Saturday, February 28, 2015

Zetterberg Still Suffering from Suspicious Head injury

Although it hasn't been confirmed as such, it sure has all the signs pointing at a concussion for Detroit Red Wings captain, Henrik Zetterberg. On Saturday, the 34-year old forward was placed on the Injured Reserve with his head injury, likely retroactively to the 21st or so.  If it is the 21st, that would mean that he would be eligible to play next week, if he was cleared by the doctors to do so.

Zetterberg was quoted this week as saying that he was still experiencing symptoms from his injury, a term generally reserved for concussions.  As much as the team won't confirm, he has been tagged on my list as having one and that would normally adjust my thinking of him at the hockey pool draft.

In 57 games this season, Zetterberg has 15 goals and 49 points this season, good enough for 50th overall in pool scoring on Saturday.

Dale B. took the veteran Swede in the 3rd round this year, 58th overall, so he was getting good bang for his buck, in terms of his draft selection and production.  Dale's team has took a bit of a downturn of late, however, dropping down to 10th place this week and he's losing ground on some of his fellow teams in the top 10.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 27)

The Boston Bruins are waiting to hear if their number one goalie will be able to go tonight, as Tuukka Rask is feeling under the weather and is now questionable for the game against the Devils.  The Bruins have called up Jeremy Smith from Providence of the AHL, but the team has also not commented on whether or not Niklas Svedberg would be the guy to start, if Rask can't go.  The Bruins are fading away from the playoff picture and that process could be expedited without their best keeper tending their net.

This sounds more likely to be a missed start for Dale B. tonight, something he could use, if his team is to close up the 35-point gap to the money.  The clock is ticking on that gap, before it gets too vast and there is no chance at a piece of the cake at the end.

There are only six games going on Friday night, which means a total of 12 goalies with starts and it looks like there will only be three goalies that won't register anything for the pool tonight.

If Rask doesn't go in Boston, either goalie that takes his place will be one, while Anton Khudobin gets the call for the Hurricanes against the Capitals and John Gibson goes for the Ducks against the Kings.  Both Khudobin and Gibson were drops this season and they're now seeing more time in net, but for different reasons, of course.

Benson has his goalies going head-to-head once again this season, the pitfall of picking two goalies from the same division, as Semyon Varlamov and the Avalanche visit Kari Lehtonen and the Stars tonight.

Leo, the leading contender for this week's Mover & Shaker, has the Flames playing tonight, which means he has a goalie playing and Calgary will send Karri Ramo out to face the Islanders tonight.  A win could bring Leo back into a race to move up a few spots in the standings, possibly finish with a little more dignity than 20th place.

Martin Jones will reportedly make his first start since January 14th tonight, as he gets the Ducks in Anaheim tonight.  He's the only notable non-starter going tonight, beyond all that has already been mentioned.  Good news for Wyllie, I guess... assuming he wins.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Girgensons to the IR

On Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres put forward Zemgus Girgensons on the Injured Reserve, as they expect the Latvian All-Star to miss a few weeks worth of action, due to an injury he suffered earlier in the week against the Blue Jackets.

It sounds like a lower-body injury, somewhere in the foot/ankle area, where he ended up blocking a shot from Columbus' James Wisniewski.  The team isn't saying anything about broken bones or bone bruises or anything of that nature, but a few weeks could lead anyone to suspect that something is possibly broken.

The 21-year old has had a pretty good year, despite being on a disappointing Buffalo team, scoring 15 goals and 30 points in 61 games, which has him ranked 188th overall in pool scoring, after Thursday night's action.  He certainly didn't blow the doors off this season, but thanks to his countrymen back in Europe, the voting for him did blow everyone away, as he was named a starter to the All-Star Game in Columbus this year.

ImplicationsA few weeks without Girgensons may be enough to sink Scott's hopes of making his way into the money before the end of the season, although the difference from having him in the lineup, opposed to not, may only be about 5 points.

