Saturday, October 20, 2018
On Friday night, the Dallas Stars played without forward Alexander Radulov, who was held out of the lineup with a lower-body injury, listed as out day-to-day. It sounds like the 32-year old tweaked something in Tuesday night's game against the Devils and he wasn't able to practice for most of the week, putting his participation on Friday in doubt and then eventually completely out. It doesn't sound too severe, just needed a few days off of the ice. The Stars don't play again until Tuesday night, so he'll get a good rest before possibly drawing back in.
Benson has seen some pretty good returns out of Radulov in the early part of the season, 4 goals and 10 points in the first six games of the year, ranking him 18th in pool scoring, to date. This is one of the reasons why Benson opened up play today in 1st place in the pool.
The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Matt Benning on the Injured Reserve on Friday afternoon and recalled defenseman Kevin Gravel to take his spot on the roster, because of an undisclosed injury. There was no mention of the defenseman suffering any injury the night before, but there he goes, off the active roster for at least a week.
The placement on the IR will likely be retroactive to Thursday night's game, meaning that he won't be eligible to return to the lineup until next Thursday, when the Capitals are in Edmonton for a game.
In four games played this season, Benning has yet to register a point.
This season, Benning was taken in the 12th round by Clayton, trying to round out his blueline staff. So far this year, Clayton's team has only 9 points from the blueline, which ranks tied for 17th in the hockey pool, tied with four other teams.
On Friday, the Anaheim Ducks opted to give Troy Terry some more top six ice-time with a demotion to the AHL. The 21-year old has struggled to find any scoring in his first six games of the regular season, unable to register a point, and he has already spent a game up in the press box as a healthy scratch. The move down to the minors will try to boost his confidence and get his scoring touch, which he was known for in the NCAA ranks, back in a groove.
Jesse chose the Ducks rookie in the preseason Waiver Draft, as he was looking to replace the injured Dustin Brown in Los Angeles, but that didn't quite work out in his favour, as the rookie just didn't produce off the hop.
In the overall standings, Jesse ranks 7th with 58 points at the start of play and in the rookie pool, his team sits 6th with 4 points. Thankfully for his team in the mini-game, he still has two more options to lean on to keep him in the race for his money back.
With two 11am MT starts this morning, it's a bit of a rush job to get the goalie starts out for before then, especially with a bit of a sleep-in this morning. Let's have a peek and see how those weekly scoring races are doing.
Keith Kinkaid (Neil) versus Brian Elliott (Jeremy)
An early game in Philadelphia this afternoon sees the Devils take on the Flyers. Neil gets his red hot goalie to go, as he chases down the Mover & Shaker and 1st place again today, only 3 points out of the M&S and 1 point back of 1st, so Keith Kinkaid will be looming large. Jeremy is in 8th place to start the day, 8 points back of the M&S, so the comeback starts here with Brian Elliott.
Philipp Grubauer (Jesse) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
The Colorado Avalanche are going right back to Philipp Grubauer for their next start, trying to ride a hot hand of their own. Good news for Jesse's side, as they are right in the thick of the Mover & Shaker race this week with 18 points, only 2 points back of the leaders.
Carter Hutton (Wes) versus Jonathan Quick (Derek B.)
Both goalies were unconfirmed, but likely starters for their teams today. Wes should get Carter Hutton in the Sabres net, only 4 points clear of the Basement Dweller at the start of play today, while Derek gets Jonathan Quick for another start in Los Angeles. His team is only 1 point better than Wes' at the start of play today.
Antti Raanta (Brian) versus Laurent Brossoit (N/A)
The Jets will be wearing their blue alternates again today, but they won't be featuring a hockey pool goalie in this one, so Antti Raanta gets the post all to himself here. Raanta will go for Brian's team today, hoping to keep him in the thick of the weekly race as well. Brian's team opens up 4 points back of the leaders at 16 points today.
Jake Allen (Steve) versus Frederik Andersen (Derek B.)
The Blues and Maple Leafs will lock horns tonight in Toronto, Jake Allen going for the visitors and Frederik Andersen confirmed for the home side. Steve's team is right in the middle of the money race, up in 5th place, while Derek gets a second start of the day, hoping his goaltenders can get his pool team out of that early season funk.
Carey Price (Stacey M.) versus Craig Anderson (Mike)
A classic Canadian showdown in Ottawa tonight with the Habs visiting the Sens. Mike has one of four teams sitting atop the Mover & Shaker standings at 20 points at the start of play today and the first of two possible starts for him here with Craig Anderson going for the home side here. Stacey M.'s team is right in the middle of the pack in the weekly scoring race at 15 points and she'll be counting on a big start from Carey Price.
Jimmy Howard (Tony) versus James Reimer (Dale C.)
It's hard to say whether or not the Florida Panthers will go back to James Reimer on back-to-back nights, but he did get the night off early, getting the hook in the 2nd period after the Panthers gave up a 4-1 lead to the Capitals last night. If Reimer does go, Dale C. will be most grateful, as his team wants to climb out of 22nd place really badly. Tony should have a start out of Jimmy Howard again tonight, his team is only 3 points clear of the Basement Dweller at the start of play and really needs this win.
Corey Crawford (Benson) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don)
Kristy & Don have been gaining ground on Benson in the standings this week, picking up an extra 2 points on him in the weekly scoring race, both teams in the middle of the pack when it comes to that race. Both teams will have a goalie going in Columbus tonight, as Corey Crawford makes his second start of the season for Benson, while Sergei Bobrovsky gets the nod for the Blue Jackets.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.) versus Alex Stalock (N/A)
Only the Lightning goalie has any value in the hockey pool tonight, as Dale C. gets his second start of the day/evening with Andrei Vasilevskiy going for the away side. Dale's team doesn't exactly get a freebie here, but I'm sure he's expecting to see 2 points come from the favoured Tampa team tonight.
