Sunday, November 30, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 30)

Drew Stafford of the Sabres left Friday night's game against the Canadiens with an undisclosed injury, an injury that was severe enough to miss the second half of the home and home series on Saturday night.  The team doesn't believe that the injury is all that significant and that he should be able to return in Week Nine.

If Benson didn't have any bad luck, he probably wouldn't have any luck at all.  However, his team could just be ensuring that he ends up with the 1st pick in the Waiver Draft.

I can't say that I'm shocked to see Marian Gaborik of the Kings back on the shelf, as he is one of the more prominent players on the Injury Prone list, which I publish on an annual basis.  Gaborik is reportedly back on with an upper-body injury, unsure if it is related to the problems he was having earlier in the season.  He's currently listed as out day-to-day right now.

Gaborik has only played in 15 games for the Stacey M. this season, picking up 8 points, so the return on investment (5th round pick), hasn't been very good at all.

This was missed the first time around in my first weekly post of the year, but defenseman Tom Gilbert has been a healthy scratch twice now in the week, which now gets added to the list, as the free agent signing for the Canadiens has been identified as a bit of a weak link of late for the team.  Although, since the team lost both games against the Sabres over the weekend, that theory may need to be revisited.

Gilbert was a sneaky pick from Tony, but the gamble really hasn't paid off, since he has only picked up 3 points in 23 games from the veteran blueliner.  A possible drop target, indeed.

The New Jersey Devils were without a couple of key pieces on Saturday night against the Islanders, as Adam Henrique was out with an upper-body injury and Travis Zajac was out with a lower-body injury.  It doesn't sound like either injury is too serious and both players are listed as out day-to-day, but they both play a big role on the team, which hasn't seen much success of late.

A pair of injuries from the same table at the draft, as Wes and Allan each took a bit of a hit with this news byte.  Wes, leading the way for the Basement Dweller on Sunday, while Allan isn't ahead by much.  Both pool teams looking to make a splash this week.

A couple of notes from the Rangers organization on Sunday afternoon, as they were without a couple of key players on Saturday against the Flyers, as Chris Kreider was away from the team, due to a death in his family, while Dan Boyle was out of the line-up, due to illness.  There are some reports suggesting that Boyle may have caught a bout of the mumps, which has been circulating around the NHL, but that hasn't been confirmed by the team.

It sounds like Kreider's absence will only be for one game, which is good news for Dale B., but if Boyle is out for a few games, like a few players out West, that could mean a small drop off for Grant K. in the coming week.

I think we're still waiting to hear what the time table is going to be like for Bobby Ryan and his fractured finger, but Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning was the first game that he missed with the injury.  Ryan hasn't exactly been burning up the scoresheets this season and this injury is going to hurt any momentum he tried to find.

Ryan has a lot to consider this week, given that his team has seen so much bad luck this year. The Ottawa forward is likely safe to stay after the Week Nine draft, since Ryan has a couple of active donuts on his side.

When I first saw Andrew MacDonald's name on the list of scratches for the Flyers, before the game against the Rangers, I thought for sure it was another injury.  It was not.  With only 3 points in 12 games, thanks mainly to injury, MacDonald was a healthy scratch for his club, which acquired him at the trade deadline last year.

It's hard to say what Dale B. has in mind for his moves at the Waiver Draft, but MacDonald might be in consideration, given the new information about his being scratched this weekend.

A lower-body injury was to blame for the absence of Pittsburgh defenseman Kristopher Letang.  The Penguins said on Sunday morning that the injury is believed to be minor, but team doctors were not prepared to give Letang the green light to play against the Hurricanes.  He will be listed as out day-to-day for the time being and I would imagine that he would be back next week.

At the time of the post, Kristy & Don had retaken the lead in the pool, but moving forward may be a concern without one of their most potent scoring blueliners.  Definitely something to watch.

Lots of concern for St. Louis forward T.J. Oshie, who left last night's game against the Wild after taking a hit to the head from Minnesota defenseman Marco Scandella. Oshie has already been through a concussion once this season and another shot to the head will make the Blues very cautious moving forward with one of their scoring forwards.

