P.
Brent Burns SAN Dale B.
Drew Doughty LOS Derek W.
Mark Giordano CAL Derek & Dan
John Gibson ANA Clayton
Jonathan Quick LOS Brenda & Seward

So, the Pacific Division captain, John Scott, doesn't play in the NHL, let alone the Pacific Division anymore, but that's what we've got to live with or cheer on, depending on your disposition.  Otherwise, this team has its highlights, but we'll leave it at that.

Out East, we'll start with the Atlantic Division, another team that made some news, but for a completely different reason.

Player NHL Pool
Patrice Bergeron BOS Neil
Jaromir Jagr FLA John P.
Leo Komarov TOR Troy
Dylan Larkin DET Grant
Ryan O'Reilly BUF Grant
Steven Stamkos TAM Wes
Aaron Ekblad FLA Derek W.
Erik Karlsson OTT Clayton
P.K. Subban MTL Dale B.
Ben Bishop TAM Allan
Roberto Luongo FLA Kristy & Don

Their captain, Jaromir Jagr, was this close (pinching my fingers together) from not going to the game at all, citing his age and jokingly, his fear about being beaten up by the Pacific Division captain.  Both might be fair points, but we're all glad he's going anyways.

The last divisional team belongs to the Metropolitan Division, which has an injury of its own and it was to their captain, so a replacement needed to be made.

Player NHL Pool
Nicklas Backstrom WAS Troy
Claude Giroux PHI Benson
Evgeni Malkin PIT Wes
Alex Ovechkin ** WAS Neil
Brandon Saad CBJ Ryan
John Tavares NYI Eric
Evgeny Kuznetsov WAS Brian
Justin Faulk CAR Stuart
Kris Letang PIT Jeremy
Ryan McDonagh NYR Derek W.
Braden Holtby WAS Jeremy
Cory Schneider NJD Troy

On Thursday, the Islanders' John Tavares was named the Metro captain, as Alex Ovechkin pulled out of the game with a lower-body injury.  The Metro has a pretty excellent lineup of players, which should be fun to watch and my bet to come out of the East on Sunday.

So, how does this stack up in the pool?  You would think that thanks to a Waiver Draft already having been done this year, all the All-Stars would be claimed in the pool, but oh yes, let's not forget about the "fan" vote.  So, 43 of the 44 players are in the pool and yes, there are going to be some teams that are skunked, thanks to NHL operations.  If these three teams have any complaints, they should refer those complaints to NHL head office.

Dale C., John R. and Mike were all skunked this year, not having a player chosen from their pool teams to represent their division in the All-Star Game.  That's a damn shame.

On the flip side, apparently Derek W. was all over picking potential All-Stars this year, as he is best represented with four players.  Five more teams have three players a piece, so it would be a pretty good competition, one would think, if this was a mini-game.  You could always pick the likely favourites to be there, but there are injuries and controversies, so picking at the draft before the season starts is still quite the crap shoot.

Anyways, let the weekend begin!  I know I'll be watching.

Week Seventeen Newsletter

Remarkably, this race for the Player of the Week was actually quite good, considering there were only 19 games in three days on the NHL schedule.  The pool ended up with three players with 5 points, so we had to really break it down to the tie-breakers and since they were all forwards, it was a good tie-breaker.  So, as you can already tell, it was Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets who came away with the honour, beating out fellow teammate Brandon Dubinsky and Rangers forward Derick Brassard.

Atkinson played in a pair of games this week, a home and home series against the Montreal Canadiens, where the Jackets dominated both games.  In the first game on Monday, Atkinson led the way with a hat-trick and then the following night, in Montreal, he finished off the series with a goal and an assist.

With the big week, this brought the speedy winger's totals up to 17 goals and 32 points in 50 games this season, which has him ranked 93rd overall in pool scoring, good enough to be a 4th round pick in the draft, if it was re-done today.

This makes him into a pretty good bargain pick-up for Kristy & Don, who picked him up in the 12th round of the draft, an improvement of 205 positions from where he is drafted to where he ranks in scoring.  This makes him tied for 7th in the bargain picks column this season.

