Friday, December 14, 2018

Noon Player Notes (Dec 14)

The Calgary Flames have recalled goaltender Jon Gillies on Friday, signalling that Mike Smith's sudden departure from Wednesday night's comeback win was indeed an injury, of the undisclosed variety, and it sounds like he will not dress for Saturday afternoon's contest in Minnesota.  He's considered day-to-day and we can now expect David Rittich to get the start in that one.

It's hard to say whether or not this would be considered a missed start for Brian's pool team, since Smith wasn't all that sharp on Wednesday night against the Flyers, but not dressing does confirm that he won't be playing, even in relief.  Brian's team continues to tumble a bit, dropping down to 12th this week and could use some help from the rest of his healthy bodies.

Another lower-body injury concern, this time in New Jersey, as Taylor Hall has been experiencing some soreness down there and hasn't been able to practice fully in the last couple of days.  The coaching staff are calling him a game-time decision tonight, when they take on the Golden Knights and if he can't go, we will have him on the list as out day-to-day for right now.

This could be somewhat alarming for Mike's team, as this is his best forward possibly taking some time off due to injury, as 31 points in 29 games is a tough hole in the lineup, if he's missing.  Mike's team sits in 7th, 18 points out of 3rd place and could ill-afford to have Hall out for too long.

From the Washington Capitals skate this morning, all indications are pointing to a return for forward Tom Wilson, as he's coming back from an upper-body injury, which he suffered about 10 days ago against the Golden Knights.  This would be a big boost to Scott's team, which is only 2 points clear of the Basement Dweller nod for this week.

Red Wings' Green Out

Rough news out of Detroit on Friday morning, as the coaching staff announced that veteran defenseman Mike Green will miss the next 3-to-5 weeks with a groin injury, likely to be placed on the Injured Reserve right away, so they can recall Filip Hronek from the AHL ahead of their game against the Senators.

Green, an Injury Prone List member since 2013, has had more than his fair share of injuries over the years and a long stretch on the shelf now shouldn't come as a great surprise for the 33-year old.

It is rather disappointing though, he has been having a decent season, posting 3 goals and 16 points in 26 games on a Detroit team that is arguably overachieving to this point in the season.  He ranks 31st among all defensemen in hockey pool scoring this year, just to give an idea of just how good his season has been.

He wasn't taken in the original draft in September, however, he wasn't picked up until the Week Nine Waiver Draft, when Ryan snagged him in the 1st round, 12th overall.  Since his activation, Green played in five games and had a goal and an assist in that time.  Ryan's team has also shot up the standings since the Waiver Draft order was decided, as it now sits in 6th place, 18 points out of the money.

Morning Player Notes (Dec 14)

The Nashville Predators welcomed Kyle Turris back into the lineup last night for their game against the Canucks.  He was out for a couple weeks, missing eight games with an undisclosed injury.  Jeremy's team has been steady in those two weeks, not too hot, not too cold, just staying close to the equator of the standings in Turris' absence.

It sounds like Mats Zuccarello is ready to return from his groin injury tonight, when the Rangers are at home to play the Coyotes. He has been day-to-day with that issue since November 24th, missing out on a few weeks worth of hockey.  Definitely good news for John P., who has seen his team drop a few places since the start of the second segment of the season and missing out on the Norwegian forward has certainly been part of the cause.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Goalie Announcements (Dec 13)

Not a bad Thursday night schedule, eight games on the docket tonight and there is some good news coming down the pipe, as a small number of goalies are coming off the injured list to play again tonight, which is definitely good news for some, not so much for others.

Both Stacey M. and Jeremy are in need of survival wins and they'll each get a shot at one tonight, as they try to keep pace with Wes and Troy, who have already qualified this week.

Troy also has a pretty good handle on the Mover & Shaker this week, already up to 19 points through Wednesday night.  Dale C. has 17 points, while Ryan, Steve, Jesse and Tony all have 16 points and the chase is on.