Scott's team sits in 7th place after Thursday night, now 31 points out of 3rd place and after this weekend, we're only six weeks from the end of the year.  Scott's team is still in the mix for the third segment trophy, currently in 5th place in that race, now 17 points back of top spot, but he would probably need a full compliment of players to take that one as well.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 27)

The Columbus Blue Jackets were without their new standout defenseman on Thursday night against the Canadiens, as Kevin Connauton was held out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. There was no indication about how severe the injury is, but he is listed as out day-to-day right now, while we await word on what the injury is.

Grant K.'s defense let him down this year, as his team blueline ranks 22nd in scoring this season, picking up only 57 points, 40 points back of the pool average and nearly 100 points back of the pool leaders in the category.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jagr Preps for Shuffleboard in Florida

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Florida POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Jaromir Jagr F 57 11 18 29 $3.5 mil UFA
To New Jersey POS GP G A P 2015 2016
2015 2nd Round Draft Pick
2016 Conditional 3rd Round Draft Pick

On Thursday afternoon, another key domino on the trade market fell, as the New Jersey Devils sent veteran forward Jaromir Jagr to the Florida Panthers, in exchange for a pair of draft picks.

Jagr, 43, has been having an okay season with the Devils and an okay season is only really measuring that against some of his previous work, not really taking age into consideration.

There have been many rumours rampant on his possible availability in the trade market, suggesting that he would be open to a move, but there is plenty of surprise from this seat, when the Panthers, who may not exactly be contenders, won the sweepstakes for his services.

Nevertheless, Jagr will provide help on a number of levels in the Florida dressing room, as he brings experience, leadership and still enough hockey sense & skill to help the run to get into the playoffs.
In the pool, Cam has certainly benefitted from Jagr's good play this year, as it has helped him reach 5th place in the standings, going into Thursday night.

Florida has only been marginally better than New Jersey in the pool points department, but it is a step up, which should include a good deal of ice-time for Jagr, so this could definitely help Cam down the road.  His team is 19 points out of the money and he could use all the help he can get.

Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 26)

There is a tiny bit of concern for Calgary Flames defender Marc Giordano, who left last night's game against the New Jersey Devils after being tripped, late in the 3rd period of the game. The initial reports are positive for the team's captain, as he was seen walking around without much problem after the game, so it may have just been a precautionary measure, given that the team was winning at the time of the injury.  There shouldn't be any reason to panic yet for the Flames, but Giordano will be evaluated on Thursday, just to be sure.

This season, Giordano belongs to Mike in the pool, but he isn't going to have much bearing on the end result in the standings, but he does have a shot at the third segment standings, which would earn him a shitty trophy at the end of the year.  Mike currently sits 2nd in that race, 14 points back of Brian, who has gotten off to a rocking start to the final segment of the year.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Canucks Lose Miller to Knee Sprain

When we left Ryan Miller and the Vancouver Canucks, he was on his way back home, while the team continued on their East Coast road trip, for tests on his knee, which he injured on Sunday on Long Island, when teammate Jannik Hansen crashed into him on a defensive play.

As you can likely surmise from the big blog post that he's getting and/or the blog post title, the news wasn't good for the number one goalie for the Canucks, as they race down the stretch to the playoffs.  An MRI this week showed that Miller has a sprained knee and the initial timetable for his return is 4-to-6 weeks, which is now the better portion of the remainder of the regular season.

Of course, there is a chance that he returns for some action, before the playoffs, assuming they are able to stay afloat without him, as they are only 4 points up on the Minnesota Wild, who are the first team in line, if anyone was to falter.

Miller has made 44 appearances in the Vancouver net this season, winning 28 games, with 6 shutouts for a grand total of 68 points, to date.  As of Thursday morning, his point total was good enough for 6th overall in pool scoring, but that will soon fall drastically, as players below him continue to put up points.

This certainly makes the ground underneath Grant S.'s team awfully shaky, being without his best player for the better part of the remaining schedule.  His team has been able to claw back some points, thanks to some pretty good depth on his side, but he is already without forward Clarke MacArthur as well, so there isn't anything safe about his position.  His team currently sits 27 points up on 3rd place, but with six weeks and a bit to go, it doesn't take much to chip away at that lead, unless his team can somehow hang on.

