Friday, November 30, 2018

Goalie Announcements (Nov 30)

It's Friday!  Only five games on the schedule tonight, no games for the survival pool, but the weekend should still be interesting for Stacey M.'s team, which is still in need of their win for this week.

No, tonight we'll focus on the Mover & Shaker and Basement Dweller again, as those races have been deemed important, by the author of this blog.

Up top, Stuart surpassed Ryan's team for the lead in the Mover & Shaker, which the lead total now stands at 22 points.  Ryan is only 2 points back and Stacey M., still in need of a win, is only 4 points back.

Brenda & Seward pulled away a little bit from John P., tying Chelsea with 7 points this week, leaving John alone at 3 points, at the start of play tonight.  John didn't have any luck with his goalies yesterday and won't have any help there today.

Linus Ullmark (Steve) versus James Reimer (Dale C.)
The Buffalo Sabres had their winning streak snapped last night, but they get right back at it with the first of two starts for Steve tonight.  He sees Linus Ullmark go for the visitors tonight, while the home side will go back to the well with James Reimer, looking to bounce back from a loss on Wednesday to the Ducks.  Both Steve and Dale are tied at 15 points this week, well short of the Mover & Shaker, but a win tonight draws them ever closer.

Keith Kinkaid (Neil) versus Braden Holtby (Stacey C.)
The Capitals will be donning their throwback alternate jerseys tonight for their game against the Devils and Stacey C. will look to his Washington goalie to help him get closer to the Mover & Shaker, sitting 7 points back of top spot, while Neil's team hasn't fared quite as well, but he gets his New Jersey keeper tonight, trying to keep his team clear of the Basement Dweller, starting 6 points clear.

John Gibson (Kristy & Don) versus Curtis McElhinney (Picked)
Wilton will get his first look at his newly-acquired goalie for the Hurricanes tonight, but still, his points, if he earns any, won't count tonight, since he won't be active until Monday.  Still, he can show his new pool team that he chose well in this case.  On the other side, it will be the Anaheim Ducks tonight and they will start their number one, John Gibson.  The duo are in the mix at the top of the weekly standings, up with 16 points, but it will be a tough test in Carolina, it's not a slam dunk 2 points anymore.

Jake Allen (Steve) versus Semyon Varlamov (Wilton)
The second of Steve's starts tonight comes in Colorado, again with the visiting goalie, as Jake Allen and the Blues are in Denver to take on Semyon Varlamov and the Avalanche.  Steve's team is tied for 17th in the pool for goalie points with 24, as we near the end of the first segment, and his counterpart in this game, Wilton, sits 2 points ahead of him in this statistic, tied for 13th with 26.  It's a shame Wilton only gets the one start to count tonight.

Cal Petersen (N/A) versus Mike Smith (Brian)
In the other late game tonight, the Calgary Flames play host to the Los Angeles Kings and we know for sure that the Flames will be sending Mike Smith to the crease, we're not 100% sure who the Kings starter will be, but we'll assume they're not going to rush Jonathan Quick back into action with back-to-back nights worth of starts.  That would be silly.  Brian should be the only pool team getting a go here, his team is at 14 points for this week and he could really use a return to form from his his Flames keeper.

Noon Player Notes (Nov 30)

The Carolina Hurricanes coaching staff announced after their morning skate that forward Micheal Ferland has suffered a concussion and is going through the league's protocol.  There was no announcement of the expected timetable for his return will be, but for now, we'll consider him day-to-day, unless he's placed on the IR.  He will certainly be considered to be out for tonight's game against the Ducks, but from there, we cannot be certain.

Disappointing news for Scott's team, as Ferland has been fairly productive for him this season, scoring 11 goals and 15 points in 24 games.  He ranks number three among his forwards and he'll hope that he isn't out too long.  If this is a long-term injury, Scott can make the move to swap him out in the bonus round.

Week Nine Waiver Draft (Nov 30)

A big thanks to everyone for yesterday's effort through the Waiver Draft, we plowed through a ton of picks, leaving us with just the leaders to tidy up with this morning and now we can shift our focus to the bonus round here right away. Remember, players that are currently injured can be swapped out for someone on the available players list at any time, first come, first serve. The deadline will be Monday's puck drop, 5pm MT, to get that done, as players will be playing right through Sunday and could be eligible to be moved right up until Week Ten officially gets started.

We left off at Benson's pick, the 6th pick of the round, where he dropped Columbus forward Riley Nash and picked up Tyler Bertuzzi of the Red Wings.  Of course, last night, Nash scored his first goal of the season and also had an assist, but it was too little, too late for his play, replaced by Bertuzzi, who has been a fairly consistent contributor this season.

Stacey C. stayed with his theme of sticking with his favourite team, the Edmonton Oilers, dropping the recently demoted Kailer Yamamoto and filling his spot with Alex Chiasson, who is 3rd on the team in goals with 11, getting some regular playing time in the top six there.

With the 33rd overall move in the Waiver Draft, Tony dropped the often scratched Andrew MacDonald in Philadelphia and picked up Erik Gustafsson in Chicago, who has been a regular in the Blackhawks lineup.

