Saturday, February 16, 2019

Morning Player Notes (Feb 16)

One note from Friday night's action, as New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei left the game against the Buffalo Sabres with a lower-body injury in the 2nd period.  There was no indication about when or how he got hurt in this one and there have been no updates first thing on Saturday morning about his status, so we're playing wait-and-see some more.

More injury problems for Clayton's team, which now has six players on the injury/news page, although one has returned already.  This has led to a pretty poor week, sitting at 11 points, only 4 points clear of the Basement Dweller this week.  Any hopes of a money spot are quickly fading away now.

Talbot to the Flyers

2019 Season July 1, 2019
To Philadelphia Pos GP Wins Points Cap Years Cap
Cam Talbot G 31 10 23 $4.2m 0 UFA
To Edmonton Pos GP Wins Points Cap Years Cap
Anthony Stolarz G 12 4 10 $761k 0 RFA

A late night deal in the NHL saw the Edmonton Oilers shed a goalie that took up a ton of cap room down to Philadelphia in a well-rumoured trade over the last few days.  Yes, the Oilers sent Cam Talbot down to the Flyers for their current number two goalie, Anthony Stolarz.  This trade has been bandied about on TSN for the last couple of days and with some healthy bodies coming back from injury and a brand new number one in town, the Oilers were in need of making a move, sooner, rather than closer to the deadline.

Talbot got the raw end of the deal in Edmonton, unable to get a consistent team in front of him, he wasn't able to post those big numbers, like he did in the 2017 season and it certainly looked like his confidence was shook to the point where he wasn't able to steal games for the Oilers, when the offense was struggling.

An interesting note about Talbot joining the Flyers, if and when he makes his first start for his new team, the Flyers will set a new NHL record for the most goalies ever to start a game in a regular season, as Talbot could be the 8th goalie to do so for the team this season.

In Stolarz, the Oilers get a coveted goaltending prospect, but he was already falling behind Carter Hart on the depth chart and was quickly becoming expendable.  Stolarz's numbers are by no means fantastic, but he was a part of the resurgence in Philadelphia, as the Flyers are making that big push to the playoffs, trying to overcome quite the deficit to get there.

Mike currently holds the 17th overall spot in the hockey pool standings and might not be getting much in the way of gains with this trade.  It certainly won't be enough to overcome some deficits of their own, as they are 25 points out of the top 10, 66 points out of the money.  Talbot probably won't get a lot of action in Philadelphia, as they seem to be fairly comfortable with Hart as their guy right now, but these two goalies have worked together in the off-season, so it will be a good mentoring situation.  Mentoring is not one of those hockey pool statistics, unfortunately, so Mike could be still out of luck here.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Goalie Announcements (Feb 15)

It's been a solid week for goalies, as the shutouts have been a bit more prevalent in the last few days.  Two on Tuesday, both collected in the pool, one non-pool shutout on Wednesday and then three more on Thursday, two of which made the pool standings.  With four games tonight, there's a feeling that there's another one out there somewhere, but there are a few non-pool goalies ready to snipe those points too.

Tony's team is running away with the Mover & Shaker this week, already up to 30 points before we even hit the weekend and it should be a busy weekend altogether too.  Stuart and Wilton are the nearest competitors this week, both at 24 points, so they'll need some help to catch up to the weekly lead.

Derek B. and Mike currently are sharing the duty of occupying the basement for this week, both teams are at 6 points each, 4 points back of four more teams.

Alexandar Georgiev (N/A) versus Linus Ullmark (Steve)
The average team in the pool this week is hovering around the 15-point mark, which makes Steve's team just slightly above-average at 16 points through Thursday night's action.  He gets a start tonight from the Buffalo Sabres and Linus Ullmark, who are hosting the New York Rangers in an Eastern Conference clash.  The Sabres are still hunting for the playoffs, while the Rangers are planning their fire sale for the trade deadline, so that's an advantage for Steve's keeper.

Mikko Koskinen (Tony) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
The rich look to get richer with a start in Carolina tonight, as our weekly leader gets a nod to Mikko Koskinen and the Oilers, as they continue a road trip in the deep south.  A win here for Tony's team and he might just saunter his way up to the Mover & Shaker spot this week, with very little worry about the action on Saturday and Sunday.  It would be his second mention of the season, if he can get there.