We are waiting to hear more about the injury, but this could mean that he will be a candidate for dropping for Benson, who is likely to have the 1st overall pick when the Waiver Draft starts, possibly on Sunday night.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 29)

A week in Toronto for work and doing the apres-training beers every night, it didn't exactly allow me to update the standings, let alone write any posts in the blog.  It doesn't look like it was the busiest of weeks after doing up all the numbers and such, but I'll catch it all up in one big post here on Saturday morning.  That should make my weekend a little easier... not to mention the Newsletter!

A minor note to kick this blog post off, as the Buffalo Sabres missed one game's worth of action from defenseman Tyler Myers, who dealt with a lower-body injury mid-week and was able to return on Friday night.

Only one game off the books for Mike in this post, the injury wasn't serious enough to cost him too much time.  Mike will have another entry, which I might save some stats for.

It made some pretty big waves in some of my mid-week reading, when Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz was scratched in a game in the week. The Oilers team defense has been rather suspect this season and there are some high expectations from this youngster and the team was hoping that the scratch would spur him on. It didn't. The Oilers dropped their next decision on Friday night in St. Louis.

Schultz has been Stacey C.'s best defenseman this season, but he hasn't been good enough for the Edmonton coaching staff.  With 10 points in 23 games, you could argue that he has underachieved and Stacey's defense is well-below average this year.

A couple of notes from Florida from Week Eight, as Roberto Luongo had to leave a mid-week start, working on a shutout, with an upper-body injury. Luongo suffered the injury making a desperation save in the game. Also, on Friday, forward Jussi Jokinen was held out of the line-up with a bout of the flu. Both players are listed as out day-to-day, neither expected to be out too long. In Luongo's absence, however, his replacement, Al Montoya, has stepped up admirably, finishing the shutout earlier in the week and picking up another win on Friday.

Luongo has been far from great for Stuart this year and Jokinen has been sub-par for Leo at the same time, but when you look at the Panthers as a whole, you're not seeing a great deal of confidence and a good contender for a top draft pick this Summer.

Much like the Buffalo post above, the same sort of thing happened in New Jersey with another somewhat common healthy scratch, as the Devils sat defenseman Eric Gelinas for another game mid-week. Gelinas has found himself in the press box a few times already this season and might still find his way back.

So, that's one game off the books for Wilton, who hasn't had a great start to the year and is likely looking forward to the Waiver Draft.  His team sits in 19th going into Saturday and is 4 points clear from having a better pick in that draft.

A mysterious upper-body injury has sidelined New York Islanders dynamo defender Johnny Boychuk, who missed out on Friday night's game and is now due to miss Saturday night's game with the same ailment.  In the reading that I have done early on Saturday, albeit limited reading, there really wasn't much available for the injury, but he is now listed as out day-to-day.

Bad news for Wyllie's side, as Boychuk has been one of his best players this season, already have picked up 14 points from the back end.  The injuries have really piled up for Wyllie this season and his side has dropped to near the bottom.

Obviously, there needed to be some messages sent in the Ottawa dressing room in Week Eight, as both Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were both scratched this week, the latter being scratched twice. It's true, neither player has excelled this season, Michalek with 7 points and Zibanejad with only 6.  The Sens are near the bottom of their division and are desperate for a boost somewhere.

Tony and Stacey M. are expecting to have both players in the Ottawa line-up on Saturday against the Lightning, but I'm not sure if they are expecting many points.  Both teams are in the top 10 of the standings and are in the mix for the money, so it will be interesting to see whether or not either players gets substituted next week.

The biggest injury news of the week came out of St. Louis, as their designated number one goalie, Brian Elliott went down with a knee injury in a 3-2 loss to Ottawa and when he left the game, Elliott was up 2-0 at the time. The timeframe has been reported as being out week-to-week.  Jake Allen has been good in relief of Elliott so far this season and the team has also considered some insurance, just in case Elliott is out for a long time, signing Martin Brodeur to a tryout during the week.  Elliott was placed on the IR on Wednesday, so he should be eligible to return on Tuesday next week and the team will make their decision on Brodeur then.