More injuries and disappointing offensive numbers forced Dale C. to drop Robby Fabbri of the Blues from his lineup, taking on Washington Capitals forward Brett Connolly for that spot.  Connolly was deemed a more consistent player on a better team, which made the move fairly academic.

Between injuries and some pretty poor results, Wilton pulled the trigger on a big goalie drop in Pittsburgh's Matt Murray and he took the Carolina goalie that has stuck around on the roster, Curtis McElhinney, to start putting some wins together.  Murray is currently out with a lower-body injury and McElhinney has been getting a good portion of the starts for the Hurricanes, so the math checks out.

Brian looked to improve his blueline with the pickup of Jamie Oleksiak of the Penguins and dropping Toronto defender Travis Dermott.  Oleksiak has put up some solid offensive numbers already this season, but he would have really been handy if we were playing in the penalty minutes game this year.

Talking about Carolina goalies, Scott Darling was put on waivers for the purpose of assignment on Thursday and we await the news of whether or not a team would claim him and his big contract or not.  Ryan wasn't going to wait around to find out, dropping him for Minnesota backup, Alex Stalock.  Ryan's team ranks 21st in goalie points and could use all the help he can get.

Neil used his 2nd round pick to dispense of underachieving defenseman Dion Phaneuf from the underachieving Los Angeles Kings and he picked up a Chicago defenseman in Gustav Forsling, increasing the number of Blackhawks defensemen taken in this draft up to two.

Jeremy didn't see any value in what was left on the board, so he took a pass on the 2nd round.

There were some high expectations for Daniel Sprong in Pittsburgh, but they never were reached in the first segment of the season, so Jesse opted to drop him and take the guy that sidled into his spot, Dominik Simon.  Simon has seen some top six play already this season and has produced, so that makes him a good candidate for a pickup.

Wes followed Jeremy's lead and also took a pass in this round.

Another player with some high expectations, only to fall short, was Colorado's Tyson Jost, only had 10 points in 21 games this season.  Steve dug pretty deep in the available player list and found a player with a much better scoring rate, 7 points in eight games, Nashville's Austin Watson, who had a late start to the season, thanks to a suspension.  A savvy move, I must say.

John P. chose to divest a little bit of his rookie stock for the big pay day on Thursday, dropping Casey Mittlestadt from the Sabres in order to pickup Phillip Danault of the Canadiens.  The Canadiens have been surprisingly good this year and Danault has certainly carried some of the load for them, with 14 points already this year.

A move that will try to help both the rookie pool and the overall pool on Clayton's team sees him upgrade a rookie forward from Boston's Ryan Donato to Ottawa's Drake Batherson.  Batherson was called up from the AHL a couple weeks ago and has been excellent for the Senators since his recall, picking up 7 points in his first eight games.

Mike's team was in need of some clutch scoring, currently ranking tied for 18th in the game-winning goals mini-game, so he took a flyer on Dallas' Devin Shore, who led all available players in the category, dropping Derek Ryan of the Flames, who was last among his forwards with only 21 shots on goal and no game-winners.

Kristy & Don are fairly comfortable with their team today, with no injuries to take care of, so they passed on the 2nd round.

A late night move saw Grant look to improve his goaltending, dropping off the oft-injured Michal Neuvirth of the Flyers and picking up Anton Khudobin of the Stars.  Grant opted to make his goaltenders less of a priority at the draft and it seems to have been working out for him, so far, so improving upon those goalies can really only help to improve his side, which is in the hunt to make some money this year.

The last move that I have on the sheet before hitting the publish button was Stacey M. also passing on her 2nd round move.  Her team was also free and clear of any major injury concerns today.

This leaves only Stuart and Troy to decide on their 2nd round moves, if any.  Then we launch right into the bonus round and the free-for-all can begin.

Byfuglien on IR With Concussion

On Thursday night, the Winnipeg Jets coaching staff confirmed that star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien did suffer a concussion in his massive open-ice collision with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak on Tuesday night and the team has placed him on the Injured Reserve with no timetable for a return.

There were plenty of indications on the play that would have led you to believe that he had suffered a concussion right away, but he was cleared by doctors to return to play in that game, finishing with a game-high in ice-time, but the symptoms clearly returned and he was held out of Thursday night's game against the Blackhawks and the announcement came after the game.

After Thursday night's games, the veteran defenseman ranks 134th overall in hockey pool scoring, 14th among all defensemen, with 2 goals and 17 points in 21 games this year for the Jets.  He has been quite the force for the Jets at both ends of the ice and a big contributor to their early season successes.

It has been a rough few weeks for Dale C.'s team, which lost its best goalie a couple weeks ago, lost its best forward earlier this week and now will be without its best defenseman for an indefinite stretch.  None of these players are deemed replaceable in the Waiver Draft, but with the right timetable, they might have to be.

Dale's team finished play on Thursday night in 17th place, 42 points out of 3rd place.