How long until Grant starts to white-knuckle to the finish?

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Jets Make Room, Wheeler to the IR

When the trade for Jiri Tlusty came down, the Winnipeg Jets had to make some roster room right away and the injury to forward Blake Wheeler was the easiest move to make, as the lower-body injury was likely going to keep him out for the remainder of the necessary week off, from when he started sitting on the shelf.

The move was likely retroactive to the 23rd of February, which means that Wheeler would be eligible to come off for Monday, missing two more games: Thursday, home to St. Louis, and Sunday, home to Los Angeles.

The Jets can't be without Wheeler for too long, as they are currently sitting in the first wild card spot in the Western Conference and as much as they are making moves to help out their injury situation, they'll need their best players to come back soon.

In the 2015 season to date, Wheeler has 16 goals and 44 points in 61 games with the Jets and currently ranks 66th overall in pool scoring.

You have to give some credit to Wilton, who picked him up with the 72nd pick in the draft, in the 4th round, as he is getting full value of the selection, compared to where he had selected him.

Unfortunately for Wilton, his season hasn't translated like the pick of Wheeler has for him, as his team sits in 17th place in the standings and his team is 30 points back of the top 10.  His team still belongs in the 3 goals per week streak club, but only barely.  Wilton loses a decent goal scorer in Wheeler with this injury and his team has struggled to reach 3 goals for the last couple of weeks.  Does his team fall out this week, due to injury?

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Kane Considered Long-Term

The verdict came in during the evening on Wednesday, as the Chicago Blackhawks announced that their brightest star, Patrick Kane, underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured clavicle (collarbone) and a fairly long-term prognosis was given for a timetable, in the realm of 10-to-12 weeks.  The Blackhawks obviously knew the worst earlier on in the day, as they had already placed the dynamic forward on the Long Term Injury Reserve, which meant that they could get cap relief from this injury right away.

With only a little over six weeks left in the regular season, this means that his time is done here and it will now depend on how far the Blackhawks go in the playoffs, as to whether or not he will be able to play during the Spring Dance.

There is definitely so substituting the offense that Kane provides the Blackhawks, as he has played in 61 games this year, scoring 27 goals and picking up 64 points in total.  That's good enough for 8th overall in pool scoring after Tuesday night's action.  He has done more than enough to be considered a 1st round pick in any pool.

This season, he was the 1st round pick, 13th overall, in this pool, taken by Stacey C., but unfortunately for Stacey, the rest of his team didn't carry the necessary load to help Kane and earn some money by the end of the year.  This injury won't ruin Stacey's season, but it will put a rotten cherry on top of a pretty ugly year.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kings Acquire Sekera

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Los Angeles POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Andrej Sekera D 57 2 17 19 $2.75 mil UFA
To Carolina POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Roland McKeown D 0 0 0 0 Unsigned 
Conditional 1st Round Draft Pick

In the third major trade of the day, the Carolina Hurricanes continued to sell off the available assets, as they sent defenseman Andrej Sekera to the Los Angeles Kings and in return, they receive unsigned 1st round pick from last Summer, defenseman Roland McKeown and then another 1st round draft pick, either in 2015 or 2016, depending on if the Kings make the playoffs this year or not.

In Sekera, the Kings should be able to replace what was lost in the suspension of Slava Voynov earlier in the year, as they don't expect him back from his legal troubles at all this year.  Sekera hasn't exactly exploded for the same kind of offense that he produced the year before, but the Kings obviously see enough in him to make that push of two key assets to get him.

This works out to be another deal in the pool that has very little effect on the end result, except maybe, it helps Wyllie try to get out of the basement in the standings and away from the Olli bobblehead.

Tlusty Now A Jet

What do you mean they have a deadline for all these trades?  It doesn't seem to matter, as teams are getting the job done earlier and earlier each year.  Desperation is really getting the best of some of these teams.

