Monday, February 19, 2018
Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 19)
It was slightly touched on in the goalie announcements earlier this morning, but Robin Lehner was held out of today's game against the Washington Capitals with a lower-body injury and just to confirm a little bit more, the coaching staff for the Sabres are saying that they don't believe that this injury is too major, rather it's just a day-to-day issue. It could be a good excuse not to dress the number one guy in an early afternoon game, but for now, it sounds like Lehner is going to watch from the press box and Linus Ullmark will back-up Chad Johnson. Oh, let's not forget... Lehner's name has been floating around as trade bait, so we can have that morsel to chew on too.
For Kristy & Don, they are not quite out of the money race just yet. Their team opened the week in 7th place, only 35 points out of 3rd, which isn't impossible, but it does get rather difficult, if their number two goalie can't go.
The dreaded 'c' word has been tossed around in Colorado and it does appear to be floating around in the Avalanche crease. Jonathan Bernier has reportedly been diagnosed with a concussion and since the word doesn't carry the same kind of overwhelming fear that it used to, not very long ago, it's still something to keep an eye on. Bernier had helped the Avalanche to a pretty good run, trying to climb their way into the Western Conference wild card, but now that job may be left to Semyon Varlamov for a stretch, which isn't a bad option.
Scott's team has been trying it's best to work its way out of 24th place, but it can't quite seem to put enough points on the board. A bit of his recent success, like getting out of 25th, was largely in part to Bernier's run in Colorado. Without him in a semi-regular start now, might put him back in the conversation for last place again.
The New Jersey Devils have been playing pretty well of late and the coaching staff wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working at their optimum level. On Sunday, against the Hurricanes, the Devils coaching staff opted to make rookie defenseman Will Butcher into a healthy scratch, as his numbers have really tailed off in recent weeks. The Devils have still played well, but Butcher had been identified as someone who could probably do a little bit more. No word on how long this hiatus will be, but he's day-to-day for now.
Cam's team dropped from 1st to 3rd in the rookie scoring race this past week, the only real mention that his team has left this season. Butcher's lack of scoring is certainly a part of the reason why his team has faltered here, but it isn't to say that he can't get it back.
The Philadelphia Flyers now appear to be in the market for a goaltender, since Brian Elliott is already down for weeks and on the weekend, Michal Neuvirth went down with a lower-body injury of his own and now the Flyers, who are in the midst of a playoff race, are in need of a solid goaltender option, since it sounds like Neuvirth could be out a while too. It's not good news for either goalie in the Flyers organization, but those are the perils of the business. There's no official word on the extent of the Neuvirth injury, but we're not optimistic.
It wasn't a good weekend for Brent Burns and the San Jose Sharks, as the scoring defenseman appears to be dealing with an injury of his own. Reports have surfaced that he had left practice on Saturday with his suspected issue and he couldn't finish Sunday's game against the Dallas Stars, because of the injury, so now we're waiting to see what the injury is. If it is anything serious, you could be fairly confident that it will end up on the blog before too long, but we'll consider him day-to-day for right now.
So, for Troy and his 16th placed team, these injuries to Neuvirth and Burns will really put a damper on all the head way his team was making up the standings. Last week, his team jumped up a couple spots, from 18th place, and is still eyeing up Mike's team in 15th, but can it happen still?