This also gives Kristy & Don back-to-back weeks with the Player of the Week on their team, which is really helping their cause in the standings right now and a good Waiver Draft and a third segment could ensure them more money at the end of the year.

Only 10 teams in the pool were able to hit double-digits in the points column this week, thanks to a very limited schedule, thanks to the All-Star break, which gets started today.  On top of them all is our pool leaders, who didn't really do much for moving exactly, rather they were able to shake out a 15-point week, despite a glaring scoring change from last week, which wasn't applied until early this week.

Brenda & Seward, now sit 10 points clear on top of the standings, thanks to a big week in three days, which cemented their spot as the last pick in each round of the Waiver Draft.

The pool's second duo had one of the Player of the Week candidates, Derick Brassard of the Rangers, who finished the week with 5 points, but his came in only one game this week, as they walloped the Buffalo Sabres.  You'd think that doing it one game would earn him the honours, but that's not the predefined tie-breakers, which could be argued for, but it's all arbitrary in the end anyways, so who cares, right?

They also had a lot of help from their blueline, as Zdeno Chara of the Bruins and rookie Shayne Gostisbehere of the Flyers each picked up 3 points, giving their team a big boost from the back end.

Now, to speak of the glaring scoring change on their team, as Filip Forsberg of the Predators finished with -1 point in the week, which is a scoring change from the week before, which wasn't changed until after Monday's audit.  This isn't Forsberg getting massive amounts of points taken away, just one point, so there shouldn't be any riots, right?

The pool's second duo look pretty solid from top to bottom this season, so their desire to make any moves at the Waiver Draft should be limited, especially since they will go into Week Eighteen with no names on the injury list.  Of course, the Waiver Draft will go right through Sunday next week, so things can change between now and then.  For now, they can enjoy the break in 1st place.

A limited amount of games on the schedule was bound to hurt a few teams and it sure did.  Four teams didn't pass the 5 points mark in the week, which did more to help these teams and their Waiver Draft position, but no one really wants their team to fall off the map that badly.  Stacey C., making it four straight weeks with a Stacey in the Basement Dweller, finished with 2 points in three days worth of action.

Anze Kopitar of the Kings and Patrick Sharp of the Stars were the only two players on his team to pick up a point this week, as everyone else fell short of the scoresheet.  It didn't help that his team had four Oilers on it, who had started their All-Star break before this week even started, as did the St. Louis Blues, but they don't apply to this situation.

With the lacklustre week, Stacey's team did improve their draft position by one spot, as they fell to 19th place in the standings from 18th, which means he'll pick 9th, instead of 10th, when the Waiver Draft kicks off.

Stacey's team is now 55 points out of the money, heading into the Waiver Draft, 72 points back in the rookie pool, 206 minutes back in the PIM pool and was eliminated in Week One of the survivor pool.  I think it's time for Stacey to play spoiler!

In the money race, the only notable piece of news from this short week was Brenda & Seward expanding their lead to 10 points in the standings, as both Jeremy and John P. each finished with 7 points and their teams were rather pedestrian.

Stuart made up 2 points on the money teams, as he is now 6 points back of 3rd place, nice and close to the money.  Kristy & Don also made up some ground, now 14 points back of 3rd place and the hottest team in the second segment will need a good finish to be back in the money.

We have a winner!  With a Connor Hellebuyck win for the Jets on Tuesday and Braden Holtby dropping his decision to Philadelphia on Wednesday, Allan comes away with top prize in the goalie survivor pool... a $25 gift certificate to Chuck E. Cheese's for all the fun in the ball pits as you can handle!  Bazinga!

No, of course that's not the prize.  Allan has earned his money back with the mini-game win, so he'll get his $60 back in his pocket, which is a great case scenario, since his 16th place team has a long way to go to climb back up into the real money race.  Huzzah!  As long as the other mini-games go this way, then it was a glorious success.

