Friday, April 06, 2018

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Apr 6)

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun won't finish the 2018 season, as he suffered a lower-body injury against the Flames earlier in the week and has now been shut down.  The youngster wasn't in the lineup on Thursday night against the Canucks and will also miss the finale, at home against Anaheim.  Chychrun finishes the year with 4 goals and 14 points in only 50 games played.

Troy's team still could finish north of the equator, with 11th place still in sight, if his team can finish strong this weekend.  His team currently sits in 13th, 7 points back of 11th, but now without a defenseman.

Things do not sound overly optimistic about Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov, after he left last night's game against the Boston Bruins in the 3rd period.  Barkov took a big hit from Bruins defenseman Colby Cave, forcing him from the contest and the winger was still being looked at by team doctors when the coaching staff was doing their post-game scrums, so we're waiting to hear more from the team.

Chris' team has snuck their way into the conversation with a huge week, so far, jumping Clayton's team for 5th place in the standings and is only 5 points back of 4th right now.  The Panthers still have two games to play and if Barkov can't go, that will be a pretty big blow.  Stay tuned!

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk was held out of Thursday night's game against the Rangers, likely because he has been banged up this season and there is no sense in exacerbating any injury for a meaningless game.  Depending on who you ask though, Boychuk could have been considered a healthy scratch too, since if that game did mean something, like playing for a playoff spot, he could have dressed for it.  The Islanders conclude their season on Saturday in Detroit, Boychuk will likely be questionable for that game now.

Brenda & Seward finished Thursday night in 8th place, 5 points out of 7th, losing out on the spot last night.  They do have a slight edge in projected games left this year over Kristy & Don, so the race isn't over quite yet.

Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan left Wednesday's contest against the Buffalo Sabres after being toppled over by another collision on the ice and Ryan was the unlucky recipient of his teammate falling on top of him.  Ryan left the game with a lower-body injury, but after Thursday's skate and practice, he did think that he would be able to finish the season on the ice, which is good news, given that he has had such a rough season with injuries.

Stacey C.'s team has struggled mightily this season, currently ranking 22nd and in the running for the Basement Dweller this week, so it will be a good turn of events, if Ryan can play and produce, keeping his team from the year's last Dweller mention.

An apparent arm injury is to blame for the absence of Evander Kane from the Sharks' lineup on Thursday night against the Avalanche, an injury he reportedly suffered earlier in the week against the Golden Knights.  There is a good chance that the Sharks will also hold out their trade deadline acquisition from Saturday's game against the Wild, just as a precaution.  The Sharks are in the playoff picture and want Kane to be healthy, as his production, 29 goals and 54 points in 77 games, will be needed in the opening round (and beyond).

Eric's team had a decent shot at the Mover & Shaker of the week, as his team has 21 points, only 5 points behind the leader, but with Kane on the shelf, it could be a tough slog to get there now.  His team still has quite a few games left on the schedule, so it could still happen.

The Golden Knights continued to do their roster rotation, keeping everyone healthy and fresh, on Thursday night, scratching defenseman Nate Schmidt for the game against the Oilers in Edmonton.  It was just a healthy scratch and I would imagine that he would be back in the lineup on Saturday for the regular season finale in Calgary.

As mentioned earlier, Kristy & Don hold down 7th place in the standings and that's about as good as that will get, but it could get worse, if their team doesn't have a particularly great weekend.  They are being chased by the other duo in the pool, but getting Schmidt back will certainly help.

Let's see... Josh Anderson came back for the Blue Jackets after a month on the shelf, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a return after some time off with a lower-body injury, Brian Gibbons of the Devils and Erik Haula of the Golden Knights returned from being healthy scratches and finally, Brian Elliott made his first start since February for the Flyers, as they might look to him for the playoffs.

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