Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Torn Groin Sidelines Spooner

The hits keep on coming for the Boston Bruins, who are already without Patrice Bergeron, so far this season, and a possible injury to Tuukka Rask, the news on Ryan Spooner's injury isn't very good, quite bad, in fact.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Bruins announced that Spooner suffered a torn groin muscle, an adductor muscle, to be exact, and it will cost the forward 4-to-6 weeks on the shelf, likely on the longer side.  Spooner was hurt in the game against Vegas on the weekend and the Bruins took their time getting the diagnosis right, which came down today.

Spooner hasn't been very productive on a very underwhelming Bruins team to start the season, as he only has 1 assist in five games played, dropping him well down in the rankings to start the season.

For Wes, this is a troubling injury for his 10th round draft pick, a pick some may have considered to be a decent sleeper pick ahead of this season, but it certainly hasn't worked out that way, thus far, and it will be a while before he can get back on his game.  Wes' team will start Wednesday night in 21st place, but his team is still carrying quite a few games this week, even with taking out Spooner's projected games, so that's at least a small positive.

Goalie Announcements (Oct 18)

Well, out of all those games last night, we only had four more teams qualify for Week Four in the survivor pool, now giving us five teams in and 10 teams still looking for their win this week.

Things don't get any easier on Wednesday night, as there are only three games on the docket, which really limits the number of goalies going tonight.  Let's see how many of these keepers are going to be playing their way into next week.

Jimmy Howard (Dale C.) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
The Maple Leafs are on back-to-back nights, which means they will send out their backup, McElhinney, for his first appearance this season and that might bode well for Dale C. and his number one goalie from Detroit, as they could get a boost from a goalie that hasn't seen game action yet.

Corey Crawford (Jeremy) versus Jake Allen (Cam)
Jeremy's team was one of the four that qualified last night, so Cam's team is the only one in need in this Central Division rivalry match-up.  It's a battle of number one goalies in St. Louis, where Crawford and Allen square off and this should be one hell of a game, as both teams are atop the division and supremacy is at stake for the winner.

Al Montoya (N/A) versus Jonathan Quick (Chris)
I said there was three games being played, so why not put all three games up on the post today, even though Chris is also one of the five teams to have already qualified and the Habs are running on back-to-back nights on the road as well, so we're expecting Montoya to go and make his second appearance this season.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 18)

The Philadelphia Flyers could be holding their breath, while they await word on a lower-body injury that forward Wayne Simmonds suffered on Tuesday night against the Panthers. Simmonds reportedly left the game midway through the 3rd period and the team said it was for precautionary reasons, which could mean he won't miss any time, but we'll have to wait and see what they end up with.

Simmonds has been a definite bright spot on Derek B.'s team, which shot up to 2nd place on Tuesday night with a pretty big effort.  The rough & tumble winger has 7 points in six games for Derek and losing out on that sort of production may keep the gap to 1st place in the double digits for now.

The Boston Bruins are definitely holding their breath, as their number one goalie, Tuukka Rask, was helped off the ice at practice after being involved in an on-ice collision in his crease.  The Bruins are set to host the Canucks on Thursday night, so we'll likely get an update ahead of that game, but the initial reports were not very positive.

Clayton's team was not among those who had a great night on Tuesday, which saw his team drop down from 4th place to 9th, but is still in striking distance of the money, 6 points back of 3rd.  His team has already been eliminated from the survivor pool, so it'll be all about the overall points total in this injury.

I suppose we can get ahead of the game with a mention that the Dallas Stars are expecting to make defenseman Julius Honka a scratch tomorrow night, when they take on the Coyotes in Arizona.  The rookie hasn't registered a point in four appearances yet this season and they are likely trying to give him a kick in the butt with the scratching.  We'll have to wait and see in the days ahead, if this pays off or not.

Steve's team is among a big cluster of teams in the bottom half of the standings, in dire need of a big boost.  Finding out that one of your players is already going to miss a game tomorrow, of all times, has got to be somewhat disheartening.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 18)

The Nashville Predators were without forward Nick Bonino last night, due to an undisclosed injury.  There are reports out there that Bonino was seen wearing an ankle brace at the arena, so it could very well be a lower-body injury, at the very least, but he's currently listed as day-to-day, for whatever that's worth.  Bonino was unable to play on Tuesday night against the Avalanche and we'll wait for the team to update his status here soon.

Mike's team is off to a good start without him, tied for the weekly lead in scoring with 14 points through Tuesday night and that has bumped his team up from 23rd to 14th, but it comes with an injury.

There were some high expectations on defenseman Nick Holden and the New York Rangers this season, but the 30-year old hasn't been able to find his stride or a concrete place in the lineup, finding his way to the press box again last night, when the Rangers took on the Penguins.  In four games played, Holden has yet to register a point and the Rangers are not winning many games either, so I wouldn't place all the blame on him and the lineup might continue to turn over.

Eric probably thought he was getting a steal in Holden, taking him in the 10th round in the draft, but he has been quite the dud.  Eric's team has taken Mike's place in 23rd place last night, still struggling to get skater games this season.

How about some good news today? The St. Louis Blues have finally activated forward Alex Steen from the Injured Reserve on Wednesday, only about a week later than originally thought, but back nonetheless.