The rookie pool was probably over before it started, but since it won't be officially over until the end of the schedule, we'll continue to report on how many points Ryan is ahead at this point in the season.

None of the top three teams in this pool came away with points in Week Seventeen, so Ryan will go into Week Eighteen with a 39-point lead, exactly double of what Clayton has in total, in 2nd place.

The first Waiver Draft didn't really help the causes of all the teams chasing Wes in the PIM pool in the second segment, as only one team fared better than our leader in this mini-game and it was only 7 minutes better, not even trying to be that much better in that Waiver Draft either.

So far in the second segment of the season, Dale B. holds a 179-172 lead on Wes in penalty minutes, while Brian sits at 162 minutes and Derek & Dan have 155 minutes in the same time frame.  Can any of these teams drastically improve upon their goon squad to knock down the huge lead that Wes has this year?


It was a good week in the stats, but it was a very small sample size to work from.  Scoring was up marginally, skater games played were up with the return of a number of players, but we did see a number of back-up goalies get some starts, which hurt the minutes collected, but that's of little consequence... except for Jeremy.

On the plus side, there was a new weekly record in the PIM department, as the pool pulled an average of 12.3 minutes out of every NHL game this week, 1.1 minutes better than the previous weekly record.


As of Thursday morning, it appears that Joe Colborne was out of the Calgary lineup with an undisclosed injury, which makes some sense, since his scoring was starting to pick up in recent games, removing the thought that he was actually a healthy scratch against the Predators.  He's on the list as out day-to-day for right now, no real updates will likely be provided until after the break, unless the slow news days really catch up to the Flames over the weekend.

I have Colborne as a 2nd round drop in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft for Mike, but that doesn't necessarily have to happen, it just made some sense at the time.  His recent scoring streak may have saved his bacon, for now.

A regular healthy scratch this season, Lightning defenseman Matt Carle, was back in the press box in the last game before the break, as Tampa Bay was hosting the Maple Leafs, coming away with a 1-0 win.  There is very little redeeming qualities to Carle's season and it is likely that he'll find his way back to the press box more times in the third segment of the season.

This is why I think Wes will do away with him, as he tries to pad his PIM pool lead with a couple more goon defensemen, as per my mock Waiver Draft, posted earlier in the week.  It's all that Wes has left to win any money this year.

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Jan 27)

Thanks to Connor Hellebuyck last night, Allan has indeed set himself up for Week Eighteen, at the very least, awaiting the results of tonight's games, to see whether or not he's our goalie survivor winner.

Standing in his way tonight is Braden Holtby of the Capitals, who is Jeremy's only start this week and he gets the Philadelphia Flyers, at home, and with Michal Neuvirth (Neil) in the other net tonight.  The Capitals won the first meeting between these two sides, 5-2 in Philly in November, Holtby making 18 saves for the win.   A must-win for Jeremy tonight!

In the other games tonight, we should have Jonathan Bernier (Cindy) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Mike) in Tampa Bay, Carter Hutton (Dropped) against Karri Ramo (Brenda & Seward) in Calgary and then Calvin Pickard (non-pool) against Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward).

It looks like the rich are getting richer in goalie points tonight, eh?  The pool's leading duo this year gets two more starts to end the week... increasing their chances of a Mover & Shaker in the Newsletter again.

Race to the Sin Bin (Jan 27)

Did you see how many minutes in penalties there were last night?  It was surprisingly fantastic!  Of course, a number of the hired guns had to wait until seven weeks after they were chosen in the Waiver Draft to do something, but they came to play last night.  The pool is on pace for a record average of minutes per game this week, assuming that everyone isn't quite so nice to each other in tonight's games.

Four games on the docket tonight and you never know, there could be some animosity in some of them.

Toronto & Tampa Bay are the early game and our pool goon headliners include Dion Phaneuf (Brian), who was mixing it up last night against the Panthers.  Maybe he is still in a bit of a surly mood tonight.

The 6pm MT game is Philadelphia in Washington and Wayne Simmonds (Dale C.) may have something to say to get under the skin of a few Capitals players.

