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The Daily Puck: Staal in the Eye of the Hurricane

Kevin King

Kevin King

Kevin is a suffering Tottenham supporter living in Buffalo, New York, where also suffers from being a Buffalo Bills fan. He covers Major League Soccer and the English Premier League for Rotowire.

The Daily Puck
by Kevin King

Projected Goalie Starters

NY Islanders (Rick DiPietro) vs. Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec), 5 p.m
Calgary (Mikka Kiprusoff) vs. Detroit (Jimmy Howard), 5 p.m
Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk) vs. Anaheim (Jonas Hiller), 8 p.m
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) vs. Vancouver (Cory Schneider), 9 p.m

Injuries for Teams Playing Sunday

Day-to-Day (Includes DL players close to returning)

Doug Weight (C) NY Islanders - (Back Spasms) Sat out on Saturday night, and at his age, it's a good bet that he'll sit out on Sunday evening as well.
Jack Hillen (D) - NY Islanders - (Concussion) Things have been quiet about how far along Hillen is in his progress recovering from a concussion that he suffered last weekend.
Fredrik Modin (LW) Atlanta - (Upper Body) As of the last concrete update during the week, Modin was not even practicing after getting injured last weekend.
Dustin Byfuglien (D) Atlanta - (Lower Body) Returned Friday night and scored in Atlanta's impressive 5-0 win over the Caps.  Appears to be in the clear on the injury front.
Olli Jokinen (C) Calgary - (Suspension) Was handed a three-game suspension after a crosscheck to the head of Phoenix's Wojtek Wolski.  Will be eligible to return on Wednesday.
Chris Osgood (G) Detroit - (Groin) Tweaked an earlier groin injury earlier in the week and has been told to take it easy for a couple of days.  He should return next week.
Teemu Selanne (RW) Anaheim - (Groin) Left Friday night's game early and status for Sunday will become more clear on Sunday before the game against Edmonton.  Don't be surprised if the aging Selanne takes the night off though.
Shane Doan (RW) Phoenix - (Lower Body) Inching closer to his return after practicing this week, and making the road trip with the 'Yotes.  He wants to be back on the ice for Sunday's game in Vancouver, so keep an eye out to see if in fact he does return Sunday night.
Kyle Turris (C) Phoenix - (Upper Body) Left early in the first period on Friday night and the extent of his injury has not become immediately known.  The next piece of news that comes out on Turris should go a long way into figuring out if it's a minor knock, or if it may be more than that.
Ryan Parent (D) Vancouver - (Groin) Still missing time with a groin injury that he suffered at the end of October. 
Alexandre Bolduc (C) Vancouver - (Ankle) Has resumed skating and is looking to return to practice in 7-to-10 days, with a return to game action targeted for early December.
 
Long Term or IR

Andrew McDonald (D) NY Islanders - (Hand) Put on a glove and grabbed a stick for the first time in his recovery on Friday.  He can now resume hockey activities, along with his regular workouts as he inches closer to a return, but remains out indefinitely.
Mark Streit (D) NY Islanders - (Shoulder) Earlier this week, Streit made it onto the All-Star ballot, despite never having played a game this season.  He won't be back any time before February.
Milan Jurcina (D) NY Islanders - (Hamstring) Edging closer to a return after sustaining a hamstring knock earlier in the month.  Probably at least two weeks away still however.
Kyle Okposo (RW) NY Islanders - (Shoulder) Off-season surgery has Okposo sidelined until December at the earliest.
Patrice Cormier (C) Atlanta - (Foot) Has been skating under supervision from team's medical staff.  While it is a sign of progress, there is still no timetable for his return.
Ladislav Smid (D) Edmonton - (Concussion) Will miss at least a week, but as is the case with concussions, it could be longer than that.
Nikolai Khabibulin (G) Edmonton - (Groin) No real timetable for his return after suffering the injury and being placed on IR earlier in the week.
Jason Jaffray (RW) Anaheim - (Knee) Out indefinitely with torn ACL.
Andy Sutton (D) Anaheim - (Thumb) Nearing a return to the ice after breaking his thumb in a fight during the first game of the season. 
Kyle Chipchura (C) Anaheim - (Concussion) Despite his return to practice, still remains out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.
Joffrey Lupul (RW) Anaheim - (Back) Has returned to workouts, but remains sidelined until the end of November, at the earliest.
Guillame Desbiens (RW) Vancouver - (Hand) Broke his hand in a fight earlier in the month and remains out indefinitely.
Sami Salo (D) Vancouver - (Achilles) Remains out indefinitely.  Won't be back any time before January.

Transactions

Mike Blunden (RW) Columbus - Recalled from Springfield (AHL)
Mario Bliznak (C) Vancouver - Assigned to Manitoba (AHL)
Jesse Joensuu (LW) NY Islanders - Recalled from Bridgeport (AHL)
Jhonas Enroth (G) Buffalo - Recalled from Portland (AHL)
Matt Ellis (C) Buffalo - Assigned to Portland (AHL)

Hot

Eric Staal (C) Carolina - A hat trick and two assists in one game won't hurt.  Even without his monster game on Wednesday night, Staal was right around a point-per-game pace and has been remarkably consistent this year so far.
Tim Thomas (G) Boston - There was a tiny bit of concern after Timmy went through a little bit of a dip in performance a couple weeks ago, but he has clearly stormed back to "best goalie in the NHL" territory. 
John-Michael Liles (D) Colorado - Out of nowhere, Liles has had a gigantic week for the Avs.  He has gotten his name on the score sheet on a regular basis for the Avs, including a three point performance (2 G, 1 A) where he was a plus-3 earlier this week.  He's logging a ton of time on the power-play as well. 

Cold

Niklas Lidstrom (D) Detroit - I'm sure with the Wings playing later today Lidstrom will go out and have a huge night, but leading into Sunday, he has been brutal, especially for a guy who should still be considered an elite fantasy defender.  Detroit has 10 goals in their last two games, and Lidstrom has not factored into the scoring on any of those goals, and is actually a minus-two over that stretch as well.
Jaroslav Halak (G) St. Louis - The wheels may be starting to fall off of the Blues bandwagon, and Halak has been a big part of their recent struggles.  Halak had a terrific October, and was making his owners look like geniuses for drafting him, but November has been a completely different story for Halak and the Blues.
Ryan Kesler (C) Vancouver - If the NHL gave assists to three guys on each goal, Kesler would probably lead the league in that stat.  Playing with the Sedin brothers is great for Kesler, especially on the league's top power-play unit, and he has nine goals on the year.  To watch the Canucks though, Kesler is usually on the half-wall, starting the cycle that goes back to Alexander Edler, then to Henrik Sedin, on to Daniel Sedin, or Kesler for the goal.

Recommended Pickup

Milan Hejduk (RW) Colorado - Hejduk remains unclaimed in a lot of leagues because owners assume that he'll regress at some point.  Not the case.  It's late into November, and Hejduk is on pace for over 80 points.  Even if he cannot sustain that, you could do a lot worse than a guy who logs a lot time on the power play, and has always been a consistent performer.