Huge blow to Clayton, who is in the money going into Saturday's action, as his goaltending tandem has been trying to keep pace with the leaders.  If Elliott is out for a while, it could be a pretty big blow to his chances of catching the top two teams.

The Tampa Bay Lightning decided to scratch young forward Jonathan Drouin again on Wednesday night, which has kept an interesting string of visits to the press box alive for the highly-touted prospect. Drouin only has 9 points in 16 games for the Lightning and hasn't exactly performed to the standards of his junior hockey days, but the Lightning are being patient, as they chase down the Canadiens for the division lead.

I would have to believe that Drouin would dress against the Senators on Saturday night, which would be good news for Dale C., as he starts the day in 4th place.  Drouin has been Dale C.'s worst forward in his group, so I would wonder if there will be any consideration for a drop there.

The Winnipeg Jets had a pair of injuries to work through in the week, as defenseman Tobias Enstrom missed the entire week with a lower-body injury, while Mathieu Perreault missed some time in the week with an upper-body injury, but did come back on Friday night for the game against the Bruins.  Enstrom is still considered day-to-day, but the Jets are finished for the week, so he will have some extra recovery time before Week Nine.

Enstrom took a few games away from Allan's side this week, which aided Allan's bid for the Basement Dweller for Week Eight and now leads the race, while Perreault didn't help Mike's team, who is only 4 points up on Allan's side in the race.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week Seven Newsletter

Newsletter Header

Just a heads up, everyone... I am away in Ontario for Week Eight, so pool updates and blog posts may be few and far between.  I will be trying my best to get everything updated, but if you don't see anything for a day or two... that's why.  This will also mean that the Newsletter this week may seem a tad rushed as well.

It wasn't really a barn-burning week on the individual side of things in the pool in Week Seven, as a couple players topped the week with only 6 points and by virtue of one player being a forward and the other being a goalie, the tie-breaking made it really easy in the end. Dallas' Jamie Benn topped Montreal's Carey Price for the weekly honour and keeping the Canadiens goaltender from earning the nod in back-to-back weeks.

Benn finished the week with 3 goals and 3 assists in three games played for the Stars and the team finished 2-1-0 with the scoring output.  Benn had a goal and an assist against the Hurricanes in a loss on Tuesday, an assist against the Coyotes on Thursday and then 2 goals and an assist against the Kings on Saturday night.

This brings Benn's season totals up to 8 goals and 11 assists in 21 games played through seven weeks of the season, which has him ranked 39th overall in pool scoring.

Unfortunately, Scott isn't quite getting the best results out of the last pick in the 1st round of the draft, as he took Benn with the 23rd overall pick, but at least he isn't too far away from being in the 1st round of rankings and is still has a 2nd round value to him.  Scott's team couldn't quite compliment the week that Benn had, as the whole only finished with 21 points and finished the week in 13th.

PhotobucketWeek Seven finished with a tie atop the weekly scoring standings, as Troy and Stacey C. each finished the week with 31 points to their names, but the tie-breakers were employed and it was the newly-minted 5th place team, belonging to Troy, who took the nod with an 11-goal week to Stacey's 8.

With the nod, it now keeps the Mover & Shaker among those teams in the top five in the standings this season, as Troy's team really did make some moves, climbing up from 9th place the week before.  This is the second time that Troy's team finished the week in 5th place, his peak position in the year, also finishing Week Five there.

Troy had good weeks from both Eric Staal in Carolina and Sami Vatanen in Anaheim, each picking up 5 points a piece.  Long Island's Ryan Strome and Toronto's Jonathan Bernier also picked up 4 points, while Philadelphia's Claude Giroux had 3 points.

There were a few zeroes on Troy's team, two of which were by active players, while one was sent back to junior earlier in the season, so there will be some good use of Waiver Draft moves done on his team, which could potentially bump his team up into the money before too long.

PhotobucketBack-to-back weeks in the basement for Dale B. has now dropped his side down to 16th place in the standings.  Talk about being in need of a Waiver Draft move or two.

