The Daily Puck
Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire Writer
Around the Rink
*Fight, fight, fight! Sidney Crosby dropped the gloves for the fifth time in his career midway through the second period Wednesday with his Pens trailing 4-1. It didn’t work; the Penguins fell 5-2.
*Brent Johnson finally got blown up for five goals in that game to put a stop to his spectacular season-opening run (5-0-1 in his first six games). Johnson has earned a mulligan with his unbelievable play, but maybe this cracks open the door for Marc-Andre Fleury’s inevitable return to the full-time role – if he can seize the opportunity.
*Speaking of spectacular “backups,” how about Tim Thomas? His win on Wednesday improved his record to 7-0-0, and his 0.72 GAA, .977 save percentage and three shutouts are all NHL bests so far this year.
*Pascal Leclaire is pretty much healthy, but Brian Elliott will make his 10th straight start in goal for the Senators. He’s won three of his last four starts and has played very well, and with Leclaire’s inconsistency and tendency to get hurt, Elliott is going to have every chance to really own this job going forward.
*Bruins fourth-liner Brad Marchand potted his first NHL goal Wednesday; it took him 29 games. Good on you, Brad.
*Steven Stamkos is absolutely rocking out this year. He has 10 goals and 10 assists in 11 games, and has only been held off the scoresheet once. His track record is short, but it’s tough to say he’s not in the conversation with Crosby and Ovechkin when he’s whipping them in scoring like this so far. Plus there’s that 51-goal season last year.
*The unlikely hat trick of the week comes from Ed Jovanovski, who scored his first three goals of the year in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Predators. It only took him 15 years to collect his first NHL trick of the hats.
Brandon Dubinsky, C, NYR – As a Rangers fan, it’s nice to actually be able to plug my guys in this space for once. Dubinsky’s seven goals have him in the eight-way tie for fifth in the NHL, and he’s got points in five of six games.
Alexander Ovechkin, LW, WAS – He uncharacteristically went three straight games without a point, which hadn’t happened to him since 2006-07, but has gotten right back on track with seven points over a four-game scoring streak.
Kimmo Timonen, D, PHI – He has a goal and four assists this year, and they’ve all come in the last three games. The former 50-point blueliner may just be rounding into form now.
Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT – Over his last four games, Malkin has recorded just one point, an assist, and is minus-7. He’s not off to a very inspiring start to the year, as we’ve come to expect more than a point per game from the NHL’s second-best Russian, and he’s got just nine in 12 games.
Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, NJD – We’re still waiting. Where’s the $100 million man? Kovy broke a four-game pointless streak with a couple assists in Wednesday’s win over Chicago, but he hasn’t scored since Oct. 24 and has just eight points in 13 games this year.
Justin Williams, RW, LOS – Williams was once an elite scorer, posting back-to-back 30-goal years with the Hurricanes, but three injury-marred seasons have erased many folks’ memories of those better times. Well, he’s back, he’s healthy, and he’s pulling a point per game so far (5 G, 6 A in 11 games). He’s also owned in fewer than half of Yahoo leagues. Invest!
