It looks like Michael Stone has been scratched again for the Arizona Coyotes and he has certainly been unable to put up a repeat performance of his 2016 season. In 24 games this season, the defender has only registered 6 assists, quite a ways from his 36 points in 75 games from the season before. By my rough count, he has been scratched, at least, 8 times, some to injury as well, if I remember correctly, so it has been a rough year all around.
For Grant's team, his defense has certainly let him down, having a combined 30 points in 119 games, which currently ranks 24th in the pool, 6 points clear of the bottom and 50 points away from the top. His second segment has also been fairly poor, currently 23rd, with 73 points since the start of Week Nine.
We are currently waiting on more news from the Boston Bruins on injured forward David Backes, who left Thursday night's game with an upper-body injury. The fears of a concussion are certainly real, but nothing has been confirmed on Friday morning, so we'll play the wait-and-see game.
For Brian, Backes is part of a group that has helped his team rocket to the top of the standings, thanks to 19 points in 33 games. The power forward currently ranks 160th overall in pool scoring, well up from his 184th draft position, making him into a bargain pick. This could be a rough turn of events, if the injury is of the long-term variety.
It looks like the flu bugs are making their rounds through the NHL at the moment. Dougie Hamilton was the latest to fall victim to a bug bite, as he was unable to go against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. He's considered to be day-to-day, but some of these bugs have been more than just one game this season, some have been upwards of three games. Everyone is different and there is no guarantee about how long anyone will be out.
Ryan's proxy team has been doing quite well, sitting in the top half of the standings, if only barely. His team finished Thursday night in 12th place, 21 points out of the money, which is still a hot week away from being relevant again. Hamilton should be back soon, so this shouldn't be much of hindrance to his overall rankings.
Having an extended ironman streak wasn't going to give Brian Campbell a pass forever and that was evident on Thursday night, when the Chicago Blackhawks made the veteran defender into a healthy scratch, ending his streak at 423 games. The offensive defender has only registered 3 goals and 10 points in 37 games and there is a good chance that the coaching staff is seeing more from some of their youth than this particular veteran, hence the move to the press box for the 37-year old.
For Stuart, he is not getting good value out of the 181st pick in the draft, since Campbell is currently ranked 371st overall in pool scoring. His team isn't hurting too badly, despite this poor pick, as it ranks 9th and is only 17 points out of the money. If Campbell was to get his act together, it could really turnaround for him.
The Nashville Predators have lost the services of James Neal again this season, as he left last night's game against the Blackhawks with an upper-body injury. Neal's status for tonight's game against the Blues is still up in the air, but I would likely lean to doubtful, given the quick turnaround in the schedule. Neal has already missed four games this season, but the 29-year old remains resilient.
John S. hopes for a quick return, with his team sitting 6 points out of the money and is having a decent week with 14 points, through Thursday's action. John's forwards haven't been his strong suit this season, but they have been keeping him afloat and an injury could provide a small leak to sink his boat.
The learning curve for a rookie on a non-playoff team is quite harsh these days in the NHL and New Jersey forward Pavel Zacha can probably attest to that. Zacha was a healthy scratch again for the Devils, when they played the Capitals in Washington last night. New Jersey was able to pull off a shootout win, so it does seem unlikely that Zacha will draw back in for the second half of the home-and-home series on Saturday afternoon.
Wilton's 21st placed team has been disappointed with this rookie, since he has only pulled out 7 points in 30 games. His plus/minus rating isn't great and he hasn't been getting many shots on net, when called upon. Frustration has to be setting in for the 19-year old Czech.
A little bit of a surprise on Friday morning, as the New York Islanders have opted to put Jaroslav Halak on waivers, which would have his availability set out there for anyone who wants to take him for nothing off their roster, prospects or picks. Now, with still more than half the season, at an annual rate of $4.5 million against the cap, plus another year on top of that, it will be a tough sell for many teams to take on that contract, without being properly prepared. With only 6 wins this season, his winning percentage isn't all that appealing on the surface, but it is on the Islanders and they are no screaming hell.
I'm sure a move to another team would be a huge plus for Troy, who is still wading around in the goalie survivor pool. If Halak can get out of this 3-goalie system, his chances at taking the mini-game increase significantly, otherwise, if he isn't claimed... does he go to the minors? The Islanders would still be on the hook for most of his cap hit, if that was the case. Craziness.