In the basement, Chelsea's team continues to spin their wheels at the bottom with only 4 points, but Scott and Eric are at 6 points and John P. is at 7 points, so no one down there is exactly safe at the moment.

Darcy Kuemper (N/A) versus Carter Hutton (Wes)
The Buffalo Sabres will go with their number one guy for the first time in a few games, as Carter Hutton sat out a couple games and backed up in his return to the lineup and the Sabres will ease him in against the Coyotes at home.  Wes has already qualified for next week in the survivor game, now he looks to chase down the Mover & Shaker.  The Coyotes will go back to Darcy Kuemper, who was dropped in the Waiver Draft by Stuart and he'll be sucking minutes out of the hockey pool again.

Jonathan Quick (Derek B.) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don)
The Columbus Blue Jackets will play host to the Los Angeles Kings tonight and Sergei Bobrovsky will get back in the net for the Jackets, after getting night off on Tuesday.  Kristy & Don have dropped a few points in the race for the money this week, but a start against the lowly Kings should help their cause out.  Derek gets the first of two starts tonight with Jonathan Quick taking to the net for the visitors.  Derek's team ranks 5th in the goalie ranks, but that is the only his strong spot in his lineup, because his team hasn't really improved since the Waiver Draft yet.

Petr Mrazek (Stacey C.) versus Carey Price (Stacey M.)
Stacey needs her win for this week's run in the survivor game and she'll get a start from Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens tonight, as they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes.  Stacey's goalies have been good this season, tied for 3rd in the pool in scoring with 47 points from the crease.  The pool's other Stacey is getting in on the action of this game, as his Carolina keeper, Petr Mrazek, gets the nod tonight on the road, looking for those 2 points to help build on the 9 points his team already has this week.

Frederik Andersen (Derek B.) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.)
It's the return of Andrei Vasilevskiy to the Tampa Bay Lightning crease this evening, much to the delight of Dale's hockey pool team, who has been missing him dearly since the middle of November, out for just about a month.  Dale's team was in 21st place when he lost his injured goalie and opens play tonight in 17th, so maybe it wasn't all bad.  Derek gets the start at the opposite side, as Frederik Andersen will get the call for the Maple Leafs, no injuries to return from here, just the 2nd-ranked goalie in the hockey pool this season, going back to work.

Anders Nilsson (N/A) versus Pekka Rinne (John P.)
Pekka Rinne gets the only hockey pool nod between the Canucks and the Predators in Nashville tonight and John P. could really use the 2 points here, as his team has not gotten off to a good start in this second segment of the regular season.  One week and three days in, John's team sits in 22nd and has dropped a couple of spots in the overall standings, 14th to 16th, in that time and now would be a good time for Rinne to stop the bleeding!

James Reimer (Dale C.) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
Wes' goaltending factory gets another start here on Thursday night, as the Minnesota Wild will send Devan Dubnyk to the crease to take on the Florida Panthers.  Wes' team is tied with Stacey M.'s team at 47 points from the crease this season and with a couple of starts, he could put some space in between the ranks. 

It's a goaltending windfall for Dale C. tonight, as the visitors will go with his keeper, James Reimer, who hasn't seen a lot of action in recent weeks, with the return of Roberto Luongo from his second leg injury of the season.  This could be Dale's week, already in the hunt for the Mover & Shaker and two starts... things are good!

Cam Talbot (Mike) versus Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy)
The Winnipeg Jets will get the Edmonton Oilers tonight and their reasonably subdued offense (21st in the NHL in goals for), but they are not taking any chances, sending their number one goalie to the crease.  Connor Hellebuyck will get the nod, giving Jeremy a start to help him qualify for next week in the goalie survivor pool.  Mike's team was the last one eliminated from the goalie survivor game, mostly because Cam Talbot lost his post as the number one guy for the Oilers, but he's on the road to getting his confidence back and another mile marker on that road is a start in Winnipeg and he'll go from there.

