The Ducks have welcomed back Ryan Getzlaf into their line-up this week, returning on Wednesday night against the Canucks and also getting into Friday night's game against the Flames. His impact, both physically and on the scoresheet has been noted already. In the two games back, he does have an assist and a notable hit of the Canucks' Dan Hamhuis.
Getzlaf does return to a team that isn't doing too well this season, belonging to Clayton C., and his absence was only notable in the sense that Clayton just remained in the bottom three of the standings, where he was when Getzlaf left. No big deal here.
The Atlanta Thrashers welcomed back Tobias Enstrom to their line-up on Friday night after being out a few weeks with a fractured finger and boy, was he missed. The offense for the Thrashers really had sputtered in his time away and it returned to an acceptable state with a 3-2 win over the Rangers.
Benson G., who has Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien on the Thrashers blueline, took a double-whammy of a hit with the injury, because even Byfuglien went cold in the absence of his blueline partner. When Enstrom left the line-up, Benson was in 4th place, 22 back of 3rd and 7 up on 5th... going into Saturday's action, Benson is now 5th, 10 points back of 4th.
Tomas Holmstrom missed just about a month with a broken hand and returned to the Red Wings line-up on Wednesday night. The Red Wings power play was struggling without their main man in front of the opposition goalie, so they were more than happy to get him back for the stretch run. There is no doubting how much of an impact player Holmstrom is, especially when the Red Wings are healthy.
When Holmstrom left the line-up, Peter H. was in 13th spot, only 3 points back of 12th and going into Saturday night's action, Peter is up to 11th, 3 points back of the top 10. Obviously, Holmstrom wasn't missed too much over the past month, granted, there have been plenty of injuries to the teams surrounding Peter as well.
The Blues also welcomed back a familiar face to their blueline this week, as Carlo Colaiacovo returned on Friday night to help guide the Blues to an single point in a shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild. Colaiacovo also missed about a month with an eye injury, has not had the best of luck this season and wasn't rushed into full-time action with the Blues, only playing about 17 minutes on the ice through four periods.
As you could see, Benson was really struggling with his dynamic defenders, but with all of them healthy again, he can go back to opening up a big lead in defenseman scoring in the pool. Going into Saturday night, Benson has a 4-point lead over Allan S. in the column, which I believe was up past 20 points about a month ago. Benson could start to make a run again with his big d-men healthy again.
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