Ramblings: Injuries and the Shortened Week

Ian Gooding


Dealing with injuries and the shortened week, plus more…

When considering bounce-back candidates, Eric Staal should be in the discussion. Staal scored a goal and added an assist on Saturday, giving him four goals in his last three games and points in six of his last seven games. With 24 points in 30 games, Staal is on pace for 65 points, which would be his highest per-game point total in four seasons. An added bonus: With all the positive plus/minus in Minny, Staal is a plus-13. Staal has exceeded that plus-minus total just once in his entire career.


For the first time in nine games, Steve Mason posted a loss, stopping 25 of 27 shots he faced against the Stars. According to the Report Generator, no goalie has posted more wins over the past month than Mason, although Chad Johnson and Sergei Bobrovsky have also won ten games over that span like Mason has.  


My tip of the week: There’s a shortened week next week with the schedule dark on Christmas Eve (Saturday) and Christmas Day (Sunday). Target players from Arizona, Edmonton, and Philadelphia, as they are the only three teams to play on both “off nights” of Monday (five games) and Wednesday (two games).

So Ivan Provorov might be an enticing defenseman to target, as he’s still available in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues. You’d also have more reason to start Mike Smith, but you might have considered that already if you’d noticed his solid .930 save percentage. If you’re like me and you’ve lost both Kris Letang and David Pastrnak to injury, then you’ll need every edge that you can get.

Speaking of Pastrnak, my guess is that he would return after the Christmas break. The Bruins have announced that he will miss Sunday’s game and Tuesday’s game. The Bruins play two more times before the break, which should give him enough time to heal if he follows David Backes’ timeline.

The Penguins’ first-unit power-play without Letang featured Justin Schultz on the point with the usual forwards (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist). I watched a fair p