Anton Khudobin (Grant) versus Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward)
A goalie post where Brenda & Seward weren't in the mentions for the Basement Dweller nod... have they turned a corner on their season?  Martin Jones is getting the start again tonight for the Sharks, so things are looking up.  10 points so far this week has them right in the middle of the pack and a win could be of great service.  Grant, on the other hand, has 11 points this week and is now getting his second start out of his Waiver Draft pickup, so his chase for the money gets a helping hand tonight.

Morning Player Notes (Dec 13)

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson was under the weather on Wednesday night and unable to play against the Penguins as a result.  It doesn't sound like anything serious is going on, so he'll be listed as day-to-day and is probable for a return on Friday night, when the team hosts the Jets.

Tony has seen some production already from one of his Waiver Draft pickups in Week Nine, already a goal and an assist in three games since being activated, which has started to improve his blueline a little bit.  The Blackhawks still have another couple games to play this week, so he could be back to picking up points in no time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Shattenkirk to Miss Weeks

The upper-body injury that New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk suffered earlier this week has been confirmed to be a separated shoulder and the team now expects him to miss the next 2-to-4 weeks.

As we recounted yesterday, it has been a disappointing season for the 29-year old, playing in 29 games this season, but only picking up 1 goal and 8 points, which currently has him ranked 437th overall in hockey pool scoring, 106th among all defensemen, which wouldn't have him pegged as pool worthy, if we were to do a redraft today.

This news just might be piling on for Mike's team, which currently holds the Basement Dweller spot, nearing the midway point of Week Eleven, with only 2 points through Tuesday night's action.  Mike's team still sits in 7th spot, 18 points out of 3rd place, which isn't too bad and he's done so with a struggling Shattenkirk in tow to this point in the season.  His team has the 2nd-best blueline in the hockey pool and is right there in the mix, so we won't count this as catastrophic... yet.

Oilers Lose Klefbom

The Edmonton Oilers gave the Colorado Avalanche a pretty good beating on Tuesday night, but they lost defenseman Oscar Klefbom to a hand injury in the process and the early prognosis is not good.  The team's coaching staff said after the game that the hand injury that the stalwart defender suffered whilst blocking a shot will keep him out for weeks and that sentiment was confirmed on Wednesday, when the team put Klefbom on the Injured Reserve.

Klefbom has been eating up some serious minutes with the Oilers, even if his stat line isn't the most impressive, 3 goals and 15 points in 31 games, but it's those minutes that will need replacing and that could be a tough sell on this Edmonton blueline.

For Stacey C., Klefbom was his 2nd-best defenseman in scoring on his side and his blueline ranks tied for 14th in the pool, starting play on Wednesday night, with 47 points and it has been one of the bright spots to his season, which currently isn't going great at 19th in the standings.  There's no actual timeline yet, no word on surgery or just rehab, but if there are any broken bones, we're looking at a minimum of four weeks, possibly longer.

Afternoon Player Notes (Dec 12)

A tweak in practice on Monday kept Alex Galchenyuk out of the Coyotes' lineup on Tuesday night against the Bruins.  He's officially listed as out day-today with a lower-body injury and when reports are out there saying 'tweak,' you would have to think it's a groin issue of some sort, the most common tweak of them all.  It doesn't sound too serious, but he wasn't on the ice for practice on Wednesday either, so he's questionable, at best, for Thursday's game in Buffalo.

Wes should consider his team still in the thick of it all, ranking 9th in the pool, although it is 25 points back of 3rd place today.  There's still plenty of time to make that space up, but he'll need all the help he can gets, like getting Galchenyuk back in Arizona's lineup.

Columbus forward Josh Anderson left Tuesday night's game against the Canucks with an upper-body injury, as he went head first into the cross bar in the offensive zone, leaving the game, not to return.  He wasn't on the ice for practice and there wasn't a definitive answer as to when he would be back on the ice, but he's considered to be day-to-day for right now.