Keith Kinkaid (Neil) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
Only one full pool match-up in the crease tonight and that's the Devils and Wild going head-to-head, where Neil's Keith Kinkaid will meet up with Wes' Devan Dubnyk.  Neil's team holds a 6-point advantage over Wes' side in the weekly scoring race, but trails mightily in the overall scoring race, 58 points, to be exact.  I'm not sure that this game will do a whole lot, one way or the other, when it comes to the overall totals.

Jaroslav Halak (Stacey M.) versus Kevin Boyle (N/A)
Stacey M. has one of the teams that are along the border of the Basement Dweller nod with 10 points this week and is hoping for good things, when the Bruins take on the Ducks in the late game tonight.  Jaroslav Halak has been tapped as the only pool goalie going in this one, as the Ducks are still reeling from a goaltending perspective, but their young keeper in net tonight, Kevin Boyle, is coming off a shutout of his own on Wednesday night.

Morning Player Notes (Feb 15)

The flu bug reared its ugly head again on Thursday night, taking a bite out of Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm and forcing him out of the lineup for their game against the Montreal Canadiens.  It doesn't sound like anything too serious, just a day-to-day issue.  The Predators are in Vegas on Saturday night, which is the team's next game, which you would think he would be good to make it in for.

Ekholm has been Dale C.'s best defenseman this season, posting 40 points in 58 games, and his team is hanging on to the top 10 by the tips of its fingers.  After Thursday night's action, his team is in 10th place, only 3 points clear of 11th, but 5 points back of 7th, so there's a narrow margin for missed games at this point.

One of Toronto's key young players this season, rookie forward Andreas Johnsson, was hurt last night against the Vegas Golden Knights, suffering a leg-on-leg collision with defenseman Brayden McNabb and it forced him from the game, not to return.  There wasn't any update on his condition after the game, so we'll have to wait for an update from the team, which should come fairly soon, the Leafs are in Arizona for a Saturday evening game.

It took a little while for Johnsson to get going for the Leafs this season, but lately he has been a bit of a dynamo.  In 51 games, he has 31 points, including 3 points this week, which has been good news for Wilton's team, up until the injury, of course.  Johnsson has Wilton's team in the top five for the rookie pool, not really carrying any hope to win with only one rookie.

The Vancouver Canucks are going through some injury struggles of their own these days and it has crept into the hockey pool players, as Jake Virtanen was the latest player to come out of the lineup, suffering an upper-body injury against the Ducks on Wednesday night and was unable to play against the Kings on Thursday night.  Virtanen has been scheduled for an MRI this week, no mention of when, so it's not related to any sort of head injury, but it could keep him out for a little bit yet.

Grant picked up Virtanen in the Week Nine Waiver Draft and has collected adequately with him since he was activated, picking up 10 points in 29 games.  It isn't a huge total, far from the best in that player swap, but he was helping the 3rd place team stay afloat.  Grant's team is 6 points back of 2nd and 3 points up on 4th, even less room to move and lose skater games to.

Dallas Stars stud defenseman John Klingberg was forced from last night's game against the Lightning late after blocking a shot in the 3rd period. This could have been more of a precautionary move, since the Stars were getting beat pretty bad in this one and there was no sense pushing him in this one. We'll have to wait and see for an update, as the team didn't have anything after the game.  The Stars are in Carolina on Saturday for their next game, there'll likely be an update before then.

Eric's team sits comfortably in 18th place and has its eyes on 17th place, which it only sits 4 points back of and his team is having a decent week at 18 points, so far.  There's no guarantee that this injury is all that serious, it could just be a blip on the radar screen.

The Detroit Red Wings have decided to send rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski down to the minors, likely to get himself a confidence boost.  He has been a healthy scratch for the last three games and had an 8-game pointless streak before then, so it could very well be a stint to get him some more minutes.  There's no guarantee that he'll be brought back this season, but if his minutes and numbers improve, there won't be any harm in bringing him back up before the end of the season, since big league minutes are more valuable, if he can get them.

This certainly hurts Clayton's chances at the rookie pool now, as two out of his three rookies are either now in the minors or on the Injured Reserve.  His team is now 4 points back of top spot in the mini-game and only has one rookie left on his roster.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Goalie Announcements (Feb 13)

As it normally does, a busy Tuesday leads to a less-than-busy Wednesday and here we are, only two games on the schedule tonight.  Not very busy at all.