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Winnipeg POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Jiri Tlusty F 52 13 10 23 $2.95 mil UFA
To Carolina POS GP G A P 2015 2016
2015 Conditional 6th Round Draft Pick
2016 Conditional 3rd Round Draft Pick

Wednesday afternoon's second deal of the day, the first not being pool worthy at all, the Winnipeg Jets made a move to add some secondary scoring to their lineup, acquiring Jiri Tlusty from the Carolina Hurricanes for a couple of mid-round draft picks.

The future UFA in the Summer has already scored 13 goals this season and should be a nice compliment to the skating ways of the Jets this year.

In the pool, Kristy & Don see one of their players get moved into a better situation, not that they actually need any more help.  Their lead is now 70 points with less than seven weeks to go, so there is little chance that they will be caught by anyone at this point.

For a bit more scoring help, the Jets certainly didn't mortgage their future at all, sending some mildly inconsequential picks out the door for a player that doesn't have a large price tag and has some potential to stick around through the Summer.

Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 25)

A couple of undisclosed injuries marred an otherwise good night for the Buffalo Sabres, as they beat the Blue Jackets, 4-2, but lost the services of forwards Zemgus Girgensons and Tyler Ennis.  The only reports that I have seen this morning were those of last night, how both players were not expected to return and then a bit later, how one could be a bit longer than the other, Ennis likely being out a few days.  It's very vague in details, but we'll see what we can work with in the next day or two.

Girgensons belongs to Scott, who currently sits in the driver's seat for the Mover & Shaker after a couple nights this week, but is still 29 points out of the money.  Ennis, on the other hand, belongs to Brenda & Seward, who have fallen off the pace, back down to 15th place, 9 points out of the top 10.

Flames forward Mason Raymond flew back to Calgary from New York, as his wife was about to give birth on Tuesday, which forced him to miss the team's 1-0 loss to the Rangers.  The team is already without forward Matt Stajan for the same reason, but Stajan was placed on the special non-roster designation, as his time away from the team is expected to be a bit longer.

This is a double blow to Leo, who has been rocking the Flames and former Flames roster this season in the draft.  I think he can fairly say, 'at least I'm not in last.'  And that's despite some really odd picks this year.

The hockey world is collectively holding its breath, awaiting the word on Patrick Kane's upper-body injury and the timetable that the Blackhawks expect him to be out of action. Kane took a low cross check from Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic and it caused him to lose his balance and fall awkwardly into the boards. Kane came up favouring his shoulder, but the team was not in any position to offer any concrete details. The sense is, Kane will be out for a while, but how long exactly, will likely determine what the Blackhawks do leading up to the deadline.

Stacey C. still sees his name in the third segment standings on the main page, ranking 5th for the last segment's worth of scoring, and his team is still streaking in the 3 goals per week, just short of moving on to the next week and I think that's all his team has left to play for, down in 14th spot.  His team is only 10 points out of the top 10, but the loss of Kane would hurt those hopes dearly.

By my count, Zach Redmond registered his 23rd scratch of the regular season on Tuesday night, this after a long stretch of active play with the Colorado Avalanche in the last few weeks.  Redmond has played in 38 games, scoring 4 goals and 13 points this season, which ranks him 436th overall in pool scoring this season.

So, needless to say, it was a seemingly strange situation when Grant S. decided to pick him up in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, given his games played.  However, in six games played, Redmond has picked up 2 points for him, so it isn't all bad.

With Devan Dubnyk getting the starts in the Minnesota net, the Wild have been swapping who his back-up has been through a number of games, giving Niklas Backstrom some time on the bench and pool keeper Darcy Kuemper some time on the bench.  Last night, it was Backstrom's turn and Kuemper was the healthy scratch.  The Wild may run with three goalies all the way down the stretch, as they won't want to lose any of them through waivers, which all three would require for a trip down to the minors.  It seems unlikely that one of these keepers would be traded, since injuries have been in abundance in the Minnesota crease, so we may see a lot of this going forward.

Kuemper belongs to Stacey M. this season and without regular starts, her team's chances of improving on its 11th place standing seems somewhat unlikely or at the very least, it won't climb very much higher, if it does at all.

