Sunday, April 08, 2018
Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Apr 8)
Yesterday's post for the Columbus Blue Jackets didn't completed, as there was one more player left off the active roster for the night, as Alexander Wennberg was also a healthy scratch for the team, not dressing for the regular season finale against Nashville. Like his other teammates, they were healthy scratches to save themselves for the playoffs, much like the rest of the players on this particular blog post. I thought I would at least have some notes for those people who are looking for them, ahead of the playoff pool.
Before tomorrow morning's audit and with only one more game on the NHL schedule today, it looks like Brenda & Seward will finish the year in 7th, a solid top 10 spot after starting the year so poorly.
You can add Zach Parise's name to the list of players that were held out for resting purposes. The Wild didn't want anything to happen to Parise, as his season was severely cut short by injury already, having only played 42 games, scoring 15 goals and 24 points in that time. I'm sure his name will feature quite a bit in the off-season posts, but the Wild are into the playoffs and he will feature in that pool as well, if you want.
Parise was one of Brian's mid-season Waiver Draft gambles that didn't quite pay off for him this year. His team was hit by injuries all year and there wasn't a lot he could do to combat it. With no games left to play on Sunday, his team could drop to 17th, when it is all said and done.
The Nashville Predators could have rested a few more players, if they wanted to on Saturday. They had already clinched the President's Trophy, so no one was going to blame them if they did. In the end, only Viktor Arvidsson was given the night off as a healthy scratch and he was the only significant player held out. Arvidsson finished the year playing in 78 games, scoring 29 goals and 61 points.
Kristy & Don still have one skater game to play tonight and they will open action tonight 1 point behind Grant's team in 8th, which is all done for the season, but the duo will need 2 points to pass Grant, because they don't have the tie-breaker.
The New Jersey Devils have pretty well announced that Keith Kinkaid is their man heading into the playoffs, so they gave him the night off on Saturday night, giving Cory Schneider the last start of the regular season, playing against the Washington Capitals. Kinkaid was a healthy scratch to save himself for Game 1 of the playoffs, while Schneider took the loss, 5-3. Kinkaid registered 26 wins and 56 points in 41 appearances this season, which was a pretty good year, considering the late move to the number one job.
And you can certainly argue that the selection of Kinkaid was one of the things that really lifted Stuart to the hockey pool title. Stuart certainly didn't need the start last night, as his lead was insurmountable after Week Twenty-Three.
The Tampa Bay Lightning got their rest in for goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, but it may have cost them the Atlantic Division title, since they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, albeit in overtime, it still left the door open for the Bruins to take their spot on Sunday. More on that in another post today. Vasilevskiy was in the running for pool MVP this year and Sergachev was a dominant rookie scorer from the back end, so these are two very important pieces held out by the Lightning yesterday, but the playoff result is far more important.
Wilton and Brian were the two teams that missed out on games from the Lightning. Wilton just missed out on a top 10 spot, 5 points out and no games to play today, while we've already touched on Brian's team earlier in this post.
Finally, on the healthy scratch front, T.J. Oshie was held out of the last game of the year against the Devils and I'm sure, if they needed him to play he could have. Oshie has been dealing with all kinds of injury problems this season, so a maintenance day off ahead of the playoffs was likely a wise decision.
Unfortunately for Steve's team, it looks like his team will be the Basement Dweller, both in the final week of the season and the overall race. I don't think Oshie was going to help his cause that much, but it doesn't make the finish any less disappointing.
Damon Severson and Jesper Bratt both dressed for the Devils in the finale and they both feature on the playoff pool sheet, although they haven't been great lately, so they could be smaller landmines to avoid this year. Mats Zuccarello came back from a small foot injury to finish the season on the ice, however no playoffs for him and the Rangers. Jake Allen came back from a healthy scratch for the last start, as they tried, but failed, to make the playoffs on Saturday. With the scratch of Vasilevskiy in Tampa, Peter Budaj rode the pine for the Lightning last night. The Vegas Golden Knights were happy to get one more regular season game in for both Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault, while rotating Brad Hunt back into their lineup. They appear to be going into the playoffs relatively healthy.