Mikko Koskinen (Tony) versus Matt Murray (Scott)
Tony currently leads the pool in weekly scoring here in Week Twenty, up with 15 points, and he gets a visitor's start from the Edmonton Oilers in Pittsburgh tonight, as Mikko Koskinen gets the nod.  He'll face Matt Murray, who will give Scott another start this week, who sees his team doing fairly well with 9 points through two nights.  His team is hanging around the middle of the pack in weekly scoring, which isn't too bad, coming off a Basement Dweller nod.

Jacob Markstrom (Chelsea) versus Kevin Boyle (N/A)
Injuries, injuries and more injuries in the Anaheim crease, as Kevin Boyle will get his 1st career NHL start tonight, as both John Gibson and Chad Johnson have hit the Injured Reserve with their own individual injuries.  There was no timetable on either of them, but only Gibson is of a pool concern, I suppose.  The Ducks will take on the Canucks tonight and Jacob Markstrom will return to the net, after ending up with a night off, due to some muscle tightness on Monday.  Chelsea will indeed get this start, with her pool team doing alright at 10 points through two nights.  If the Canucks can sneak out a win, her team will be in a prime spot for the back half of the week, in terms of the Mover & Shaker.

Morning Player Notes (Feb 13)

After a fairly hot start to the season, Detroit Red Wings rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski has been having a hard time finding the scoresheet, pointless in his last eight games.  On Tuesday night, he was a healthy scratch for the game against the Predators, a game in which the Red Wings upset the Central Division powerhouse, 3-2, so there might be another game or two in the press box in the rookie's future.

For Clayton's team, he was hoping that Cholowski would be the lynch pin to any rookie mini-game success, just quietly putting up points, but since he's gone cold, the lead in the mini-game has since disappeared and now his team sits 5 points back of Derek B. for the lead in the mini-game.

An upper-body injury sidelined New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman for Tuesday night's game against the St. Louis Blues, but there hasn't been a great deal of detail on the injury, but he's listed as out day-to-day for right now.  Coleman has been a very serviceable player for the Devils this season, picking up 29 points in 55 games this year, ranking 187th in pool scoring this season.

Wes picked up Coleman in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, but has yet to collect a single point from him in four games played last week.  The Devils next play on Thursday night and there is no word yet on whether or not he'll be able to go against the Blackhawks.

Malkin Given a Game

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will miss tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers, as the league suspended him for the one game for a stick swinging incident on Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, the video of the incident is below.

Malkin had just returned to the lineup from a brief absence, due to injury, only to pick up a point in his return, not to mention a match penalty on the play in question and the league's ruling on Tuesday afternoon.  He will be eligible to return to the lineup on Saturday afternoon, when the Penguins play host to the Flames.

Even with his brief absence, Malkin has been one of Steve's best players this season, posting 56 points in 51 games with the Penguins, which has him ranked 34th in hockey pool scoring this season.  Still, Steve isn't quite getting the return he was hoping for, taking him with the 13th overall pick in the draft this year, but he has had some other bargain picks to make up for it, somewhat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Goalie Announcements (Feb 12)

Monday night was a good night for most of the teams that were not in the top four in the standings, as there were quite a few points handed out among those 21 teams, give or take three of them.  Jeremy and Scott's teams were tops on the night with 6 points each, making some waves in the standings, even if they were just little ones.

Seven teams didn't register a point, sure, but it was an awfully quiet night, with only three games going.  Four of those teams didn't even register a skater game, so that's how quiet it was.

Tuesday night is going to be different, of course, 12 games on the schedule tonight, so there will be plenty of points to go around and tomorrow's goalie post will look a little bit more comprehensive.  Let's see how the starters breakdown for tonight.

Collin Delia (Derek B.) versus Tuukka Rask (Jesse)
Derek's assault on the rookie mini-game continues with a start from Collin Delia and the Blackhawks tonight, when they go into Boston for an Original Six meeting against the Bruins.  Derek's lead was cut into a bit last night, but he gets a chance to put some points back from the crease with this start.  At the other end, Tuukka Rask goes for the Bruins, giving Jesse a start, who is looking towards the Mover & Shaker this week, starting the night only 2 points back of the lead.

