Sunday, November 24, 2013

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 24)

Given the circumstances at the Waiver Draft, usually injuries as severe as these would get their own post, but Luca Sbisa and Viktor Fasth have such limited time in the hockey pool, that they'll just get added to the notes.

On Friday night, the young defenseman suffered a hand injury and was forced from the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Further diagnosis showed that he actually had some tendons severe and he will have to undergo surgery, to which his recovery will be in the 6-to-8 weeks range.  Rough news for the kid, who had a late start to the season.  He finishes Week Eight with 1 assist in nine games.

On the other hand, Viktor Fasth was added to the Injured Reserve due to some muscle inflammation in his lower-body.  The Ducks are now expecting to be without Fasth for the next 3-to-4 weeks, which will compound on a very injury-plagued season already.  Fasth is the third-ranked goalie in the Ducks organization, playing only in 304 minutes worth of action and picking up only 2 wins for 4 points.

Ryan V. dropped Sbisa in the second round of the Waiver Draft to pick up Derek Morris of the Coyotes.  This appears to be an immediate upgrade, as Ryan scooped the blog and found that Morris was coming back early enough to make him into a great pick.  Derek Wyllie may not have known that Fasth was able to return to the line-up this week, when he dropped him in the Waiver Draft, but he caught a break with him on Friday, when he was sent to the IR because of injury.  Wyllie picked up Hurricanes back-up Justin Peters for Fasth in the second round.

We're not quite done with the Ducks either. Since they played on back-to-back nights, I am obligated to throw out the healthy scratch post for retiring forward Teemu Selanne.  I believe this is the third time I've had to make this post this season, which isn't too bad, but it really hasn't helped his game any.  Selanne only has 3 goals and 4 assists in 20 games this season, which is a sign that everything is slowing down.

Chris M. could really use Selanne back closer to his regular form this year, as he now sits 5 points out of the prizing, heading into Sunday's action.

A family matter or a personal issue kept Marian Hossa out of Saturday night's game between the Blackhawks and the Canucks.  Hossa had to fly back to Chicago to resolve this matter, but there has been no indication as to whether or not he will be able to make it back out to Western Canada in time for their next game, Monday night in Edmonton.  Hossa is considered day-to-day with his personal issues.

This is not the kind of thing you can count on when you have a hockey pool team.  Ryan M. would definitely prefer to have one of his more offensive players on the ice, especially when he sits 20th in the hockey pool standings.

The injury bug is biting the Detroit Red Wings hard and on Saturday, it took some really big chunks out of the team's offense. Before Saturday afternoon's game in Ottawa, the team announced that Todd Bertuzzi was going to be a late scratch with an upper-body injury. Bertuzzi is currently listed as out day-to-day with the injury and he is questionable/doubtful for Sunday's tilt against the Sabres.  On the plus side, when Bertuzzi came out, Stephen Weiss was able to come back in, returning from a groin injury.

There was a second injury to report on, as Pavel Datsyuk did not make the trip from Detroit to Buffalo for Sunday afternoon's game against the Sabres.  Datsyuk took a shot to the head from Ottawa's Jared Cowen and the team is now taking every concussion precaution, even if their star two-way centre doesn't have one.  For right now, Datsyuk will be listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Bertuzzi injury was not one that Leo M. wanted to see, because he dropped one injured player to pick up the power forward in the second round of the Waiver Draft.  Stuart was kind of happy to see Stephen Weiss return to the line-up, where he'll likely play on Sunday as well.  This makes for two extra games he likely didn't expect to get before he dropped him in the Waiver Draft.  Datsyuk, on the other hand, belongs to Ryan V., who obviously had no intention of dropping him this week, and is hoping that this injury didn't come too late to do anything about.

The Minnesota Wild were somewhat busy on Saturday around their afternoon game in Winnipeg against the Jets, as they were able to activate goaltender Niklas Backstrom from his concussion, which he suffered against the Maple Leafs a couple of weeks ago.  This was a little bit of a surprise, as there wasn't much word about the injured goalie being ready, but he was.  The Wild then filed the papers that had back-up goalie Darcy Kuemper sent back to the minors.

Josh Harding was scheduled to have the start for the Wild against the Jets on Saturday afternoon, but in the pregame warm-up, he suffered a lower-body injury, which sent his team scrambling.  Harding was unable to go, so Backstrom, in his return, got the start on Saturday afternoon and registered a win in the shootout.  The Wild also had to quickly call Kuemper back to back him up, which they were able to do and now they will await word on how serious the injury is to Harding. One more small note from the Minnesota Wild... forward Mikael Granlund was suffering from an upper-body injury.  He is hoping to return to practice on Sunday, so he isn't expected to be out for too long.  The young Finn has 2 goals and 10 assists in 23 games this year.

What does this all mean in the hockey pool?  Well, the Harding injury is a kick in the pants to Doug K., who picked him 1st overall in the Waiver Draft this week.  He is really hoping that the injury is minor and they held him off the ice for precautionary reasons.  Scott G. got a surprise start and win from Backstrom, but his value drops after this week, as Scott dropped him for Karri Ramo of the Flames this week.  Scott's team was also affected by the Granlund scratch, but has benefited from his assist tally this season.  If Granlund can get going with the goal-scoring, he'll be in great shape.

Hopes were all kinds of high for young Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett, as he showed off some of his upside at the end of last season and when most of the big stars were going to start the 2014 season as healthy bodies and Bennett was penciled in to the top six, he looked like a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, this is not how it played out, as he only has 1 goal and 2 assists in 12 games played and now he'll hit the shelf to an undisclosed long-term injury.  Bennett did not play yesterday for the Penguins in Montreal, rather got checked out by Penguins doctors in Pittsburgh and they don't expect him back any time soon.

Scott G. was pretty pumped about the potential of Bennett, but this week had to drop Bennett in the Waiver Draft and pick up Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg.  The pick-up will definitely soften the blow going into Week Nine.

Another player with high preseason expectations, Martin Erat, found himself as a healthy scratch on Saturday night. The Washington Capitals were in Toronto for the first half of Hockey Night In Canada and they decided not to dress Erat for the first time this season, giving a sign that 6 assists in 23 games is not enough.

Erat was also dropped this week in the Waiver Draft, as John S. opted for Mike Santorelli of the Canucks instead of Erat.  John did miss this game in the calculations, but gets an upgrade for the rest of the season, as the projections go.

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