The New York Rangers were without another one of their biggest stars on Tuesday night with the Flames in town, as Rick Nash took a seat, dealing with some neck spasms.  Of course, the team is being rather guarded on the injury, not giving much for details, but they are saying that he is day-to-day and the 2nd-best goal scorer this season shouldn't be out for too long.  The Rangers host the Coyotes on Thursday and we'll likely know more, closer to game time.

Grant K. somehow managed to snag two of the top three goal scorers this season, but his team couldn't rally around them to give him a huge season.  Unfortunately, Grant sits in 18th place and his only real watching point is the 3 goals per week streak that he is on as well.  Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board for next year.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to ride Ben Bishop for the better part of the remainder of the season and rightfully so, as they are 2nd in the Atlantic Division and looking to stay there, in hopes of a good playoff spot.  With that being said, they want to make sure back-up goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stays hot, so they have assigned him down to the AHL for some game action and by all accounts out there, he shouldn't be down too long, especially since the team isn't really deep in net beyond him.

It may look bad on the surface for Ryan, who is off to a poor start to Week Twenty-One and dropping back into the Olli bobblehead conversation.  It doesn't sound like he'll get much action out of his number one goalie, by virtue of injury, so it could be a rough finish for him.  I think he's stopped watching the standings anyways.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 24)

There were rumblings of it on Monday, but on Tuesday, it was confirmed. Winnipeg forward Blake Wheeler has been ruled out of Tuesday night's home game against the Stars. Wheeler was not skating on Monday, due to the injury, and all the fears were confirmed early on this morning and it sounds like Eric O'Dell will possibly draw in for him.  Wheeler will be on the list as out day-to-day for the time being.

Sounds like it is a game missed for Wilton in the pool tonight.  His team currently sits in 17th place, but is already being chased down by Grant K. after Monday night and both teams have the same amount of projected games, before Wheeler misses tonight.  Wilton's only remaining honour of note this season is that his team is still in the 3 goals per week streak contest and he has barely scraped by in the last few weeks.  If Wheeler is out for the week, that will drastically hurt his chances of continuing there.

The Oilers appear to be without forward Nail Yakupov tonight, as the Oilers visit the Wild, as the enigmatic Russian winger has reportedly tweaked his groin and has been deemed unable to go.  Yakupov reportedly suffered the injury on Saturday night against the Ducks, skated for a bit on Monday, before leaving early and didn't go at all in the morning skate today.  After the skate, the coaching staff confirmed his absence for the game tonight and his 21 points in 61 games comes out of the lineup for a night.

Third segment contender, Mike, has Yakupov this season and could really use the young Russian going, as his last hurrah this season is the third segment and his team is now 4th in that race, now 18 points back.

11 games on the NHL schedule on Tuesday night and we'll go over some of the key aspects of the night here for our goalies.

First, we have to start with the goalie survivor pool.  Neither team had anyone going last night, so we look to the busy night for any sort of action.  Looks like Pekka Rinne will get a start for Kristy & Don, as the Predators host Semyon Varlamov and the Avalanche.  Brenda & Seward have a goalie going as well, as Ben Scrivens and the Oilers will take on a familiar face in Devan Dubnyk and the Wild.  As mentioned in the Newsletter, this is the first of only two chances for Scrivens this week and it won't be easy.  Each team's second goalie is recovering from injury.

Notable starts, already confirmed for Tuesday night: It will be Chad Johnson in net for the Islanders for their game against Arizona, Karri Ramo gets the nod for the Flames in the Big Apple, Michal Neuvirth appears to be the number one for the Sabres against Columbus, Jake Allen is tabbed for the Blues against Montreal and Michael Hutchinson will go for the Jets against the Stars and their number two, Jhonas Enroth.

Non-pool goalies already confirmed for tonight include: Eddie Lack goes for Vancouver in Boston, Rob Zepp gets the start for the Flyers in Carolina, Anton Forsberg and the Blue Jackets host Buffalo, Scott Darling and the Blackhawks welcome the Panthers and Jonas Gustavsson gets the second of back-to-back games for the Red Wings in Los Angeles.

Otherwise, most other number one goalies are expected to get the start for their respective teams tonight.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.