More bad luck for Brenda & Seward, who can't seem to catch any breaks at all this season, as Anderson was their 2nd round pick in the Waiver Draft a couple of weeks ago.  He has appeared in four games for the Jackets, since being activated, and has picked up a goal.

We're not too sure what the injury to Colorado Avalanche forward Alexander Kerfoot is, but whatever it is, held him out of Tuesday's game against the Oilers.  Without any details, he's currently listed as day-to-day, but it is something we'll be keeping an eye out for, if there is more information to be had here in the next day or so.  The Avs are in St. Louis on Friday night, so we hope to have more info by then.

Stacey C.'s 19th place team had a pretty rough night on Tuesday and this is just the start of it.  We'll have some more blog posting going on this afternoon and we'll learn more about how tough it's going to be for his side moving forward.

It's been a rough week for Los Angeles defensemen, as the team had already lost Alec Martinez to an upper-body injury, placed on the IR on Wednesday and in Tuesday night's contest, they lost both Drew Doughty and Dion Phaneuf to upper-body injuries, leaving the game not to return.  Doughty remains on the road with the team, while Phaneuf was sent back home from the trip for further tests, both will be listed as day-to-day for right now.

We already posted about Martinez this week, so there's no surprises there, and Doughty is the only other pool defenseman, as Phaneuf was dropped in the Waiver Draft a couple of weeks ago.  Doughty belongs to Benson's team, which ranks 22nd in defensemen scoring this season and could be overtaken, if this injury is significant.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are welcoming Matt Murray back to their active roster, which means that one of their goalies needed to be sent down to make room and that goalie was Tristan Jarry, sent down to the minors on Wednesday morning.  Jarry had only made two starts this season, failing to win either and it will be Murray and Casey DeSmith carrying the load for now.

Neil held onto Jarry through the Waiver Draft, unsure of when Murray was going to be healthy and it didn't really pay off for him at all.  No wins for Jarry and no more starts in the near future for him either.

Goalie Announcements (Dec 12)

Finally found some time to sit down and get some of these blog posts done!

Four games on the schedule for this Wednesday night and all of the goalies are in and accounted for, so let's hop right to it then.

Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy) versus Robin Lehner (Chelsea)
The Golden Knights don't get the chance to play at the renovated Nassau Coliseum tonight, they are headed to Brooklyn to take on the Islanders tonight.  Troy is still in need of his survival win this week and he gets another start from Marc-Andre Fleury tonight, as he'll face Robin Lehner on the other side.  Chelsea's team finds itself 2 points clear of the basement at the start of play tonight and could really use this win to help keep her team clear.

Casey DeSmith (Benson) versus Corey Crawford (Benson)
Tonight in Chicago, Benson has a monopoly on the goaltending between the Penguins and Blackhawks and in this situation, he would be hoping for a 1-0 shootout win for one of these teams, which can lead to a 6-point game from these keepers.  The winner picks up 4 points for the win and if they can make it to the shootout in a scoreless game, even the losing goalie gets a shutout added to his total.

Anthony Stolarz (N/A) versus Mike Smith (Brian)
The Flyers and Flames have an odd start time in Calgary tonight, 6:30pm MT is about a half hour earlier than the norm, so it makes you wonder if US television has their grubby mitts on this one.  Nevertheless, Brian is the only pool team with a starting goalie in this game, as Mike Smith has been tapped to go once again for the Flames, riding a fairly hot streak of late.  Brian's team has been decent to start this week, posting 8 points, but it's also 8 points back of the weekly leaders.

Ben Bishop (Clayton) versus John Gibson (Kristy & Don)
In the late game tonight, the Stars and the Ducks go head-to-head on the pond and it's a top 10 team goalie battle in this one. Clayton's 8th place team will have Ben Bishop going for the Stars, while Kristy & Don's 5th place team will have John Gibson going for the Ducks and these two goalies have been good so far this season, both ranked in the top 100 overall in pool scoring, so you should think this will be a very good goalie duel.