Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Well, it's not getting any less disgusting at the top of the standings. Somehow, Stuart's team found 13 points on Monday night, extending his overall lead to 56 points and he's now trending to a 100-point lead before it's all said and done.
There are teams following close to his team through Monday night for the Mover & Shaker, as Brian's team finished with 12 points and Jesse's team is at 10 points, both trying to keep pace as best they can and moving up the standings while they do so.
Seeing as though it was a limited schedule on Monday, there's no surprise that we have a few teams down at the bottom, but everyone has a point after night one, but four teams are at 1 point.
Nine games on the schedule tonight, let's see what we've got!
Linus Ullmark (Steve) versus James Reimer (Dale C.)
Steve has one of those four teams with 1 point to start tonight's action and he gets a start out of the Sabres, who are still holding out hope for a playoff spot, sending Linus Ullmark to the crease. Dale C., on the other hand, had himself a pretty good night to start the week last night, picking up 7 points and his team could add another win to their weekly total with a James Reimer start for the Panthers at the other end of the rink in this game.
Matt Murray (Scott) versus Keith Kinkaid (Neil)
Neither Scott or Neil had much for points on Monday night, so they're looking to their goalies to give their team a kick in the rear end, starting with the Penguins and Devils, where their keepers have been confirmed to go. Both Scott and Neil are going to get two starts tonight and it starts for both here, Murray versus Kinkaid. This match-up is more about staying out of the basement more than anything right now.
Louis Domingue (Eric) versus Carter Hart (Jeremy)
The Flyers confirmed that Carter Hart will be back in the crease tonight, when they take on the traveling Lightning, but they will have four goalies on their active roster, which is pretty well unheard of in this day and age. Something will have to give and soon. Jeremy's team is another one of those with 1 point from Monday night, so he's hoping the Flyers can catch those powerful Bolts on an off night. There's no confirmed starter for the Lightning, but on back-to-back nights and with Louis Domingue's current team record winning streak, it seems like a pretty good bet they'll go back to him tonight.
Henrik Lundqvist (Scott) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
Scott gets his second start from Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers, when they head into Carolina to take on the Hurricanes. His goalie will go unopposed in the hockey pool, but that isn't to say that it will be a cake walk for the Rangers, as the Canes are 8-2-0 in their last 10, despite not having both of their goalies active in the pool.
Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don) versus Carey Price (Stacey M.)
Well, if this match-up is what it looks like it should be, the Canadiens keeper wasn't confirmed in my news feed today, then it should be a pretty good match-up at the top of the table. The duo trail Stacey M. by 10 points and it is only the duo's keeper that has been confirmed so far today. You would have to assume that Price will go for the Canadiens, given the importance of this game for them, narrowly holding onto the last Eastern Conference wild card spot.
Frederik Andersen (Wilton) versus Jordan Binnington (N/A)
The rookie sensation in St. Louis, Jordan Binnington, has been confirmed to get the nod against the visiting Maple Leafs, but Toronto has yet to say anything about their keeper, so there's a small chance it could go either way. The Leafs are not on any sort of back-to-back, so it should be fair to assume that Frederik Andersen gets the nod tonight. I'm sure Wilton will appreciate it.
Kevin Boyle (N/A) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
With the injuries in Anaheim, any goalie they go with tonight will not be pool worthy, so it's pretty well a moot point, but we do know that Devan Dubnyk will be going for the Wild, which is good news for Wes' team. Wes' team is starting the night at 3 points tonight and needs some help and soon to keep his team in the conversation for the money. His team has been slipping of late and a good push would be ideal for his side, including a win tonight.
Pekka Rinne (John P.) versus Anton Khudobin (Grant)
We know the match-up in Dallas tonight will see Pekka Rinne take on Anton Khudobin, when the Predators face-off against the Stars. John's team will open the night at 3 points under his belt already this week, while Grant's team is off to a better start, up at 6 points, trying to keep pace with the top teams and keep his spot in the top three overall.
Darcy Kuemper (Neil) versus Mikko Koskinen (Tony)
Neil's second start of the night will be in Edmonton tonight, when the Arizona Coyotes will be in to Rogers Place for a game against the Oilers. Neil has the visiting goalie confirmed for the night, Week Nineteen pick-up Darcy Kuemper and he'll be in to take on Tony's Week Nine pick-up, Mikko Koskinen. Tony's team started out the week with 4 points on Monday night and will look for some more gains tonight with his only start. Tony's team is 48 points out of the money and will need a huge push, if he's going to get there before the end of the year.
Calgary Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie was a late scratch from Saturday afternoon's contest against the Arizona Coyotes, due to an undisclosed injury. The Flames had no word on the injury, before or after the game, but they easily dispatched of the Coyotes in that game, so there wasn't a great deal of concern about it. He's considered to be day-to-day for right now.
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray was hurt in the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, suffering an upper-body injury after only 3:14 of ice-time in the game and didn't return. There was no immediate update on Murray's condition after the game, but if we are reading into the transactions made this morning, they have called up Adam Clendening from the AHL, which would suggest Murray won't likely be good to go for the team's next game, tonight in Montreal. Murray will be listed as out day-to-day, until otherwise specified.
So, Monday was a tough one for Wes' blueline, losing both Brodie and Murray in varying degrees. Wes' team is losing all the gains it had made with the back-to-back Mover & Shakers midway through the season. Wes' team still sits in 5th, 26 points out of the money and losing ground early this week.
An abdominal injury was the cause of Brent Seabrook's absence in Chicago's 8-7 win over the Senators on Monday night, to which he is currently listed as day-to-day for at the moment. There isn't much out there in regards to the injury, so we're waiting to hear more from the team and we should hear whether or not the injury is more significant before Wednesday's game in Detroit.