At 7:30pm MT, the Nashville Predators are finishing a 4-game road trip through the West, on back-to-back nights in Calgary, so they might be in a bit of a foul mood, despite being on a winning streak.  James Neal & Mike Ribeiro (Wes) continue to highlight that team's focus on PIM in the hockey pool this season.

Finally, in the 8:30pm MT game, we have Colorado visiting Los Angeles and here we actually have a little bit of PIM pool love, as Milan Lucic (Eric) returns from a 1-game suspension and there is a good chance he might meet Cody McLeod (Wes) in a corner and mix it up a bit.  McLeod had a bundle of minutes last night against the Sharks and could be ready to dance again.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 27)

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that goaltender Steve Mason will not be in the lineup, due to a lower-body injury, as the Flyers are in Washington to take on the Capitals for their last game before the break.  Michal Neuvirth has been getting the brunt of the work of late, so this injury may be something that has lingered and there was no point in dressing Mason, giving him some extra rest, ahead of the All-Star break.

Derek W. has been missing out on some starts of late, which has hurt his team in the standings overall, dropping down to 14th this week, but isn't quite out of anything quite yet.  With a third of the season still to go and some players to be swapped out, things aren't too bad.

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

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 27)

The bottom six for the Colorado Avalanche continues to shuffle around and a lot of the familiar faces in the press box are still making their returns, including forward Mikhail Grigorenko.  His season has only generated 3 goals and 13 points in 43 games and has also made about eight trips upstairs this year, which is disappointing, considering the trade that the Avalanche acquired him in.

Grigorenko is one of the handful of players that have had a negative impact since the Waiver Draft, which was bad news for Grant, who lost out on 6 points in his deal, dropping Blake Comeau in the process.  He could atone for that early on in the Waiver Draft, with 1st pick in the next one, which he could make, as early as tomorrow.

Scary moment for the Montreal Canadiens, as forward Max Pacioretty was struck in the face by a P.K. Subban slap shot in the game against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, forcing him to leave the game and not return. There hasn't been much for updates online yet on his condition, but since he's not an All-Star and the team is already off on their break, I think it could be hush-hush until early next week.   If something significant drops before then, we will be sure to have it on the blog.

Dale C.'s team managed to do some good in this shortened week, with only one night to go, as his team has closed some of the key gaps with a big week.  We will wait and see what the damage is to Pacioretty before making any bold statements, but without changing his Waiver Draft spot too badly.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Jan 26)

Night two of three this week and we have some action in the survivor pool tonight, as Allan is sure to get a start tonight from his number two guy, Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets, as they will have the Arizona Coyotes in town in a classic Jets/Thrashers match-up.  On the other side, it's the possible 1st overall pick in the next Waiver Draft, Louis Domingue, who has been putting up some serious numbers since his recall.

And all of a sudden, this Hellebuyck start becomes all the more important, as the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that Andrei Vasilevskiy (Mike) will get the call tomorrow night, relieving Ben Bishop of the duty and taking the other start away from Allan.  Oh my!

The Florida Panthers are playing their last game before the break tonight, but instead of Jeremy's goalie, Al Montoya, they will go with their number one goalie, Roberto Luongo (Kristy & Don) instead.  This was an expected move, given the schedule and all, but it's worth highlighting the importance of tomorrow for Jeremy here.  Luongo will face James Reimer (John S.) on the other side, as the Maple Leafs won't have far to go for their vacation stops after this game.

Other match-ups tonight include: Frederik Andersen (Benson) against Tuukka Rask (Dale C.) in Boston, Cory Schneider (Troy) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (John R.) in Pittsburgh, Corey Crawford (Stuart) up against Eddie Lack (Wes) in Carolina, a non-pool game in Montreal between Joonas Korpisalo and Ben Scrivens, Robin Lehner (Dropped) against Craig Anderson (John P.)

