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Kyle Wellwood underwent surgery on his sports hernia - a repeat of the surgery he had last season and he will be out indefinitely. Do not expect him in the lineup before December. Suddenly, the strong play in camp (and similar, but harder hitting style of Wellwood) is looking like it will work out nicely for Simon Gamache. Keep an eye on this situation, as there is suddenly room for a smallish, creative pivot.
Sabres winger Drew Stafford left the ice with an immobilized left arm after a goal, and Ruff said Stafford will be re-evaluated today but may miss a few days.
Kris Russell scored again last night as his game rounds into form. He still has a shot at making the Jackets as their QB. Meanwhile, both Voracek and Brassard made the scoresheet. I give the edge to Brassard to possibly make this team. Gilbert Brule scored twice.
One player I have not seen hit the scoresheet yet is Nik Zherdev. He can look good in practice all he wants, but the last time I checked fantasy leagues only value players when they produce in games.
Buffalo winger Patrick Kaleta, a hard-nosed rookie with a reasonable shot at making the team, gave Zherdev a borderline hit that prompted Jared Boll, who has arguably been the best rookie in Columbus this year, to go after him. Boll received 17 minutes in penalties and has a future as a power forward in the NHL. If he makes the team this year though, don't expect even 20 points...but his PIM's will be nice.
Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne shared the goaltending duties last night, each giving up a goal. I have noticed other fantasy sites and hockey columnists giving the backup job to Rinne, but he is on a two-way contract this year (Ellis is one-way). For that reason, I still stick to my guns and say that if Ellis has a decent camp - which he has - than he will be the backup in Nashville.
It is looking as if Vern Fiddler will win the job to play alongside Arnott and Dumont. I don't think he will get a 50-point season this year, though. That makes him undraftable in most leagues.
Carolina plugger Chad Larose has a knee injury and will sit out until the middle of October.
Our own Jim Gunther reports that Gionta was back on the line with Zubrus and Elias in last night's contest. He also says that goaltender Kevin Weekes was helped off the ice after New York's Sean Avery crashed the net. The Devils indicate that it is a bit of sore neck and nothing serious, but Jim believes that the leg may have been hurt as well.
Colin White underwent plastic surgery yesterday on a serious gash near his eye. The doctors are worried about the long term effects on his vision. He may be on the shelf for awhile and may not be the same when he comes back.
Al Montoya stopped 12 of 13 shots for the Rangers, but will likely be returned to the AHL in a week.
Ryan Callahan picked up two points and Brandon Dubinsky added two assists for the Rangers. Dubinsky is looking to win a spot as the third or fourth line center and he has some upside. Callahan is a great dark horse for 65 points this season, although the low 40s is more likely.
If you haven't selected a site to run your fantasy hockey pool yet, take a look at this:
Boston has moved Phil Kessel to the right wing and the youngster is now battling Brandon Bochenski for a spot on the top two lines.
The Red Wings held the Penguins to just 19 shots and zero goals last night. I hope all of Detroit's games aren't snoozefests this year - Babcock has been known to coach that way before. In fact, the first half of last season was filled with ZZZZZZZZZ in Detroit before Zetterberg and Datsyuk woke up.
Matt D'Agnosti continued his strong preseason play for the Habs last night with a pair of goals. He'll still be in tough to crack the lineup. Carey Price had a strong game stopping 24 of 26 shots from the Islanders.
Josef Vasicek had a pair of points in the loss to the Habs and is a dark horse for 55 points on the Island. Sean Bergenheim was a minus-2, which can't impress coach Ted Nolan. He could be on the outside looking in if he doesn't straighten out. Nolan acknowledges that there has been some rust.
Blake Comeau is having a strong camp for the Islanders and if he displaces a player, that player will either be Sean Bergenheim, Jeff Tambellini or Andy Hilbert. Stay tuned.
In the 5-4 loss to Minnesota, Patrick Kane picked up two points and clicked on a line with Tuomo Ruutu. It is looking as if Kane will make the team. Magnus Johansson, the 34-year-old the team brought across the pond to possibly be their QB, picked up an assist.
Because of the line change mishap I told you about yesterday, James Sheppard was a healthy scratch last night.
Derek Boogaard took a shot off the forehead in practice, tearing it open and requiring 20 stitches. The tough guy may not get into any fights for the first week or two of the season, FYI.
Devin Setoguchi scored again for the Sharks last night. His bid for a roster spot is looking better and better.
Bobby Ryan scored a PP goal for the Ducks in their game against the Sharks. He, too is after a spot.
Brendan Morrison (groin) is close to returning to the lineup. Ryan Kesler, however, will replace him on the sidelines. Kesler is out with a groin injury.
Jannik Hansen is on the shelf with a broken thumb. He could be gone for several weeks.
Tomas Fleischmann, who is having a very strong training camp, says that he is close to signing a contract with the Caps. His attitude has been very positive and he heeded the suggestion of the team to add some lower body strength by hiring a personal trainer and going hard at the weights all summer. My call last season of three darkhorses on THN and XM Radio: Robert Nilsson, Ryan Callahan and Fleischmann - is looking pretty good so far. But it's early yet.
One thing I just learned today - Ryan Shannon's contract is two-way. That being said, he is having a strong camp and looking as if he will make the team.
Here we go again - Kari Lehtonen is being bothered by a sore groin.
NOTABLE CUTS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING:
Zach Hamill, Brad Marchand, Wacey Rabbit, Boston
Drew Larman, Kenndal McArdle, Florida
Marty Sertich, Tobias Stephen, Ivan Vishnevsky, Konstantin Pushkarev, Dallas
Thomas Hickey, Lauri Tukonen, Brian Boyle (!), Los Angeles
Ty Redenbach, Joel Perrault, Yanic Lehoux, Matt Murley, Josh Tjordman, David McKeen, David LeNeveu, Phoenix
Those of you new to DobberHockey, please note that I update the ramblings several times in a day. To read yesterday's ramblings, click "Next" below.