Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Morning Player Notes (Oct 17)

The Dallas Stars coaching staff suggested that winger Valeri Nichushkin was feeling a little bit sore and that was the reason why he was unable to play against the Devils on Tuesday night.  It sounds like it is a day-to-day issue, but there could be a little more to it than that, as you rarely hear about players taking many nights off, just because they feel a little sore.  It is still early in the season though, no one is buckling down like they would in the playoffs just yet.

I'm sure that's no excuse for Brian, who sees his team dangerously close to the Basement Dweller nod for this week at only 2 points through these first couple of nights.  The lack of scoring has seen his team drop five spots in the standings, down to 17th from 12th.

The Edmonton Oilers have been cycling through their blueliners of late, trying to find the combination that will get them a solid 60 minutes on the ice.  Matt Benning returned to the lineup after a night off as a healthy scratch and he was replaced in the press box by rookie Evan Bouchard, which only really seemed to help in the overall sense, that the team won, but they still allowed four goals to the Winnipeg Jets in a 5-4 overtime comeback victory.  It's hard to say whether or not the cycle will continue or not after a win, we'll just have to wait and see.

Clayton's 5th place team got his Oilers defenseman back into action on Tuesday night, but Brenda & Seward's 25th place team lost a skater game with the scratch.  It almost doesn't seem fair, but maybe scratching the rookie was the kick in the rear end he needed to make his move into an everyday job.

Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu was excused from playing on Tuesday night, as his wife went into labour with their third child.  The Wild did defeat the Coyotes, 2-1, in his absence and I would have to say that it's a safe bet that he will be back in the lineup for the team's next game, Friday night in Dallas.

I suppose some congratulations are in order, but Dale C. isn't going to be providing any, since his team is still fumbling around, close to the bottom of the standings.  With only 5 points this week, Dale's team is not gaining any ground, mired in 23rd and in need of a major hot streak.

The New York Rangers coaching staff has been really trying to send a new message out to their players, "work hard and stay in the lineup." They haven't been afraid to scratch some of the more high profile players either and a scoring winger like Pavel Buchnevich felt the pain of drawing the coach's ire, making his way up to the press box for Tuesday night's game against the Avalanche.  The Rangers were able to sneak a 3-2 shootout win out of that game, but I would imagine that Buchnevich will feature again here very soon.

You can count Steve among those disappointed teams on Tuesday, seeing his player head up to the press box as a scratch.  His team is right in the mix though, sitting in 7th after Tuesday, only 6 points out of 3rd.

Veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald was a healthy scratch for the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season.  The 32-year old did spend some time in the press box last season, but was still able to post some pretty decent numbers, so some of those scratches may have come in handy.  In six games this season, the defender only has 1 assist to his name, so the Flyers are certainly looking for a bit more offense from him moving forward, if and when he draws back into the lineup.

Tony's team is another one of those teams with 5 points through the first couple of nights, which is basically the pool average, so far this week.  His team currently sits in 14th, 12 points out of 3rd place.

An upper-body injury, believed to be of the arm variety, suffered on Saturday night kept Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland out of the lineup on Tuesday, when the Golden Knights took on the Sabres.  He's currently listed as out day-to-day and there isn't much, in terms of specifics, out there, so it will be a wait and see situation.  Engelland is certainly one of the tougher players out there, so you can safely assume that he'll be back as soon as he possibly can be.

The 36-year old has been a pretty good player for the Golden Knights, since being picked up at the expansion draft, adding leadership and some unexpected offense for this team.  Unfortunately for Ryan's pool team, that offense may have dried up a little, as he still has no points in six games this year.

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