Tuukka Rask (Jesse) versus Anders Nilsson (N/A)
Jesse's team is projected, but unconfirmed, to get a second start tonight out of the traveling Boston Bruins, as they head into Vancouver for a big game on their west coast swing. Tuukka Rask is expected to get the nod for the Bruins, while it would just make sense for the Canucks to keep Anders Nilsson in net, as he has been playing so well in the last four games.
John Gibson (Kristy & Don) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy)
Troy's team is another one of the four that have 20 points already under their belts this week and he is projected to get a start out of Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights, as they take on John Gibson and the Ducks in a big Pacific Division battle. The duo are only 4 points back of Troy's team in the weekly scoring race and this, potentially, could be their second start of the night. Neither goalie was confirmed at the time of the post.
Juuse Saros (Eric) versus Cam Talbot (Mike)
We haven't seen Eric's team yet on this post, but here he likely is with the Predators playing back-to-back games in Alberta with a stop in Edmonton tonight. Juuse Saros is expected to get the call for the Predators, giving Eric's side a chance to make up the 4-point gap to the top for the Mover & Shaker nod. Mike gets his second projected start here, trying to move up out of the tie for top spot in the weekly scoring standings with Cam Talbot and the Oilers.
Robin Lehner (Chelsea) versus Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward)
Finally, in the late, late game, the San Jose Sharks and the New York Islanders will tangle in the tank. Two projected starts, the first and likely only for each pool team of Chelsea's and Brenda & Seward's. Robin Lehner is expected to get the nod for the Islanders, trying to help Chelsea's team out of a funk this week at only 9 points, 2 points clear of the Basement Dweller. Martin Jones and the Sharks will try to help the pool's second duo climb out of the overall basement, as they start play 1 point out of 24th.
Friday, October 19, 2018
For a guy that only has 84 games of NHL experience, none of those games coming this season, signing a 7-year contract extension seems a bit strange, but there it is. Alex Tuch signed a brand new long-term extension with the Golden Knights on Friday, worth $33.25 million in total, which works out to be a $4.75 million cap hit per season.
Last year was Tuch's first full season in the NHL with the Golden Knights, hardly getting a cup of coffee with his draft team, the Minnesota Wild, since being picked in 2014. That year was productive, 15 goals and 37 points in 78 games, so there is definitely something to bank on, even though a lower-body injury has kept him on the IR since the start of the season.
The Golden Knights are getting themselves into a curious spot, salary-wise, since I already have them pegged for a $71.4 million cap hit for a full 23-man roster next year and they'll have free agents like William Karlsson, Nate Schmidt, Deryk Engelland and Malcolm Subban to re-sign.
You know what we need? The weekend. That's what we need. Thankfully, it's right around the corner and now we can concentrate on the Mover & Shaker nod and the Basement Dweller mention in the Newsletter for Monday morning. Now that we're looking at some goalie starts, let's see what kind of impact they'll have on these races.
The Mover & Shaker race... yes sir, it's a tight race. I ended up doing a statistical audit this morning, just for the sake of cleaning up some numbers and that made a correction or two to some teams and the race at the top is super-tight! Troy, Stacey C., Grant and Mike are all tied at 17 points heading to the weekend, Neil and Brenda & Seward are up at 16 points and then Jesse and Stacey M. are at 15 points. Oh, this should be a good finish to the week.
And that lowly Basement Dweller? That's Stuart at 7 points this week, one of seven teams to not yet hit double digits in scoring this week, but everyone is pretty close to getting there. I wouldn't make any guarantees, but I would say there's a pretty good chance of everyone getting there.
On a side note, Thursday night was a good night for those teams in need of qualifying for the survivor pool, almost everyone who had a game won their game, so there are only three teams left to qualify for Week Four and everyone could make it this week. Exciting!
James Reimer (Dale C.) versus Braden Holtby (Stacey C.)
Stacey is first up among the Mover & Shaker candidates, getting a start out of Braden Holtby and the Capitals tonight. The Panthers have yet to win a game in their first four this season, so they could either be some docile kitties or some ornery cats. It's a tough one to call, but I would imagine Florida will come out to push tonight. James Reimer gets the nod tonight for them, giving Dale C. a start on the other side, 5 points back of the leaders in the Mover & Shaker race.
Devan Dubnyk (Wes) versus Ben Bishop (Clayton)
Wes' team is among that handful of teams that has yet to hit double-digits in the weekly scoring, sitting with 8 points at the start of play tonight, but he gets a start from Devan Dubnyk and the Wild, when they invade Dallas to take on the Stars. At the other end, it will be Ben Bishop for Clayton's team, which just barely hit 10 points last night in the weekly race. This game might be more about staying out of the basement, then climbing up to the Mover & Shaker.
Pekka Rinne (John P.) versus Mike Smith (Brian)
A couple of pool teams in the middle of the weekly scoring pack occupy the final game of the night, when the Predators take on the Flames in Calgary. John P.'s team sits with 11 points this week, just a few points back of Brian's team, which has 14 this week and the goaltending match-up might be just as close. Pekka Rinne for the Predators going for John's team and Mike Smith going for the Flames and Brian's team. This could be a good defensive battle that could benefit a goalie in this match-up greatly.