Saturday, March 18, 2017

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 18)

The Flames saw the return of Michael Stone to their blueline on Friday night against the Dallas Stars, which meant that Dennis Wideman found his way back up to the press box as a healthy scratch.  Stone had been out since late last week, which gave Wideman a little bit more ice-time this season, but obviously, the veteran blueliner is not a part of the team's plans towards the post-season, just a fill-in when the team needs that extra body.

For Grant, this season has been a wash and his team can finish anywhere between 15th and 21st this season, none of which really has much for excitement.

A fight the night before in Vancouver has cost Dallas superstar Jamie Benn a game, as he wasn't able to go against the Flames on Friday night. The injury is believed to be around his eye, likely some swelling issues from the fight against Nikita Tryamkin.  Benn is expected back for Monday's game, at home to the San Jose Sharks, for whatever that game is now worth to the Stars.

For Eric's team, that absence did mean a great deal, as his team fell out of 3rd place on Friday night, and the 4-team race for the last money spot in the standings is now separated by 3 points.  Two teams around Eric's team are currently tied for the Mover & Shaker this week, so his team needs to get hot again before the week is out or he'll start next week with a lot of work to do.

The New York Rangers have been shuffling their lineup a lot lately, mostly due to injuries throughout their lineup.  Friday night saw Russian youngster Pavel Buchnevich join the large group in the press box again, as he was a healthy scratch against the Florida Panthers.  It's hard to say what kind of  role he is going to have down the stretch, but a healthy scratch with only a few weeks go usually means he'll have to work even harder to find a regular place for the playoffs.

Tony's team is much the same as Grant's, as he finds some more bad luck this week.  Tony's team is trying to claw back up to 23rd place in the standings, likely as good as it's going to do, but the struggles his lineup has had should make that task somewhat difficult.

Finally, the Penguins are also moving players in and out of their lineup, thanks to injury, getting healthy and other various reasons.  Friday night saw the return of Patric Hornqvist from his concussion, while Evgeni Malkin came out of the lineup to an upper-body injury of his own.  Malkin's injury doesn't sound too serious, something he may have been dealing with for a while, so with the return of Hornqvist and a lesser opponent like the Devils on tap, maybe it was deemed a good time to rest the big Russian.

This was more bad news for Tony, who sits 1 point back of Wilton for 23rd place and he has the tie-breaker in his favour.  This is all that he has left to watch his team play for.

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