We'll kick off in Arizona this morning, where the Coyotes placed their number one goalie, Mike Smith, on the Injured Reserve with his lower-body injury, just to make room for the all-healed defenseman Michael Stone, who was activated from the non-roster list and inserted back into the lineup on Friday night against the Islanders.
For Smith, his week on the IR started on the 18th, so he will be eligible to come off the list early next week, but there has been no real word on how long he is expected to be out for. Any guesses at this point would suggest longer than his IR eligibility, but we'll wait for confirmation. Bad news for Marcie, who could use a number one to keep pace at the top right now.
Stone needed a little extra time to recover from off-season knee surgery and it was his time to return on Friday, making his season debut on Long Island. Nothing came of the appearance, except for adding games to Grant's current projected game total. Grant now has 14 games to possibly be played this weekend.
Being the MVP of the AHL playoffs wasn't quite the boost that Oliver Bjorkstrand and the Columbus Blue Jackets were hoping for at the start of this season, as the Dane's NHL stretch only lasted three games, where he failed to register a point. After the game against Chicago on Friday night, the young forward was sent back down to the AHL and the Jackets called up Sonny Milano to take his spot in the lineup. Milano was one of the last cuts in Jackets' camp and he could be ready to make his mark now, so it's wait-and-see for how this plays out.
Bad news for Troy, who has had a pretty good Week Two, even without any help from Bjorkstrand, to date. Taking games away is taking that extra bit of potential away from possibly picking up more points. It isn't to say Bjorkstrand's season is done in the NHL, but there is no sense of when he'll be back either.
That wasn't all for the Blue Jackets, as in the game against Chicago, defenseman Ryan Murray left it in the 1st period with an upper-body injury and didn't return. The only word from the team, through the Twitter-vines, was that Murray won't be on the plane with the team, as it starts a road trip in Dallas tonight. Until further notice, he'll be out day-to-day.
Tony has not had a good Week Two and it appears to be getting worse, before it gets any better. Tony and Eric are in a dead heat for the Basement Dweller nod for the week, which is nowhere that any team wants to be at any point in the season. The loss of Murray means one less game and one less chance to work his way out. Tony opens Saturday with 28 points, 15 back of 1st and short on the projected games total.
The concussion-like symptoms that Patrick Sharp has, appears to be being treated properly by the Dallas Stars, not giving any questions as to his status, placing him on the Injured Reserve on Friday, retroactive to Thursday night. The protocol of the league states that a player suffering a concussion would have to take a week off from game action and that is the time required, when placed on the IR, so it works out perfectly. Sharp will likely be reevaluated before the weekend next week, just to see how far he's coming along, but for now, he's out for a while.
It isn't quite breaking news for Marcin's team, but the placement on the IR means that his projected games do come off, which lowers his total for the weekend, down to 15 games. His team still ranks 12th, sitting in the top half of the standings, only 10 points back of 1st.
Finally, it was supposed to be a grand return to the lineup for Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock, as his time to return from the AHL came early, taking the spot of Nick Leddy, who was hurt. Unfortunately for the called-up defender, his time with the big club didn't last very long, as he suffered a lower-body injury in the game and had to leave. The early reports from back east is that the injury is significant and he'll miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with his lower-body injury. Just a rough spot of luck, really.
Wes' team has a knack of finding those rough spots of luck in this pool, as the unfortunate injuries find a way into his lineup. Going into Saturday, his team ranked 24th of 25 in skater games played, with 39 games to his credit, while the leader, Derek B., has already had 54 games. It hasn't helped Derek a great deal yet, as his team is only 3 points better, but if Wes had those 15 games, he'd be further up the standings.