Sunday, March 18, 2018
Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 18)
The Buffalo Sabres could very well be in wind down mode, heading towards the last three weeks of the season. It's been quite some time since they were in the playoff race in the East and now it's time to see some more talent through the roster and Robin Lehner made way for Linus Ullmark to dress (albeit not start) today, as Lehner was a healthy scratch for the afternoon game between the Sabres and Blackhawks. There is a mighty fine chance that Lehner's time in the crease could be limited down the stretch, especially with Ullmark now up and ready to show the organization what he can do.
Of course, this is bad news for Kristy & Don, who have some pride left to play for. Their team currently sits in 9th place, 39 points out of the money, 24 points out of 4th and 6 points out of 6th. They'll need some strong weeks down the stretch for 4th place, as 3rd is now likely well out of reach.
Scary moment for Boston Bruins forward David Backes, who suffered a laceration from a skate blade in the game against the Lightning on Saturday night. The early indications is that quite a few stitches were needed to close up the wound, but it doesn't sound like anything too serious at the moment. This is just piling on for the veteran forward, who hasn't had a decent stretch of play all year long, without dealing with some kind of unfortunate injury. He has only appeared in 50 games this season, scoring 12 goals and 28 points.
Remarkably, Neil picked up Backes in the last round of the draft, 343rd overall, and has picked up reasonable production from his last pick. He has been a bargain pick this year, one of the few for Neil's 19th placed team.
St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko also left his game against the New York Rangers on Saturday night, leaving with an upper-body injury. From what I could gather in the Twitter-sphere, Tarasenko did seem to be okay leaving the building after the game and he was likely to be with the team on their flight to Chicago, where they play on Sunday. No word on whether or not he'll be in the lineup or not, but with the Blues 3 points out of a playoff spot, the push could be on to get him back in.
Getting him back in the lineup would be ideal for Dale C.'s team, which hasn't had a bad week this week, with 26 points, but a couple of teams around his have had better weeks and his team has fallen down to 13th. The top 10 now sits 13 points away and if Tarasenko misses some time at all, that could really hamper that rally back into the top 10.
The names keep popping up on the list this morning for injuries last night... Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin was added to the list as well, as he left the game against the Flyers with an upper-body injury, not to return to the contest. There hasn't been much for updates on the young defender, but with the Hurricanes playing again in Brooklyn today, there will likely be some kind of mention somewhere. If it is anything more than a day-to-day issue, it will likely get the mention on the Newsletter tomorrow morning.
Derek B.'s team has made it north of the equator last night, as his pretty good week continued on, despite the Hanifin injury. Derek's team hit 31 points this week and moved up into 12th place and his team still has a good presence of players on Sunday yet. I'm not sure he's going to make Mover & Shaker, but it's still a great week.
It's a little late to be adding new elements to the blog posts, but it occurred to me that there wasn't a lot of coverage of players returning to action this season and that might get a fix for next season here with this little add. St. Patrick's Day did see the return of a few players from injury, Antti Raanta of the Coyotes got his first start in a few weeks, returning from a lower-body injury, Jack Eichel of the Sabres finally returned from his high ankle sprain and Chris Tanev of the Canucks also came off the IR for Saturday night's game. Good news for Ryan, Wes and Scott, respectively.