Friday, March 23, 2018

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 23)

The Chicago Blackhawks are officially out of the playoff mix now and an upper-body suffered by captain Jonathan Toews has now sidelined him for what is believed to be a few games.  It doesn't sound like it is anything too serious, but now that the team has been eliminated, they are not going to take any chances with one of their most prized assets down the stretch.  Toews was out for Thursday night's game against Vancouver and will miss time over the weekend as well.  He'll be reevaluated soon, I'm sure.

Neil's team is working for 16th place at the moment, but it currently sits 6 points back in 19th and now its without Toews.  It has been a rough year for Neil's regular season team, but he probably still glows from his Olympics win.

The regular season is now over for Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, as he will undergo a surgical procedure to correct an injury to his cervical spine.  Reports are saying that Green had been playing with the injury for the better part of the season and some awkward physical contact had likely made things much worse in recent weeks and this injury could have been the crux to any team acquiring Green at the deadline.

This injury just piles on to Jeremy's woes this season.  This week's current Basement Dweller, at 5 points, now is at the bottom of the pool for projected games played, thanks to all the injuries.  His team currently sits in 20th and still has the potential to drop further.

A neck and back issue has sidelined Rangers number one goalie Henrik Lundqvist and that caused him to sit out of Thursday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.  He is currently listed as out day-to-day, but the team is likely going to allow him to rest and recover down the stretch, as they are now 10 points out of a playoff spot with only eight games left to play.  Their season could be done, barring a miracle.

The 36-year old keeper has given Brian's team 25 wins, 2 shutouts and 55 points this season, not quite the year that everyone generally comes to expect from the veteran and the Rangers just haven't been able to give him the season he needed to succeed.  Brian's team is on the equator today, 6 points back of 12th and 5 points up on 14th, and now likely without Lundqvist for the better part of the stretch.

The Vegas Golden Knights are holding their number one goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, out of their lineup, as a precaution, as he suffered an upper-body injury earlier in the week, having to come out of the 1st period against the Canucks on Tuesday.  The Golden Knights are firmly entrenched in the playoff picture in the Western Conference, so they can afford to coast a little bit.  Fleury passed all the concussion protocol tests, so he's probably getting a little bit of extra rest these days.

What more needs to be said about Scott's season?  Not much.  Despite Fleury's recent run of great starts, it really didn't help the giant hole that Fleury had left behind earlier in the season, with his concussion problems.  Oh well.

Braden Holtby's game with the Washington Capitals hasn't exactly been to par in recent weeks and it may have been because he has been playing through a minor injury.  With the Capitals holding a 4-point lead in the Metropolitan Division and a capable number two in Philipp Grubauer, now is a pretty good time for the number one to get the rest he needs for a playoff run, hoping that it goes much, much longer than just the second round this year.  He's considered day-to-day, but if Grubauer can put up the results, like last night against Detroit, there will be no rush to get him back.

After blocking a shot in Tuesday night's game against the Kings, Winnipeg Jets sniper Patrik Laine received some pretty good news on Thursday morning, as the lower-body injury is believed to be a bruise in and around the foot/ankle area and there is no structural damage. He's currently day-to-day and could return in the next 4-to-14 days, as per the Winnipeg coaching staff. Laine has been dynamite this season, scoring 43 goals and 68 points in 73 games, but the injury will take him out of the Rocket Richard Trophy race, which is unfortunate.

For Grant's team, it's a pretty big blow to not have both Holtby and Laine in the active lineup, but his side is already 30 points back of 4th and 17 points back of 6th, so 7th could be as good as it gets, assuming his team can hold on.

Seth Jones of the Blue Jackets, Jonathan Bernier of the Avalanche, Ryan Dzingel of the Senators and Nikita Zaitsev and Auston Matthews of the Maple Leafs, all returned from injury on Thursday night.  Matthews carrying the most weight out of the bunch, as he belongs to Benson's 3rd place team, which might try and squeeze a few more points to both chase down 2nd place and defend his spot in the money.  The race isn't over yet, thanks to a couple more teams really getting into gear.

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