Friday, October 12, 2018
Morning Player Notes (Oct 12)
A bit of a dropped ball here, as last night in St. Louis was Mark Jankowski's second game up in the press box as a healthy scratch, also missing out on Tuesday night's game in Nashville. He appears to be one of the odd men out of the lineup, after failing to register a point in the first two games of the regular season. After last night's loss, however, there could be another shake-up to the lineup and that is the way that he works his way back in.
Jankowski had a strong finish to his 2018 season and that was the sort of momentum that Wes was looking to capitalize on in 2019, but it has gotten off to a slow start and his team has somewhat followed suit, currently sitting in 19th, already 20 points out of 1st place.
Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been pretty poor to start the season and the coaching staff laid some blame on the blueliners, scratching both Olli Maatta (a pool player) and Chad Ruhwedel (a non-pool player) out of their lineup for their game against the Golden Knights and gave rookie defender Juuso Riikola a spin and the changes did seem to help, as the team only gave up a pair of goals in a 4-2 victory on the night. I wouldn't say that the changes are going to be a permanent thing quite yet, but it will certainly make the coaching staff think.
The St. Louis Blues' blueline is getting healthier and healthier by the day and that means that bodies that started the season could be on the block for a chop, if their play hadn't met expectations. That does seem to be the case for Vince Dunn's healthy scratch on Thursday night, as he was held out of the game against the Calgary Flames. The sophomore defender has a goal in the first two games he has played, but that didn't seem to be enough, as Joel Edmundson returned from a groin injury.
Unfortunately for Scott's team, both Maatta and Dunn are on his defense corps, so he missed out on a couple of blueline games from a couple of young defensemen. Thankfully, his other two defenders, Justin Schultz and Shayne Gostisbehere are carrying his blueline at the moment, as they rank tied for 5th with 8 points in defender scoring in the pool.