In most leagues, whether it’s Fantasy Hockey or Fantasy Baseball, there is nothing more frustrating in weekly lineup leagues than when a player gets hurt early in the week. Now you have a dead spot that you can’t change until the following Monday. I know that weekly lineup leagues are easier for those people who don’t want to worry about setting a lineup day in and day out, and that’s a big part of the reason why they play in them. Still, I would love to have a rule protecting against such an unfortunate occurrence. If a player in your starting lineup were to go on injured reserve or the disabled list and you have a replacement on your bench that can fill in, you would be allowed to make the switch. This would serve two purposes. First, it would eliminate some of the luck factor. There is little that is more frustrating than to keep having players get hurt early in the week. Second, it would force owners who hoard players at one position to at least think about diversifying, as they will want to cover as many different positions as possible in case they were to suffer an injury of their own. Is this crazy? I don’t think so, but maybe this is just the kind of stuff I come up with when I’m stuck in the house during a snowstorm, again.
Evgeni Malkin owners can’t be too happy to hear that he will miss a third straight game Monday with knee soreness. The Penguins are saying that Malkin has been bothered by the knee for the past couple of weeks. He is still listed as day-to-day, but those owners who play in weekly leagues may want to play it safe here and not take a chance that he will end up being a bust this week.
Rick Nash is another player who could end up being a zero this week. He has missed five straight games with a bruised knee and his return to the lineup this week is still in question. The Rangers have stated that Nash hasn’t been on the ice for three days and they aren’t quite sure when he will attempt to skate again. The Rangers do play four games this week but it seems the best case scenario would be for Nash to return to the lineup Friday versus the Kings and play in two games this week. How much do you like to gamble?
I was fully prepared today to let Wayne Simmonds’ owners know that they can expect a suspension after his sucker punch to Ryan McDonagh on Saturday. It seems, though, that the NHL Department of Player Safety has decided that the game misconduct for an attempt to injure an opponent was enough of a punishment. This is very strange, as the NHL has been coming down extremely hard on hits to the head, and McDonagh was diagnosed with a concussion and will be out of the Rangers lineup for an undetermined amount of time. The game misconduct was the second of the season for Simmonds and one more would lead to an automatic one game suspension. McDonagh was not an innocent bystander here, as his stick did come up to the face of Simmons during a check, but for the NHL to determine that two wrongs make a right was a surprise nonetheless.
Another top defenseman who will miss some action is Alex Pietrangelo of the Blues. He was placed on injured reserve Monday with a knee injury. He suffered the injury in a knee on knee collision versus the Wild on Saturday. He won’t even be evaluated for three weeks so his return to the lineup won’t be happening until sometime in March, at the earliest. This is not good news for Brian Elliott, as he is sure to face more shots without one of his top blue liners.
The Blues are also still awaiting the return of Jaden Schwartz. It was assumed that he would be able to return to the lineup shortly after the All-Star break, but that hasn’t happened. Schwartz won’t play Tuesday, but he could return to the lineup later this week on the team’s two game road trip to Florida and Tampa Bay. In weekly lineups, though, I’m not starting him until he proves to me he is back and healthy.
The Red Wings won’t have Mike Green for Monday’s contest either. He is out with a groin injury. As stated multiple times, injuries of this nature are tricky to say the least. The wings haven’t given any timetable for his return but Green has had problems returning from injuries in the past. I have him in two leagues, in which I will have him benched this week.
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