Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 21)
On Monday night, the Vegas Golden Knights were without forward James Neal for their game against the Anaheim Ducks and they could have surely used his offense that night, as they were shutout 2-0 at home, a rare home loss this season. Neal was held out, due to the flu bug that has been flying around and I would think that he would be back tonight, when the Knights host the Flames.
There isn't too much for Dale B. to worry about here, as the flu comes and it goes. His team has started to find its way again this week, already posting 11 points in the first two nights, trying to both catch up to the top two teams and keep 4th place at bay. It'll be a tough go, but certainly possible to do both.
In that game against the Golden Knights, Ducks number one goalie John Gibson was forced from the game with a lower-body injury. Gibson did become the goalie of record, when the 1-0 goal was scored while he was on the ice, but the shutout was split between he and Ryan Miller, so no extra points for either of them. The team is saying that Gibson is only day-to-day at the moment and he isn't expected to dress on Wednesday night, when the Ducks host the Stars.
Tony got his 2 points from Gibson's win, but I'm sure he would have preferred a healthy goalie and all 4 points, like any normal blooded poolie would. Nevertheless, Tony's team is off to a rocket start this week, leading the pool with 16 points, vaulting his side up to 6th place. His team is still 37 points out of the money and he'll need Gibson back in a hurry, if his team wants to catch up.
The Columbus Blue Jackets made defenseman Markus Nutivaara into a healthy scratch on Tuesday night, when they took on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, as the Swedish rear guard hasn't been playing up to snuff of late. In his last five games, the 23-year old has 1 assist and carries a -1 rating, averaging about 16 minutes a night. Maybe the night off was what he needed.
Cam picked up Nutivaara in the Week Nine swap and has collected 9 points in 30 games since his activation. It isn't terrible for a defenseman, but it certainly hasn't helped his team climb the rankings, rather his team has dropped since that swap, but it wasn't because of this pick.
The Philadelphia Flyers are really getting the short end of the stick from the injury bug, as they have now learned that forward Wayne Simmonds is now expected to miss the next 2-to-3 weeks with an upper-body injury and now there's a question mark hovering over Travis Konecny, who blocked a shot on Tuesday night, finished the game, but wasn't in practice on Wednesday. Konecny is questionable for Thursday's game against Columbus, at the moment.
The 13th and 14th placed teams in the standings, belonging to Derek B. and Brian, are the ones who are suffering from this news in the pool. Neither team has gotten off to a good start this week, both with 4 points in two nights and neither are going to make any headway, if they keep suffering injuries.
The flu bug got to the St. Louis Blues dressing room as well, as forward Vladimir Sobotka was held out of the lineup on Tuesday, when the Blues faced off against the Sharks and they also dropped the game, 3-2, missing out on their scoring winger. Sobotka has 24 points in 60 games this season, which might be a little disappointing, but he should be back in the lineup on Friday, hopefully to bounce back in the scoring department this year.
Troy's team has done well to start this week, despite missing out on Sobotka. His team has 11 points and is in the running for Mover & Shaker early on, but his team still sits down in 16th, so it would be a hollow mention, if his team was to climb to the top of the weekly scoring ranks.
Finally, the Vancouver Canucks were without goalie Jacob Markstrom for their game against Colorado on Tuesday night. Markstrom is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, as the coaching staff has remarked that he may have tweaked something down there in the last couple of days. There was no exact timetable for his return, but it doesn't sound very serious.
Wes' goon squad is off to a good start this week, collecting 10 PIM in the week, no thanks to Markstrom though.