Race to the Sin Bin (Jan 26)

The early returns from Monday night were only mildly better than what we've seen in the week before, as the pool only took out 52 minutes in penalties from the six games.  Stuart got off to the biggest jump, taking 6 PIM from the night, three out of the top five teams (Brian, Dale B. & Dale C.) all had 4 PIM on the night.  No one really saw their team take a run at Wes' goons on Monday.

Now, most of Wes' goons are playing tonight, so the job got a lot tougher.  Cody McLeod and the Avalanche are in San Jose, Jordin Tootoo and the Devils are in Pittsburgh taking on Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins, James Neal & Mike Ribeiro of the Predators are in Vancouver and Ryan Kesler of the Ducks is in Boston.

Dale B., 53 PIM back, only has a couple of decent PIM players going tonight, with Scott Hartnell and the Blue Jackets in Montreal for the second half of a home-and-home series, while Alex Edler and the Canucks will be hosting the Predators.

Brian, an hour back of Wes, will have Brad Marchand and the Bruins going again tonight, home to those nasty Ducks.  You can also chalk up Dion Phaneuf and the Leafs in Florida and Adam Larsson in that Devils/Penguins game.

And then 66 minutes minutes back, Derek & Dan have their big guns going, but will they be effective ahead of the All-Star break?  Derek Dorsett of the Canucks, the PIM leader, will hopefully have his hands full with the Predators, while Chris Neil of the Senators are hosting the Sabres.  Don't forget about Shane Doan of the Coyotes, he may adequately suffice in another return to Winnipeg tonight.

Back in 5th place, but 81 minutes behind, sits Stuart's team, but his side only has two players with 42 PIM each, Joe Thornton of the Sharks and Boone Jenner of the Blue Jackets, so his side isn't exactly a favourite for big minutes tonight.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 26)

The Colorado Avalanche have recalled goaltender Roman Will from the AHL and he is scheduled to back-up Calvin Pickard in the team's last game before the All-Star break, as Semyon Varlamov didn't travel with the club to Los Angeles, staying behind for a court date instead.  Varlamov is having some troubles with an old girlfriend in court and needs to be present for this civil suit case, but he should be ready to go, when the schedule resumes next week.

A small speed bump for Kristy & Don, who have been surging up the standings.  Missing out on the reigning Player of the Week may end up be a small blessing in disguise, as this could allow Troy to pass them and improve their Waiver Draft spot.

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

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 26)

True to form, the New York Rangers decided on scratching veteran defenseman Dan Boyle on the second half of back-to-back nights, keeping his aged legs from getting too tired during the season.  In his time spent in the lineup, he has only just been okay for the team offensively, picking up 5 goals and 14 points in 42 games, ranking 329th overall in pool scoring.

In my mock draft for next week's Waiver Draft, I think Scott has some bigger fish to fry than to possibly drop a defenseman, who is theoretically still pool worthy, as the 67th ranked defender this year.  These healthy scratches though, they're killers to his cause, sitting 12th, 33 points out of the money.

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mock Draft of the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft

