Sunday, December 10, 2017
Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 10)
The Columbus Blue Jackets coaching staff has not been too happy with the recent play of forward Cam Atkinson, so they showed their displeasure with him by sending him up to the press box to be a healthy scratch against the Arizona Coyotes. In 25 games this season, Atkinson only has 6 goals and 9 points, way off of his projected pace and you can understand the coaching staff's displeasure. The Jackets were able to sneak out a win against the lowly Coyotes, 1-0, but you would have to think that Atkinson will get reinserted into the lineup soon.
Steve's team hasn't seen an immediate bounce back since the Waiver Draft, having picked up 19 points this week, through Saturday night's action, which was his average in the first nine weeks of the season. The lack of production from Atkinson and his successive scratch hasn't helped his cause.
The St. Louis Blues may have drubbed the Detroit Red Wings, 6-1, on Saturday afternoon, but it was a costly afternoon, as they had suffered a couple of key injuries, due to shot-blocking. Both forward Jaden Schwartz, who we'll touch on in another post, and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, blocked shots and had to leave the game in the 1st period. Pietrangelo was able to return and finish the game, but the Blues are going to be playing back-to-back nights and Pietrangelo is going to take this night off, according to the coaching staff.
Jeremy's 3rd place team is the one that suffered the loss of the defender and a productive one, at that. Jeremy's team sits only 2 points down on 1st place and only 1 point up on 4th, so there isn't very much wiggle room, losing out on this man-game tonight. He'll hope that it isn't any worse than that.
It's been a tough stretch of weeks for the Vancouver Canucks, as their depth is being exposed as being very thin, now losing scoring forward Sven Baertschi to an upper-body injury on Saturday night. Baertschi was hit in the face by a clearing attempt in the 2nd period against the Flames and didn't return, his status moving forward is still up in the air. The Canucks play again on Monday night in Winnipeg, so I believe we'll hear more about his situation in the next 24 hours.
This was actually the second of two injuries suffered to Wes' team on the night, Baertschi's happening in the late games on Hockey Night in Canada. The week outside of the first Waiver Draft is not when you want to have these injuries hit, but Wes already has three names on the injured list after Saturday.
The rotation of Vegas blueline continued on Saturday night, as defenseman Shea Theodore has come out yet again, a healthy scratch against the Dallas Stars, and it was an okay move, as the Golden Knights were able to pull out another win on the road on Saturday night. Theodore was thought to be a huge steal at the expansion draft, but he hasn't quite figured in as prominently as many would have thought he would. Theodore only has 1 goal and 5 points in 14 games this season, after a late start, thanks to his flexible contract through the waiver wire.
From the back end, his production hasn't been too bad, but his placement in the roster has been very questionable this season. Kristy & Don remained patient with him through the Waiver Draft, as they may not have found anyone better to replace him with. They remain in the money mix through Week Ten, sitting 6th and only 6 points behind 1st, so they can live with his current production for now.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien had an early finish to his night on Saturday, as he suffered a lower-body injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but details on the injury were not provided after the game. The Jets are turning around to play the Canucks on Monday, so we should be expecting an update fairly soon on his condition.
This was Wes' first injury on the night and its a significant one, as it takes out one of his key defensemen out of the lineup, if he indeed misses the game on Monday. Byfuglien has 15 assists in 28 games and been one of the few bright spots on Wes' 22nd place team.