The Columbus Blue Jackets have clinched their playoff spot already and are now trying to test some new lineup configurations as we head towards the Spring Dance. On Wednesday night, the Jackets scratched forward Scott Hartnell, thanks to a plethora of poor performances and a lack of offensive production. Hartnell hasn't scored a goal since January 21st and the coaching staff is now looking to other options, including the returning Alexander Wennberg, who came back from missing a game with a stiff neck.
Hartnell's lack of production is one of the leading causes of Cam's collapse in the pool standings, as his team now sits in 10th place, 10 points back of 9th and it has significant risk of falling further down with teams right on his heels.
The New York Islanders appear to have opted for a rest night for veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, as the 35-year old was up in the press box as a healthy scratch on Wednesday night. The German has 5 goals and 20 points in 64 games for the Islanders this season and has been fairly solid all season, deserving of the rest, as the Islanders improved their chances of making the playoffs with a win against the Rangers last night.
For Tony, Seidenberg was a Waiver Draft pick-up that really didn't pay off as well as he would have preferred, but certainly better than the player that he had dropped.
It appears that the Rangers are still rotating their lineup on a nightly basis, especially in the bottom six forwards, as Pavel Buchnevich was a healthy scratch again for the blueshirts, with the Islanders in town. The Rangers are trying to find their optimal lineup, as they head towards the playoffs.
Tony has only seen 15 games from the young Russian this season, where he has posted 2 goals and 6 points in that time, including a point this week already, before getting scratched. Unfortunately, Tony's team is in the firing line for the Basement Dweller nod, having only 4 points through three nights.
The St. Louis Blues were dealt a big blow to their lineup, as they lost the services for Paul Stastny on Tuesday night and on Wednesday, the team announced that he will be out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. With about two and a half weeks left in the regular season and is 8 points clear for their playoff spot, they might be able to coast a bit towards the postseason. If anything, this injury should get Stastny rested for the playoffs, for wherever they possibly finish in the West standings.
Stastny was among the better picks in the 8th round of the draft, taken by Grant's team, as he has 40 points in 66 games this season, but he has been one of the few bright spots on his team, which still sits 19th in the standings today.