Well, Tuesday wasn’t the best night for Fantasy players. Steven Stamkos left the game for the Lightning in the first period after suffering a knee injury. He is currently back in Tampa undergoing tests. While the initial evaluation was that the injury isn’t serious, we never really know until the MRI result comes back negative. Until then his owners will be holding their breath that one of the best goal scorers in the game won’t be out long term. The Lightning as a team should be okay if Stamkos has to miss some time. Not only are they accustomed to him being out of the lineup for a stretch of games from time to time, but they are loaded with offensive talent to make up for his absence. Jonathan Drouin, who has missed the past seven games with an upper body injury, is also expected back in the lineup before the week is out.
Taylor Hall missed the game last night with what the Devils are describing as a lower body injury, but it’s another knee injury. He will also have an MRI Wednesday. Once again, the injury is not expected to be serious but until we get those test results back, we will have to wonder. Without Hall the Devils’ offense as a whole will suffer and wins for Cory Schneider will be tough to come by. The Devils do not have the depth at forward to succeed long term without Hall. Some might argue they don’t have enough offense even with him. The team will be looking to Kyle Palmieri and Adam Henrique to carry this offense.
Johnny Gaudreau may have suffered a broken finger from a slash. He is scheduled to undergo surgery this week, which means his return is likely weeks rather than days away. This is a big blow to the Flames and Fantasy owners, as Gaudreau was being hyped as one of the young stars in the NHL. He scored 30 goals last season and some prognosticators had him approaching 40 this year. Either Matthew Tkachuk or Sam Bennett are likely to move up to the top line to replace him. Neither player has gotten off to a hot start this season, so perhaps playing on the top line with Sean Monahan will give one of these players a better chance to succeed.
The Islanders are a mess right now and we are hearing rumors about everything from a coaching shakeup to a major trade. We already know that GM Garth Snow has put Jaroslav Halak on the block to try and alleviate the logjam the team has in net, but now teams are wondering if Snow would trade one of the team’s top prospects for a forward who can help the team now. Snow hasn’t been successful over the years in trying to find line mates to play with John Tavares and it’s taking its toll on the team now. They can’t score. Of course, some might say when you let your second and third leading scorers go in free agency you should have expected this. The Islanders could be a very busy organization in the coming weeks.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Patrick Eaves, Dallas Stars: He has taken off for the Stars this season, and while it’s true his promotion to the top line came because of multiple injuries to the Stars top forwards, it’s unlikely that he will be moved off the line if this level of production (five goals in last five games) keeps up. Patrick Sharp could just as easily play on the second line with the recently returned Jason Spezza when he has recovered from his concussion.
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens: Shea Weber has gotten all the love for the Canadiens’ defense, and right fully so, but Markov shouldn’t be forgotten either. He has 10 assists so far this season and is a pretty good D3 or D4. Let’s not forget how good a team Montreal is.
Anthony Stolarz, Philadelphia Flyers: If you’re looking for a low owned goaltender who could win a starting job, Stolarz is it. It’s not like the Flyers were enamored with Steve Mason coming into the season. He lost the starting job to Michal Neuvirth and with Neuvirth now out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. Stolarz could have a chance to win that starting job if he outperforms Mason.
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