Morning Player Notes (Nov 30)

We're waiting to see some more official news on Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe, who left last night's game against Tampa Bay with an undisclosed injury. McCabe reportedly suffered the injury in the 1st period, tried out a shift in the 2nd period and left the game for the remainder afterwards. There was still no indication to what kind of injury it is, but if he was trying it out, it may not be too bad. Of course, we won't know for sure, until after the team confirms the news.

McCabe was Steve's 1st round pick in the Waiver Draft this week and would indeed be eligible to be swapped out, if Steve wishes to shore up the health of his team.  The bonus round of the Waiver Draft to make sure that teams are healthy going into Week Ten.

Also in that game between the Sabres and Lightning, Tampa defenseman Ryan McDonagh was hit from behind into the boards by Jack Eichel, forcing him from the game in the 1st period with an undisclosed injury.  There is an injury update expected some time later on Friday, likely after a night's rest and some testing by team doctors.  He's likely on the doubtful side of questionable for Saturday's game against the Panthers.

McDonagh has been quite the productive member of Grant's team this season, already having picked up 2 goals and 18 points in 26 games this year, which still only ranks 3rd on his team's blueline, the best blueline in the pool, to date.  Grant's team went back up into 4th place on Thursday night, but they could be shorthanded for a while, pending the results of the tests.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Goalie Announcements (Nov 29)

Thursday night is another good night for some points, there's eight games on the docket tonight and now that we're moving into the back half of the week, it's time to start looking at those weekly races.

Ryan's team has found its stride this week, up with 17 points through Wednesday night, moving up into the top 10 again, but is closely trailed by both Stuart and Steve, both having 15 points at the start of play today.

A pair of teams currently are holding on to the Basement Dweller nod, down with 2 points.  John P. and Brenda & Seward are losing sight of the pack this week, as the next lowest team, belonging to Chelsea, has 6 points this week.

This is what we know, now we watch to see how it all unfolds.

Robin Lehner (Chelsea) versus Tuukka Rask (Jesse)
Chelsea gets her first shot at adding some space between her team and the dwellers with a road start from Robin Lehner and the Islanders.  They're in Boston tonight to take on Jesse's goalie, Tuukka Rask and the Bruins.  Jesse's team is at 10 points this week, much closer to the Mover & Shaker, so he's hoping for a big win to move closer to the top nod.

Devan Dubnyk (Wes) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don)
Wes' team has some aspirations of the Mover & Shaker this week, 12 points so far and he gets the first of two starts in Columbus, where Devan Dubnyk and the Wild are set to take on the Blue Jackets.  The Jackets will have their ace in the crease, Sergei Bobrovsky, in net, giving the duo their shot at the Mover & Shaker, as they sit a point ahead of Wes in the weekly scoring race.

Henrik Lundqvist (Scott) versus Craig Anderson (Mike)
Both Scott and Mike are sitting at 9 points this week and both should have a start tonight in Ottawa, the New York starter has yet to be confirmed, but we'll throw the guess out there that it is Lundqvist.  Mike's team will indeed get a start out of Craig Anderson and the Sens, trying to keep pace with the money leaders, 17 points behind 3rd place.

Carter Hutton (Wes) versus Louis Domingue (Picked)
Here's the second try for Wes' team at points from the crease tonight, as his keeper will be going for the Buffalo Sabres in Tampa Bay tonight, as they look to continue a huge winning streak against the Lightning.  Wes' team leads the pool in wins this season with 21 and another couple could really go a long ways into getting into those key money spots.

Adin Hill (N/A) versus Pekka Rinne (John P.)
The Coyotes will be pressed into getting non-pool goalie Adin Hill into the net tonight in Nashville, as injury problems have really hurt the dogs in the last couple of weeks.  They did claim Calvin Pickard off of waivers today, but he won't be ready to go in time for tonight.  It kind of looks like this will be an easy 2 points for Pekka Rinne and the Predators, helping John get out of the basement, but maybe the Coyotes' rookie can surprise...

Corey Crawford (Benson) versus Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy)
Two teams yet to find double digits this week in scoring are vying for a couple of points from the crease in Winnipeg.  Benson has Crawford for the Blackhawks and his team is at 9 points this week, while Jeremy has Hellebuyck for the Jets, sitting at 7 points.  Jeremy has the advantage overall, in 13th place and Benson is 23 points behind in 21st.  Jeremy is also still in need of his survival win this week, I would say he has a pretty good shot at it tonight, wouldn't you?

Jonathan Quick (Derek B.) versus Mikko Koskinen (Picked)
It's the glorious return of Jonathan Quick to the Los Angeles net tonight, when the Kings take on the Oilers in Edmonton.  Derek hasn't seen Quick play in a number of weeks, but still is in great shape in the goalie scoring race, tied for 7th with 31 points this season.  It's a real shame that his forwards are not nearly as good or else his team would be in the thick of it.

Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy) versus Jacob Markstrom (Chelsea)
Chelsea has another chance to add 2 points to her weekly total and move closer to getting away from those dwellers, as Jacob Markstrom and the Canucks will host the Golden Knights at home.  On the down side, her goalie will face one of the pool leader's keepers, Marc-Andre Fleury, as Troy has really been reaping the benefits of a decent goaltending duo, ranking tops in the pool with 47 points from those two players this season.