Stacey M.'s team is also suffering a little bit, which kind of makes the race for the smaller money a little more interesting. Her team only managed 3 points on Monday night and doesn't quite have the number of projected games this week, so this injury, if it is significant, could play a role in the race. Stacey's team is now only 5 points up on Grant and 10 points up on Kristy & Don.
The Tampa Bay Lightning started out the game with a rotation on their blueline, which saw Anton Stralman come out again as a healthy scratch, as they are doing their best to keeping all of their blueliners fresh for the playoff run. That rotation may go on hold though, as Victor Hedman was pulled out of the game against the Blue Jackets, due to a lower-body injury, not to return in the 1st period. The only report after the game was saying that he was seen with a limp, but no other braces or boots, so that could be considered a good thing. With the way the Lightning have been playing and the lead they have in the east, there won't be any rush to get him back in the lineup.
So, the scratch was a missed skater game for Troy's team, which now holds the equator spot in the standings at 13th and is continuing to fall. Hedman belongs to Dale C., who had a better Monday night, up at 7 points on night one of the week, and bumped up to 8th place. The loss of Hedman, however, could be significant, if the Lightning don't want to rush him back.
Monday, February 18, 2019
The Vancouver Canucks announced another tough injury loss on Monday afternoon, saying that forward Jake Virtanen will be out for the next month with a broken rib, which he suffered against the Ducks last week.
Virtanen was already on the Injured Reserve, as the team needed to make room for some healthy bodies on their roster, but after some tests and scans on the weekend, the team announced the longer-term prognosis for the winger, which is a pretty tough hit to a possible run towards the playoffs.
The 22-year old has posted 12 goals and 22 points in 58 games this season, ranking 294th among all players in the hockey pool, to date.
Grant picked up the winger in the Week Nine Waiver Draft and has 10 points in 29 games since being activated in the hockey pool, not doing too bad since being added. Virtanen was taken with the 22nd pick in that swap, but currently ranks tied for 30th among those players taken in that swap. Grant started the day 8 points out of 2nd place, but loses a player for a significant amount of time.
Bad news for Buffalo's Kyle Okposo, as he sat out Sunday's game between the Sabres and the Devils, hurt on Friday night against the Rangers, as he has been sent back home to Buffalo, while the team continues on a road trip to Florida for Tuesday and Tampa on Thursday. There has been no indication of what kind of injury Okposo is dealing with, but the team doesn't sound overly confident that he'll be back any time soon.
This season, the power forward has 10 goals and 22 points in 57 games for the team, ranking 301st in pool scoring, well below the expectations for him this year. Wilton took him in the 12th round, 276th overall, so if his expectation was a bargain pick, he's really fallen off and will continue to do so with this injury.
We've got some early action in Calgary on this Family Day holiday, which has expedited this post today, which probably means there will be some solid guessing today.
It's a new week, so let's get right to it.
Calvin Pickard (N/A) versus Mike Smith (Brian)
Brian gets the only hockey pool start in the matinee game between the Coyotes and the Flames, as Mike Smith has seemingly taken back the crease for Calgary, as they stride towards the playoffs. Brian's team opens the week on the equator of the standings, down in 13th, but is only 10 points out of 8th place and that number can start coming down today with a win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.) versus Joonas Korpisalo (N/A)
With a big 10-point week last week, Andrei Vasilevskiy has climbed his way into the top 25 in pool scoring, finally worth the 1st round pick he was taken with, although Dale C. took him with the 2nd overall selection, hardly the 23rd ranking that he currently sits in. He is projected to get the start today, unconfirmed at the time of this post, but 2 points could move him up one more spot in the rankings and 4 more points could get him to 16th, in theory.
Anders Nilsson (Stuart) versus Collin Delia (Derek B.)
The Blackhawks will be donning their Winter Classic gear again tonight and that's pretty exciting, those are some pretty sharp jerseys. In this one, it's the overall leader against the rookie leader, with the rookie leader getting a rookie start out of the home side. Yes, Stuart has seemingly destroyed the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft with his pick of Nilsson, while Derek has only had minimal returns from Delia, a pick from the same swap. This is a game of sellers at the deadline, so who knows what's going to happen?
Malcolm Subban (N/A) versus Semyon Varlamov (Wilton)
It appears that the Golden Knights are finally affording their number one goalie a little bit of rest these days, as they confirmed that Malcolm Subban will get back-to-back starts with the team tonight in Colorado, winning his last effort, Saturday night against Nashville. What we don't know for sure is the Colorado starter, so we'll assume they'll go back to the number one, as they are desperately in need of getting out of a nasty slide in the standings.
Tuukka Rask (Jesse) versus Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward)
No guessing needed for the Bruins and Sharks tonight, as we know it will be Rask versus Jones in one of the late games tonight. Jesse's team has been hot, thanks, in part, to more playing time for Rask, while the duo near the bottom of the standings have been working their way out of it, now 23rd and only 1 point back of 22nd. They get a start from Jones, who has been very good of late as well. This game could be a very good one to watch.
Pheonix Copley (Brian) versus Jack Campbell (N/A)
The Washington Capitals are on back-to-back days down in California, so it seems very likely that they'll go with Pheonix Copley after their loss in Anaheim yesterday. This hasn't been confirmed early on Monday afternoon, but it does seem likely that Brian would get his second start of the day here. The Kings have confirmed that they'll go back to Jack Campbell tonight, keeping another start out of the hockey pool.