Sunday, February 24, 2019

Morning Player Notes (Feb 24)

There were some post-game reports after the Bruins lost to the Blues in the shootout, that defenseman Torey Krug was held out of action late in the 3rd and through overtime, due to a lower-body injury. The coaching staff tried to assure everyone that the injury isn't considered serious and he was held out for precautionary reasons. The Bruins don't play again until Tuesday and that will be the best indicator of how significant the injury isn't, is if he plays or not.

It's a little injury to insult, as Mike's team currently holds onto the Basement Dweller spot, heading into Sunday's action, down at 12 points.  Thankfully, he didn't have to rely on Krug to help him out of his hole on the final day of the week, but he'll need some help.

The Dallas Stars needed more offense against the Hurricanes, which was why they traded for Mats Zuccarello last night and a reason for that power outage in the game was that Alexander Radulov was not in the lineup, due to illness.  Radulov was somewhat of a late scratch for the afternoon tilt, one the Stars lost, 3-0, and he's currently listed as day-to-day right now.  Getting both of those players in the lineup for Sunday's game in Chicago or Tuesday's game in Vegas, may be a good indicator about what they should be able to do down the stretch.

Of course, everyone is going to get excited when players are held out of the lineup around the trade deadline, it's just the way people are brought up nowadays.  So, when Jonathan Drouin was listed as a scratch for the Canadiens last night, there looked to be a bit of buzz out there, but the team assured us all, he was sick too.  Like, really sick.  Not to the point of other teams reporting it for us, but really sick.  Drouin is listed as day-to-day, missed the Leafs game and will be on the probable side for Monday night in New Jersey.

Both Radulov and Drouin belong to Benson's pool team, which hasn't fared very well this week either, down at 15 points, heading into Sunday's action.  It could be an anxious day, only 3 points clear of the Basement Dweller with only four games to play.

Much like the Ottawa Senators before them, the New York Rangers were also looking to protect some of their assets ahead of the deadline, sitting both Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes for their afternoon game against the Devils, which worked out in their favour, as they deal the Norwegian in the evening to the Stars.  Hayes appears to be one of the next players to go on the list of trade bait players, so we'll all impatiently wait for that shoe to drop here, today or tomorrow.

Wilton would surely prefer to have Hayes dealt today, rather than tomorrow, then when the Rangers play the Capitals first thing this afternoon, he at least knew it was worth the wait.  Wilton's team has been decent this week, but could have been better without this scratch yesterday and likely again today, since his team is at 25 points this week, 12 back of the leader.

The Stadium Series game was a costly one for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they lost two key defensemen in the same sequence of play. Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds hit Brian Dumoulin hard and arguably up high along the boards, which caused a bit of a fracas on the ice, a fracas that involved Kristopher Letang skirmishing with another Flyers player.  Both players went to the dressing room, not to return, Dumoulin dealing with a concussion and Letang has an upper-body injury, so days are now going to be interesting for the Penguins moving forward.

Neil was getting okay returns out of Dumoulin since the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, collecting 4 points in 10 games, so this would be shame to lose, as he says his main hope is to catch Ryan's team in the standings.  Letang belongs to Jeremy and has been the best blueliner on his team, which ranks well in the pool, already picking up 53 points in 60 games this season.  Both are heavy losses for the club and the pool.

Concerning news for the San Jose Sharks, as defenseman Erik Karlsson has re-aggravated his groin injury, which kept him out a number of weeks already this season, leaving last night's game against the Blue Jackets in the 2nd period, not to return.  The Sharks have not given any update, as of yet to the injury, but they turn around on their current road trip and play again on Sunday afternoon against the Red Wings and you would have to think that Karlsson is doubtful for this game.

It's another hit to Clayton's team, which is starting to fall off the map in this third segment of the season.  Clayton's team is tied for 20th in this segment, almost three weeks in, down with 65 points and injuries have been the leading cause and I think we can add another visit by Karlsson to the list.

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