Of course, this couldn't come at a worse time for Brenda & Seward, whose team has a lot of work to do to get out of the pool's basement, still 14 points back of Ryan's team, which sits in 24th.  Back-to-back Basement Dweller nods will do that to a team.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Canucks Also Lose Eriksson Long-Term

We were waiting on the news of the extent of the injury on Loui Eriksson's knee injury and ahead of the Canucks game against the Senators tonight, we learned that the injury is indeed substantial.  The diagnosis is a knee sprain, probably not far from Alex Edler's knee sprain, which will also cost the Swedish veteran six weeks worth of action.

It certainly hasn't been a great start for Eriksson, besides the injury, he only has 1 assist in four games played with the Canucks and he hasn't been able to find a comfortable spot with the team in just over one season worth of action.

This doesn't leave Tony's pool team with much help now, as this is now three players on the Injured Reserve for his team, which also includes Edler, who was touched upon earlier in this post, also out for six weeks.  Tony's team had a pretty good start off the hop, but the injuries are now starting to pile up and his luck is really starting to run out.

Goalie Announcements (Oct 17)

It was Wilton that took home the first qualification win on Monday night, with the Lightning defeating the Red Wings and Andrei Vasilevskiy getting the W on the night. 

Tuesday night should be a doozy of an evening in the NHL tonight, with 11 games on the docket.  Seven of which will have implications on the goalie survivor pool and those will be the ones we'll be worried about here today.

Matt Murray (Stacey M.) versus Henrik Lundqvist (Brian)
The Rangers haven't fared well yet this season, but some well placed wins by his two goalies and Brian is still in the mix, now into Week Three of the survivor pool.  Things don't get any easier with the Penguins coming to town and Stacey M. getting another run from her top pick this year.

Frederik Andersen (Mike) versus Braden Holtby (Grant)
Two high scoring teams will go head-to-head, with two goalies still alive in the survivor pool this week.  Both Mike and Grant have lots going for them in this mini-game, as Mike's goalies remain solid and the Capitals are such a solid regular season team, to Grant's credit.  This should be a damn good game to watch and it will set up the rest of the season quite well too.

Peter Budaj (Steve) versus Cory Schneider (Jeremy)
With the Lightning playing on back-to-back nights, this could be a good break for Jeremy's goalie in New Jersey, but this isn't the same Devils team we saw last season, so he may not even need that extra break.  Schneider goes for Jeremy to keep him alive, while Steve finally gets a start out of Peter Budaj and the Lightning, which will be his first goalie start of the season... two-plus weeks too late.

Anders Nilsson (N/A) versus Craig Anderson (Tony)
It has been a rough start for Tony's skaters in the early part of this regular season, but his goalies are keeping him in the thick of the survivor pool and it's Craig Anderson's turn with Erik Karlsson back in the Senators' lineup tonight, playing against the traveling Canucks, who are giving Anders Nilsson his first start of the year.

Semyon Varlamov (Stacey C.) versus Pekka Rinne (Dale B.)
The Avalanche are off to a much better start to the 2018 season and a large part of that is the play of their number one goalie, Semyon Varlamov.  He'll be back in the crease, when the Avalanche take on the Western Conference champs from last spring in Nashville, but their goalie has already been knocked out of the survivor pool.

Cam Ward (Stacey M.) versus Laurent Brossoit (Eric)
It's surprising to think that the Edmonton Oilers goalies are already knocked out of the survivor pool, but only a single win in the first two weeks will do that.  Stacey M. gets her second chance of the night, if she needs it, in this game, as Cam Ward makes his season debut with the Hurricanes tonight.

Carey Price (Dale C.) versus Martin Jones (Chris)
The late game in San Jose has the makings of a good one for the survivor pool, as Carey Price and Martin Jones will take to the crease in the game between the Habs and Sharks.  Both Dale C. and Chris are still alive in the mini-game and looking for a clutch win here.  This game has the makings of a good one, indeed.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Oct 16)

It's a new week and we've lost three teams in Week Two, so we're down to 15 teams in the survival pool and everyone is set back down to no wins this week, so everyone has to get their win again to move on.

It's a quiet start to the week, only one game on Monday night, so we'll only have one team qualifying for Week Four tonight.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (Wilton) versus Jimmy Howard (Dale C.)
The Lightning and Red Wings will go tonight at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and this game will be on Sportsnet tonight, for those who are wondering.  Both Wilton and Dale C. will get an opportunity to move on tonight and if they don't get their win tonight, they'll have about six more possible starts through the week after tonight.

Habs and Streit Part Ways

Well, the AHL was a no-go for veteran defenseman Mark Streit, who signed a 1-year deal with Montreal in the off-season, but couldn't quite make it work through two games played.  With some added depth to the team's blueline in young player Victor Mete, the Habs wanted to move in the youthful direction, making Streit expendable.

The Canadiens tried to trade Streit, but couldn't make a deal.  Streit cleared waivers, but didn't want to move to the AHL over the weekend, so the waiver route was taken again, this time the unconditional waivers, he cleared, and now his contract has been terminated.

Benson took the veteran with his 12th round pick in the draft this year and he'll now have to sit with him doing nothing for the next seven weeks.  It's not the biggest crushing blow, but it is a gamble that has now blown up in his face. 

Still, Benson's team is still in great shape, despite not having any production from Streit, nor anymore to come, as his team is 7th, 4 points out of 2nd.