Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Morning Player Notes (Feb 20)

Well, the Columbus Blue Jackets coaching staff were not holding back any of the gory details about how ill Artemi Panarin was on Tuesday night, but that's what you have to do when your superstar forward is the subject of many trade rumours and the questions come about whether or not they are holding him back to keep his trade value.  Panarin was held out of the game against the Montreal Canadiens, due to the illness, and he's currently listed as day-to-day.  It doesn't sound like the Jackets will hold him out for any trades, as they're in the thick of a playoff race, but I suppose anything is possible.

Benson's team has struggled out of the gates this week, only picking up 4 points through the first couple of nights and missing out on a game from Panarin certainly doesn't help.  His team is safely in 21st at the moment, so there is no real concern there either.

The illness bug was running rampant among the superstars, as it also got Connor McDavid on Tuesday night, keeping him out of the contest against the Arizona Coyotes, a game the Oilers dropped 3-2 in the shootout.  McDavid's bug doesn't sound very serious, but the Oilers were not nearly as descriptive in telling the media that he wouldn't play, but he's day-to-day right now.

Tony's team is among that group of teams that are jockeying for position in the middle of the standings, sitting in 12th place after Tuesday night, only 8 points out of 8th.  Missing out on a McDavid game certainly hurt, but there's still 6+ weeks left this season to make things happen.

Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault was excused from the team for some personal reasons on Tuesday, pulling his availability out of playing against the Blue Jackets.  There was no indication about whether or not Danault would miss any more time beyond Tuesday night, with the team playing next on Thursday night, hosting the Flyers.

John P.'s team isn't too far back of that group in the middle of the pack, sitting only 11 points back of Tony's team, down in 15th.  John's team has been very up-and-down this season and missing out on this game would lead you to believe it was a down evening, but his team is at 7 points through two nights, so it isn't all bad at the moment.

A lower-body injury kept Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith out of the lineup on Tuesday night, when they took on the Dallas Stars.  The team announced the injury yesterday afternoon, but the announcement didn't elaborate on the injury, only saying that the forward would miss last night's game.

This is another knock on Wes' team this week, as his side is falling further away from the money contention, now 29 points out of 3rd place and already dropped 6 points in that race this week.  His team is going to have to get healthy and hot in a hurry, if he's going to catch-up.

New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk reportedly feels rather fortunate that a high-stick catching him around his eye didn't do more damage than it did, leaving him bruised and swollen.  Pionk was hurt over the weekend and missed out on Tuesday night's game against the Hurricanes, kept out for precautionary measures.  He's currently listed as day-to-day and is probably waiting for the swelling to go down before he rejoins the lineup.  The Rangers play next on Thursday, at home to the Wild.

Pionk has been decent this season, picking up 20 points in 50 games, good enough for 352nd in pool scoring.  Not too bad for Troy's last pick in the draft, 328th overall, not too far from his pick spot in the rankings, all he would need is another point and he'd be up there.

When the Tampa Bay Lightning can afford to sit forward Brayden Point for a game for missing a team meeting, you know they're doing pretty well.  Point was scratched from last night's game against the Flyers and still came away as 5-2 winners.  Point has been very good this season, posting 78 points in 59 games this year and he'll likely draw back into the lineup on Thursday, when the team hosts the Sabres.

I'm sure we're all okay with Stuart missing this one game and almost wished it was more games.  After Tuesday night, his lead has rounded out to 51 points, still leading the pool in weekly scoring with 18 points.  We'll just leave it at that.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced after their game against the Blues on Tuesday night that forward Nazem Kadri has suffered a concussion after he took a hard hit from Vince Dunn.  Kadri was forced from the game after the hit and the team was very quick to announce the head injury for the forward.  He will be subject to the league's protocol, which could be a day-to-day issue or an indefinite issue and with how quickly they were able to diagnose it, it could be the latter.

This is another hit to John P.'s team on this post, which it doesn't need right now, as it tries to battle back from finishing the second segment of the season in 17th.  His team has since climbed a couple spots over the last week and a half, but with a couple of players being added to the injury/news page, all those gains could quickly be lost.

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