Dale's team finished the week with only 13 points, 8 points coming from his goaltending duo of Jimmy Howard and Tuukka Rask, which doesn't say much about his skaters in Week Seven.

Only three skaters picked up points for his team, which means that nine didn't pick up points and that's too many players to try and replace at the Waiver Draft.

At the end of Week Three, Dale's team was in 5th place, his peak position on the year, but now has dropped down to 16th, as mentioned above, and his team now stands 25 points back from his previous peak position and 34 points back of the money.


At the top of the table, Grant S.'s lead was extended to 5 points over Kristy & Don, while we have a new team in the money, as Clayton's team jumped over Dale C.'s for 3rd place, still 22 points back of 2nd at the end of the week.  Dale is only 1 point back, while Troy, our Mover & Shaker, is 9 points back.

The bottom of the table saw Benson adding another point to his buffer for the Olli bobblehead, now 7 points clear of earning that trophy.

Benson's team was also tied for the pool-worst in skater games played in the week with only 25 to his name and his side is the only one to not have 200+ games to his name through Week Seven.  His team now has 195 skater games played, while the next worst, Dale C., has 209.


It's a new low in pool scoring this week, as the 23-team pool failed to eclipse the 11-point barrier in the average number of points collected in each NHL game.  In 45 NHL games on the schedule, down a game, thanks to the Buffalo snow, the pool only collected 489 points (10.9 per game).  Pool participation was up among the skaters, while goalies saw a bit less time in the crease, but overall, it did seem to be a very quiet week on the scoresheet.


12 teams in the hockey pool went into Week Seven with at least one goalie win in the first six weeks of the season.  At the end of the week, those same 12 teams managed to pick up a win to continue this streak of notching W's.  Four teams were held winless in the week, while a couple of teams each saw 4 wins from their keepers and they would be our two pool leaders at the moment.  The top three teams in wins in the pool are the top three teams in the standings, in order, so that says a lot about the importance of goaltending in the pool.


The injury prone nature of Washington's Mike Green has caught up to him yet again, as he left Saturday night's game against Buffalo with an upper-body injury. There was no update on his status on Sunday, but the Capitals do not play again until Wednesday, so it still might be a day or so before we get an official update there.

Tough break for our Mover & Shaker this week, as Troy is waiting to hear the extent of the injury going forward.  The leap into the money will likely need his Washington blueliner, so he's hoping for a quick recovery.

The mysterious ailment that has kept Boston forward Brad Marchand off the ice has now landed him onto the Injured Reserve, retroactive to the beginning of the week, so he would be eligible to come off in the next day or so. There is no word on the severity of the injury, which has to be concerning. The Bruins play tonight, home to the Penguins, a game they would likely want to have their pesky winger, but we just don't know if he will go or not.

The pool's first duo, the 2nd place team of Kristy & Don, are now missing out on some games from their 8th round pick, but they just don't know if he will be able to contribute any time soon.

The ironman streak is over for Jay Bouwmeester, who was unable to play against the Jets on Sunday, due to a lower-body injury.  The incredible streak stopped in the 730+ game mark, but it doesn't sound like the injury is too serious, it was just enough to keep the defender off the ice for a game, possibly one more in the end.  He is listed as out day-to-day for the Blues.

Leo was counting on the regular defenseman to give him games this year, but after almost 10 years worth of constantly suiting up, the odds were working against him, I suppose.  Leo's team sits in 14th after Week Seven.

Finally, the Vancouver Canucks are reportedly seeking a second opinion on the lower-body injury that Dan Hamhuis suffered in Week Seven, but have now placed the veteran defenseman on the Injured Reserve, fully expecting him to miss a significant amount of time.  There is no confirmation on how much time he will miss, but it is likely going to be weeks, possibly months, before it is all said and done.

There is no question that Hamhuis will likely work his way into the Waiver Draft as a drop for Brian, who possibly would have wanted to use it on an underachieving forward.  Brian sits in 17th, not too far out of 20th, which would improve his pick in the Waiver Draft, which has its order decided after this coming week.

Link to the Injury/News Page