Round Pick Team Dropped Player NHL Team Position Picked Player NHL Team
1 1 Grant Saskiw Mikhail Grigorenko COL F Joonas Donskoi SAN
1 2 John Robertson Sergei Plotnikov PIT F Mattias Janmark DAL
1 3 Mike Somerville Brett Connolly BOS F Mikael Backlund CAL
1 4 Wes Moroz Matthew Carle TAM D Mark Borowiecki OTT
1 5 Benson Greenley Antti Raanta NYR G Louis Domingue ARI
1 6 Tony Dourado Reto Berra COL G Darcy Kuemper MIN
1 7 Stacey McDonald Brad Richards DET F Jamie McGinn BUF
1 8 Derek & Dan Marian Hossa CHI F Tom Wilson WAS
1 9 John Swan Mike Fisher NAS F Antoine Vermette ARI
1 10 Stacey Campbell Linus Ullmark BUF G Carter Hutton NAS
1 11 Allan Scott Jonathan Drouin TAM F Blake Comeau COL
1 12 Cindy Saskiw Riley Sheahan DET F Sven Baertschi VAN
1 13 Clayton Corley Damon Severson NJD D Olli Maatta PIT
1 14 Dale Bradley Matt Moulson BUF F Brandon Prust VAN
1 15 Derek Wilton Torrey Mitchell MTL F Peter Holland TOR
1 16 Dale Corley Kevin Klein NYR D Kevin Bieksa ANA
1 17 Scott Gilmore Zemgus Girgensons BUF F Jesper Fast NYR
1 18 Ryan Miller Garret Sparks TOR G Philipp Grubauer WAS
1 19 Eric Wheeler Colin Miller BOS D Barret Jackman NAS
1 20 Brian Towers Niklas Kronwall DET D Brayden McNabb LOS
1 21 Troy Berkley Patrik Elias NJD F David Pastrnak BOS
1 22 Kristy & Don Tomas Fleischmann MTL F Teemu Pulkkinen DET
1 23 Stuart Greenley Ondrej Pavelec WPG G Anders Lindback ARI
1 24 Neil Buysman Karl Alzner WAS D Brendan Smith DET
1 25 John Preston Cody Franson BUF D David Schlemko NJD
1 26 Jeremy Dieser PASS
1 27 Brenda & Seward PASS
2 28 Grant Saskiw Dmitry Kulikov FLA D Brian Dumoulin PIT
2 29 John Robertson Dan Hamhuis VAN D Christopher Tanev VAN
2 30 Mike Somerville Joe Colborne CAL F Alexander Wennberg CBJ
2 31 Wes Moroz Marco Scandella MIN D Mark Stuart WPG
2 32 Benson Greenley PASS
2 33 Tony Dourado Zach Bogosian BUF D Brett Pesce CAR
2 34 Stacey McDonald Lars Eller MTL F Brian Gionta BUF
2 35 Derek & Dan Evander Kane BUF F Ryan White PHI
2 36 John Swan Carey Price MTL G Calvin Pickard COL
2 37 Stacey Campbell Joffrey Lupul TOR F Andre Burakovsky WAS
2 38 Allan Scott Dan Girardi NYR D Nate Schmidt WAS
2 39 Cindy Saskiw Thomas Hickey NYI D John-Michael Liles CAR
2 40 Clayton Corley Ryan Strome NYI F Brandon Sutter VAN
2 41 Dale Bradley PASS
2 42 Derek Wilton PASS
2 43 Dale Corley Nick Holden COL D Luke Schenn LOS
2 44 Scott Gilmore Matt Read PHI F Vincent Lecavalier LOS
2 45 Ryan Miller Jordie Benn DAL D Shea Theodore ANA
2 46 Eric Wheeler Jakob Silfverberg ANA F Matt Martin NYI
2 47 Brian Towers John Moore NJD D Roman Polak TOR
2 48 Troy Berkley Sergei Bobrovsky CBJ G Joonas Korpisalo CBJ
2 49 Kristy & Don Anders Lee NYI F Patrik Berglund STL
2 50 Stuart Greenley Christian Ehrhoff LOS D Paul Martin SAN
2 51 Neil Buysman PASS
2 52 John Preston PASS
2 53 Jeremy Dieser PASS
2 54 Brenda & Seward PASS

One of the underlying themes of this second Waiver Draft we'll have  is the correction of some of the poor picks in the first Waiver Draft this year.  17 picks from the Week Nine edition of the draft earned less points since the start of Week Ten than the players they were dropped for.  Maybe there should have been a few more people passing on their picks, but that's just the added flavour of a hockey pool, I suppose.

The order I'm using here was what we saw after the weekly audit, so this is still likely to change a little bit.  A few teams that are in the PIM pool are changing up to add some more goonage, while there are still a few rookies getting moved into place in this draft.

Since the week ends on a Wednesday night, we might get the Waiver Draft started early, just to ensure we get the whole thing done.  An e-mail will likely be out before the middle of the week, just to make sure everyone knows what's going on.

