Friday, April 05, 2019
Morning Player Notes (Apr 5)
I suppose I could have done a little bit more research on the potential scratches for the Boston Bruins last night, as it wasn't just David Krejci taking a seat and a rest against the Minnesota Wild. He was joined by Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara, since this game really didn't mean much of anything. The Bruins were still able to walk away with a 3-0 win, despite not having some of their top players. Boston closes out their regular season schedule on Saturday afternoon against the Lightning and there's no word on the lineup just yet.
Added to the list of teams missing out on skater games on Thursday night were Stuart, Brenda & Seward and Benson. The duo are the only one of the three teams currently looking to move a spot in the standings, gaining a little on 22nd, now only 4 points back with two nights to go.
With the Ottawa Senators giving Joey Daccord his NHL debut in net against the Sabres last night, a 5-2 loss, they were able to give veteran goalie Craig Anderson the night off as a healthy scratch. Anderson's season may not be done though, as the Senators will conclude their season on Saturday against the Blue Jackets and what a tough season it was. Anderson still has one more year on his 35+ contract, which likely means he'll still be around for another year of rebuilding with the Senators.
Mike's team has now dropped back to 8 points of 20th place in the standings with only a couple of nights of action left. It seems rather improbable that his team is going to make that up, but on the plus side, his team won't drop any further.
Flyers sophomore forward Nolan Patrick was a late scratch for their game in St. Louis on Thursday night, citing an upper-body injury as the reason why he sat. He's currently considered day-to-day and is questionable for the team's finale, at home to the Hurricanes on Saturday night. If Patrick can't go, his season would finish with 31 points in 72 games, hovering around the top 300 in hockey pool scoring this season, right around where he finished his rookie season, 30 points in 73 games.
It may have been Scott's bias that had him hopeful for a big sophomore season, but it just wasn't to be. I would, however, start considering him to be one of those year three breakout players. Scott's team didn't make up much ground last night, still 4 points from passing Derek B. for 24th after Thursday night.
There's some legitimate concern for Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks, as he crashed into the boards and had Darnell Nurse fall on top of him last night in the 3rd period and was forced from the game with an apparent wrist injury. Meier went for X-rays last night, but the results were not immediately available after the game, so it's a wait-and-see game. If one had to guess, I would be leaning towards doubtful for the team's finale against the Avalanche on Saturday night, just to err on the side of caution, but the real concern is for the start of the playoffs.
If Meier does miss out on the last game of the season, he can say he had a productive 2019 campaign for Dale C.'s pool team, posting 30 goals and 66 points in 78 games, which currently has him ranked 68th in pool scoring after Thursday night. Dale's team currently holds the 10th spot in the standings and there's still wiggle room, up and down, before the end of the season.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko was held out of the lineup for the game against the Flyers, due to a maintenance day, dealing with a minor undisclosed injury, to which the team says that if this was a playoff game, he would dress and play. An extra game or two of rest will probably go a long way for his performance in the opening round of the playoffs, which their match-up is currently wide open to decide, even with one game to go. I would imagine Parayko gets the finale off as well, since the team has clinched and they are hosting the summer-bound Canucks on Saturday afternoon.
Another body down for Dale C., who may have some trouble defending 10th place, if his team is losing all of these bodies before the end of the regular season. It's still unclear if Parayko will go in the finale or not, 28 points in 80 games isn't a bad year all told though.
The Tampa Bay Lightning took advantage of their clinched positioning to do a little bit of resting ahead of the playoffs, as forward J.T. Miller was the body that came out of the lineup for their game against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Miller has been good for the Bolts this season, posting 13 goals and 45 points in 74 games this year and may have just needed a night off or was just the guy that came out to give Ryan Callahan a spin around the ice for the night. The reasoning wasn't quite clear, but that's what happened in the end.
The Vancouver Canucks had Jake Virtanen back in the lineup, as pointed out in the preview yesterday afternoon, but we weren't quite sure who was coming out of the lineup, but it was Sven Baertschi coming out again, likely as a healthy scratch more than an injury. Baertschi did come back from an injury a couple of weeks ago and his conditioning has been an issue since then. There's no word on the team's finale on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis, as to who will dress or not, so we'll see how that all plays out.
Between Miller and Baertschi, it was a tough night for Troy's team, which still occupies the Basement Dweller spot in the weekly scoring with 6 points through Thursday night's action. It's not the end of the world just yet, since there are eight teams within 4 points of his team, but these teams already have their points to avoid the basement and who knows if Troy will have those bodies on Saturday?