Robin Lehner (Chelsea) versus Linus Ullmark (Steve)
Chelsea has one of the seven teams without a point, while Steve's is only marginally better at 1 point after Monday night, so they'll both be grasping for points to try and keep themselves clear of the early week basement designation.  The Islanders are running pretty hot of late, 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, so they likely hold the advantage in this one.

Anton Khudobin (Grant) versus Roberto Luongo (John P.)
It's pretty close to the same, as Grant has one of those top four teams with no points after Monday night, but John's team only has 2 points, so it's not a huge advantage, when they see their goalies go tonight in Florida, when the Stars take on the Panthers.  John's goalies are off to a good start in this third segment, posting a few wins last week, so they are looking to keep that hot streak alive and maybe climb into the top half of the standings.

Braden Holtby (Stacey C.) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don)
The Capitals are on the second half of back-to-backs tonight, heading into Columbus to take on a division rival and it looks like it will be a goaltending clinic tonight, between Holtby and Bobrovsky.  Stacey is hoping the Caps could do for his goalie, what they did for Brian's goalie last night, which is give him a win, while the duo are looking to get on the board this week with a win of their own.  This should be a pretty good game, in theory.

Petr Mrazek (Stacey C.) versus Anders Nilsson (Stuart)
It sounds like Craig Anderson is dealing with an eye injury and is day-to-day, thanks to a tennis ball incident, so Anders Nilsson gets to take back the net for the Senators, giving Stuart a start tonight, trying to pad his lead in the overall standings.  The Hurricanes hadn't confirmed their goalie, at the time of the post, but it does seem safe to assume that Stacey would get a second start with Petr Mrazek probably going back into the net tonight.

David Rittich (Ryan) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.)
The first fully confirmed game for tonight is the Flames and the Lightning, where we'll see starts for Ryan and Dale.  These will be their only starts for the night, as they try and improve upon weekly totals of 1 and 4 points, respectively, after Monday night.  Of course, you can't look past how big of a game this is for both teams, as the potential for a June match-up is certainly in the cards, so this will be a big measuring stick game for both sides.

Keith Kinkaid (Neil) versus Jordan Binnington (N/A)
It seems like Neil has a lot of games where his goalie is the only one that is pool worthy in a game or maybe it's just me.  Anyways, it is certainly the case when the Devils take on the Blues, as Keith Kinkaid will look to add 2 points to the tally tonight, but they are up against a streaking Blues team, which is playing very well of late.  How no one took a gamble on Binnington a couple of weeks ago is kind of surprising.

Jimmy Howard (Tony) versus Pekka Rinne (John P.)
Tony and John are only separated by 9 points in the standings, so this isn't quite a swing game in the overall standings, but it is a pretty good match-up for the middle of the table.  John, who is the trailing team of the two, gets his second start of the night in this game, which makes it a little bit more interesting, especially if he gets a win in the first game.  Tony is looking to see if his team can make up the 10 points he needs for the top 10, as 10th place is his peak spot at the end of a week this season.

Anthony Stolarz (N/A) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
Wes only gets one start tonight, as his team tries to jump on the top four teams with another win.  His team reeled in another point last night and his team now starts Tuesday night only 9 points out of the money and Devan Dubnyk will get the call for the Wild, taking on a Flyers team which has also been pretty hot of late.  The Flyers are playing the second half of a back-to-back, so Wes may have lucked out there.

Henrik Lundqvist (Scott) versus Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy)
Jeremy's team is making a run for a Mover & Shaker late on in the season, pretty well too late for his team, but it would sure look good on the all-time records to get another one.  Connor Hellebuyck will go for him, as the Jets host the Rangers at the Bell MTS Centre.  The Rangers have not confirmed their goalie at the time of the post, but with their number two going last on the weekend, they would probably will go back to ol' faithful to get the job done on the road. 

Frederik Andersen (Wilton) versus Semyon Varlamov (Wilton)
If I were a betting man, I would say that Wilton will get 2 points from a goalie in this game between the Maple Leafs and Avalanche tonight.  It sure looks as if both of his goalies will go head-to-head tonight, as his team starts the night 11 points out of the top 10 and in line for a couple points, at the very least.

Darcy Kuemper (Neil) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy)
In the late, late game of the night, the Coyotes are into Vegas to take on the Golden Knights and Neil gets his second start of the night from the visitors, while Troy gets his only start of the night from the home side.  Troy's hold on a top 10 spot is beginning to slip and he desperately needs his best player to get his team back on track with a win tonight.