Goalie Announcements (Jan 25)

The All-Star shortened week is now upon us and with limited games to be played, the survivor pool gets really interesting. With that being said, Monday night does not play into the hands of the survivor pool, as none of the required four teams are scheduled to play tonight. So, we'll move on to other things.

Today, we'll just quickly go down the schedule, game-by-game, having a look at the projected starters.

First up, we'll see Petr Mrazek (Tony) taking on Jaroslav Halak (Dale B.) when the Red Wings visit the Islanders tonight.  Dale's team has really fallen off in recent weeks and there is a 20-point gap now between the two pool teams.

In Philadelphia, Michal Neuvirth (Neil) gets the call for the Flyers tonight and it looks like he'll get Tuukka Rask (Dale C.) in the Bruins net as his opponent, which should make for a decent game.  Neil opens the week in arm's length of the money spots, so this could make for a good start, getting a win on Monday.

The Montreal Canadiens are hoping to go into the All-Star break with some sort of confidence on their side and they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.  The goalie match-up will be Mike Condon (John R.) against Joonas Korpisalo (non-pool) for each side.  John's team is likely going to be picking 2nd in the Waiver Draft when it goes live and a win tonight could ensure that will happen.

On Broadway, it will be the Sabres and Rangers shooting the lights out, with New York playing the second half of back-to-back nights.  That likely means that Antti Raanta (Benson) will be their goalie tonight and he'll suit up against Chad Johnson (John P.).  It's a rare start for Raanta, if indeed he starts, so Benson has got to make the most of it tonight.

Calgary is also working back-to-back nights, last night in Carolina and tonight in Dallas, and it doesn't matter to them, they're running Karri Ramo (Brenda & Seward) in both games as the starter.  At the other end, Antti Niemi (Stacey M.) is getting the call again.  Talk about two pool teams going in opposite directions in this one, could Niemi spark a comeback for Stacey's team?

In the last game of the night, the Arizona Coyotes are in Minnesota to take on the Wild and a possible 1st overall pick in the Waiver Draft, Louis Domingue (non-pool) will get the call for the dogs, while Devan Dubnyk (Derek W.) will play host with the most.

There should be a reasonable amount of updates tonight, so stay tuned to the standings once the puck drops!

Race to the Sin Bin (Jan 25)

The PIM race didn't quite take off like I would have hoped it would have after the Week Nine Waiver Draft, no one really wants to get down and dirty this season and that's a damn shame!  This week will likely be more like a picnic in the park, rather than a night at the demolition derby, as players are getting set to vacation for the weekend or head off to the All-Star Game.

It does look like it'll be a good night to try and catch Wes, as he doesn't have any of his big goons going tonight, so teams involved in this pool have a good shot, if they so choose to chuck some knuckles.

2nd place, Dale B., has a couple of his big goons going tonight, as Scott Hartnell should be in the lineup for the Blue Jackets against the Canadiens, while Antoine Roussel should be in for Dallas, as they host Calgary.  Neither player has much to fight against, but they could stir up some kind of trouble, I'm sure.

In 3rd, Brian will have some help tonight, as Brad Marchand goes for the Bruins, as they go up against the Flyers tonight.  That's the kind of game that should offer some grinding and possibly some fisticuffs.

The outer reaches of the race, sees Derek & Dan hoping and praying that they can finally get involved in a better position and he's leaving those hopes and prayers on Justin Abdelkader of the Red Wings and Shane Doan of the Coyotes, who are also going.  They have bee more about the minors here and there, rather than dropping the mitts, but Derek & Dan will take what they can get.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 25)

On Saturday, Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perreault left the game against the Devils with a lower-body injury and it appears that he will miss Tuesday's game, the Jets' last game before the break, with the injury and the coaching staff is hopeful that he'll be ready to go for Week Eighteen.  The All-Star break does help those ailing players and this week is a little bit of a wash, when you look at the big picture.

Perreault has been a reasonably solid player for Mike this year, one of the few on his team this season.  In 48 games, the veteran forward has 7 goals and 31 points, which isn't too bad, so his absence might be felt, however minimal it is.