Projected Goalie Starters
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
New York Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 ET
Columbus (Mathieu Garon) at Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec), 7:00 ET
New York Islanders (Dwayne Roloson) at Ottawa (Brian Elliott), 7:30 ET
San Jose (Antero Niittymaki) at St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak), 8:00 ET
Vancouver (Cory Schneider) at Colorado (Peter Budaj), 9:00 ET
Tampa Bay (Mike Smith) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 ET
Injuries for Teams Playing Thursday
Henrik Lundqvist, G (neck) – Took a puck to the neck in Wednesday’s practice, but he should be fine; still, check back to see who’s starting Thursday for sure
Marian Gaborik, LW (shoulder) – Skated before practice in full equipment Wednesday and has said he’s feeling good, so he should return in a week or two
Vaclav Prospal, LW (knee) – Still out, likely until December
Chris Drury, C (finger) – Still out, likely until the end of November or early December
Andrej Meszaros, D (concussion) – Practiced Tuesday, hopes to play Thursday
Danny Briere, RW (suspension) – Thursday’s game will be the second of three that he’ll miss due to his suspension
Andreas Nodl, RW (upper body) – Missed Monday’s game as well as Tuesday’s practice
Michael Leighton, G (back) – Expected back in mid-late November
Mike Commodore, D (thumb) – Missed eighth straight Tuesday, but could return from IR Thursday; check back later if you’re hanging on this news for some reason
Kristian Huselius, RW (ankle) – Out six weeks with a high ankle sprain
Bryan Little, C (concussion) – Didn’t travel to Florida for Wednesday’s game and expected to miss a couple more
Freddy Meyer, D (lower body) – Was placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 23
Milan Jurcina, D (hamstring) – Out 2-to-4 weeks
Pascal Leclaire, G (groin) – The glass man backed up Brian Elliott on Tuesday and seems set to do so again Thursday
Erik Johnson, D (undisclosed) – Limped off the ice after Wednesday’s practice, but GM Doug Armstrong said he’s fine
Carlo Colaiacovo, D (concussion) – Placed on IR
Nikita Nikitin, D (wrist) – Will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip
Dan Hamhuis, D (foot) – Not traveling with the team on current road trip
Ryan Parent, D (groin) – Not traveling with the team on current road trip
Craig Anderson, G (knee) – Did some light skating before Monday’s practice, but still out indefinitely
Adam Foote, D (concussion) – Didn’t practice Monday; return doesn’t seem too imminent
Peter Mueller, C (concussion) – Could return to the ice by the end of December, but still not skating for now
Kyle Cumiskey, D (concussion) – Out indefinitely
Dominic Moore, C (groin) – Skated Wednesday, but not likely to return until next week
Simon Gagne, LW (neck) – Cleared to resume workouts; could return in a week or two
Drew Doughty, D, LOS (concussion) – Expected to return for Thursday’s game
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW (illness) – Has the flu and may miss Thursday’s game
Injuries for All Other Teams
Martin Brodeur, G, NJD (elbow) – Left Wednesday’s game with an elbow bruise, but considered likely to start Friday
Joffrey Lupul, RW, ANA (back) – Participated in Thursday’s morning skate; return slated for around Thanksgiving
Matt Beleskey, LW, ANA (concussion) – Left practice Tuesday after not feeling well; concussion symptoms may keep him out a couple games more
Guillaume Latendresse, LW, MIN (groin) – Placed on IR
Joni Pitkanen, D, CAR (upper body) – Left Wednesday’s game
Kris Letang, D, PIT (hand) – For some reason, fought Wednesday despite a hand injury and ended up leaving the game
Matthew Lombardi, C, NAS (concussion) – Not traveling with the team on current road trip
Steven MacIntyre, D, EDM (back) – Didn’t skate Wednesday and likely won’t play Friday
Martin Erat, RW, NAS (upper body) – Not traveling with team on current road trip
Pascal Dupuis, LW, PIT (personal) – Missed Wednesday’s game due to the birth of his child; possible he’ll also miss the next game
Pierre-Marc Bouchard, C, MIN (concussion) – Hopes to go out on rehab in the AHL soon
Marek Zidlicky, D, MIN (lower body) – Questionable for Friday
Dion Phaneuf, D, TOR (leg) – Underwent surgery and out 4-to-6 weeks
Tom Poti, D, WAS (lower body) – Missed Wednesday and questionable for Friday
Semyon Varlamov, G, WAS (groin) – Worked with strength coach on ice Wednesday; still not quite there
Brian Rafalski, D, DET (knee) – Practiced fully Tuesday, but not expected to return before Nov. 11
Chris Osgood, G, DET (groin) – Hopes to be ready for Friday
Ryan Miller, G, BUF (lower body) – Missed Wednesday; no word for next game yet
Daymond Langkow, C, CGY (neck) – Shut down after experiencing numbness after heavy exertion; may be the end of his career
Anton Volchenkov, D, NJD (head) – May return Friday
Kyle Palmieri, RW, ANA – Recalled from AHL
Korbinian Holzer, D, TOR – Recalled from AHL
Nathan Oystrick, D, STL – Recalled from AHL
Matt Kassian, LW, MIN – Recalled from AHL
Jhonas Enroth, G, BUF – Recalled from AHL
Brian Fahey, D, WAS – Recalled from AHL
Jake Muzzin, D, LOS – Sent to AHL
Colton Gillies, LW, MIN – Sent to AHL
Carlo Colaiacovo, D, STL – Placed on IR
Guillaume Latendresse, LW, MIN – Placed on IR