Pulling the plugWednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday’s news cycle provided Shea Weber updates. Unfortunately, they were extremely confusing and maybe even contradictory. The Nashville Predators confirmed fears that their all-world blueliner is suffering from a concussion, yet Barry Trotz said he could be back by Friday. Yes, I’m confused too.
Tough news for John-Michael Liles: he’s been bitten by the concussion bug, as well. You know the drill: it’s unclear how severe the situation will be, so hopefully he’ll be IR eligible soon so you can stash him until he gets healthy again. He’s been a solid catalyst for the Maple Leafs offense, with 21 points in 34 games played. (I still can’t believe that the Colorado Avalanche gave up on him; he’s perfect for an attacking offense, even if you have to live with the inevitable mistakes.)
Milan Michalek’s comeback was obscured a bit by Randy Cunneyworth’s first win and Anderson’s awful night, but it brought enough promise to hearten his fantasy owners. He played 20:10, registered an assist and fired two shots on goal. That’s not half bad, but we’ll have to wait and see if he has a setback or two. The promising side is that Claude Giroux seems fine, so far, and their situations seem to parallel each other. (At least as far as teammate-on-teammate crimes go.)
Mathieu Garon played outstanding hockey against the Flyers, moving him back up from the “Stay away” to “Fringe” level … Steve Mason showed promise, but he’s firmly planted in “Stay away” until he actually starts winning some games … Tuomo Ruutu is heating up for Carolina. He can bring some nice hits and PIM bonuses in deeper leagues, too … Ian White and Mike Del Zotto continue to show promise at the D position. I’m not totally sold on Raphael Diaz and his out-of-nowhere trio of points, though … Richard Bachman looks like he’ll win the award of watching Kari Lehtonen play a lot of hockey, as Andrew Raycroft was placed on waivers … Cody Franson might pick up some of Liles’ slack, but you should monitor his progress before jumping on that bandwagon.
The Lightning defense wasn’t looking great to begin with, but Tuesday might prove to be a costly night. Victor Hedman left the game with a lower-body injury while Eric Brewer got pounded in a fight with Wayne Simmonds. Brewer returned to the bench, but I’d be surprised if he isn’t feeling the ill effects of that scuffle … Simon Gagne has a concussion, which might be the last straw as he hasn’t had much success in L.A. anyway … There’s talk that Mike Green’s groin injury might tarnish his career, not just his season. The only good news is that he could be back soon, although his ceiling might be permanently lowered … Tomas Holmstrom has a short-term groin injury, which means someone else will need to torment goalies on the Detroit PP … It sounds like Ryan Whitney’s ankle of doom is acting up again. (Click here for the full injury list.)