Around the Rink
Edmonton's Linus Omark made his NHL debut Friday night and tallied an assist before scoring five-hole on a shootout shot that included a spin-a-rama move at center ice. Injuries to the likes of Ales Hemsky have opened the door for the 23-year-old Swede. He had 26 points (13, 13) in 26 AHL games prior to his recall and potted 20 goals and 36 points in the KHL the previous season. The Oilers just need time for their youngsters to jell.
Never thought I'd be pimping a two-point night by Ilya Kovalchuk, but the well-paid winger has three points in his last three games.
Speaking of pimping, I'm wondering if the Humpty Hat has a future in the NHL. It's supposed to protect kids from head injuries while sled riding, but the preponderance of concussions in the league needs to be addressed in some manner.
Martin Brodeur allowed an embarrassing goal to Jarkko Ruuttu on Friday, but at long last he's back.
I'm really looking forward to the Winter Classic alumni game with Mario Lemieux home but after five or 10 minutes reality will set in and I'll be missing the speed of Sidney Crosby. I know Pittsburgh's side will feature Lemieux, Paul Coffey, etc. but who's going to play for Washington?
Fantasy hockey owners have two more weeks to pull off trade heists on concurrent fantasy football-hockey owners before fantasy football ends. Then those guys will start paying attention to the NHL.
Tomas Fleischmann It's fun seeing one of your fantasy players re-energized after getting traded. Fleischmann's playing on Colorado's No. 1 line with Matt Hejduk and Matt Duchene. He netted his first goal with the Avs on Friday a power-play score and added an assist. I was offered Jeff Skinner straight up for Fleischmann in a non-keeper league but turned the deal down.
Taylor Hall Rookies are the hardest players to project, but Hall has four goals in four games and 10, overall.
Jimmy Howard Even though Howard lost two straight this past week, his overall record of 16-4-2 shows how well he and the Red Wings have played. Howard stopped 18 of 19 shots in the third period of Friday's 4-2 win over Montreal. Prior to the season there wasn't much difference between goalies like Howard and Antti Niemi, for example, but that's all changed now.
Marc Savard One assist and seven shots in four games since his return. We all know how great he can be, but will he be that same player this season, and when?
Mike Green Taking Green high in fantasy drafts seemed like a safe, smart move. So far, the Caps defender has five goals and 14 points in 25 games. What's going on here?
David Clarkson Like shooting fish in a barrel, picking on a Devils player is probably unfair because the whole team's stunk. Still, Clarkson has one assist in his last six and seven points through 28 games. He also signed a three-year, $8 million deal in the offseason.
Mark Giordano This Calgary defenseman probably doesn't get enough credit, but he's got three goals and 16 points including eight points on the power play -- in 30 games. He ranks second in the NHL with 79 blocked shots and 11th among blueliners with 64 shots on goal.
Probable Starting Goalies
Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Boston (Tim Thomas), 7:00 p.m.
Colorado (Craig Anderson) at Washington (Semyon Varlamov), 7 p.m.
Montreal (Carey Price) at Toronto (Jonas Gustavsson), 7 p.m.
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7 p.m.
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at Islanders (Dwayne Roloson), 7 p.m.
Detroit (Chris Osgood) at New Jersey (Martin Brodeur), 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Buffalo (Ryan Miller), 7 p.m.
Dallas (Andrew Raycroft) at Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov), 8 p.m.
Florida (Tomas Vokoun) at Nashville (Anders Lindback), 8 p.m.
Carolina (Justin Peters) at St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak), 8 p.m.
Chicago (Corey Crawford) at San Jose (Antti Niemi) , 10 p.m.
Minnesota (Jose Theodore) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay (Mike Smith) at Vancouver (Cory Schneider), 10:30 p.m.
RotoWire Goalie Grid
Injury Roll Call
Philadelphia vs. Boston
Michael Leighton Out, nearly ready to return from long term back ailment, check updates.
Matt Walker Out, assigned to AHL for rehab stint Friday. Team can keep him in minors for two weeks.
Marco Sturm Out, he's no more than two weeks away from returning from knee injury.
Mark Stuart Out, fractured ring finger expected to keep him out for about six weeks.
Colorado vs. Washington
Kyle Cumiskey Out, hasn't skated since suffering concussion in October. No return timetable.
TJ Galiardi Out, no recent updates but latest reports put him on schedule for a return in 7-10 days.
Peter Mueller Out, concussion makes his return this season questionable, he's had no recent progress.
Chris Stewart Out, look for a return from broken hand the second week of January.
Jeff Schultz Out, not expected back from until mid January due to broken thumb.
Tyler Sloan Out, not eligible to come off IR until Sunday.
Montreal vs. Toronto
Scott Gomez Questionable, missed Friday's game and hasn't played this week.
Mike Brown Out, will need another month before coming back from broken finger.
Mike Komisarek Out, not expected back for a week due to finger injury.
Rangers vs. Columbus
Derek Boogaard Out, apparently re-injured his shoulder sprain and won't play against Blue Jackets.
Steve Eminger Questionable, day-to-day with hip injury.
Vaclav Prospal Out, skated with team Thursday, but still not expected back until end of December.
Chris Drury Out, team hoping for guidance on return date by Sunday or Monday.
Kristian Huselius Out, ruled out for Saturday's game but will travel with team on three-game trip.
Atlanta vs. Islanders
Fredrick Modin Out, he hasn't played in a month due to rib injury.
Bruno Gervais Out, hasn't suited up in December after fracturing cheek in Movember.
Radek Martinek Probable, took Zdeno Chara shot off arm and missed Friday's practice.
John Tavares Probable, also took Chara shot off elbow but X-rays negative, like his current run.
Doug Weight Out, hasn't played in December because of back woes.
Trent Hunter Out, knee injury has him on IR for at least a couple months.
Mike Mottau Out, eye injury has him about three weeks or so 20/20 days away from returning.
Kyle Okposo Out, skating in full gear but no timetable, original prognosis called for late December.
Detroit vs. New Jersey
Brad Stuart Probable, returned to action Friday and saw just over 20 minutes.
Mike Modano Out, hoping for a return before season's end, but no guarantees.
Matt Taormina Out, he's back skating but has no timetable, didn't play in Friday's loss.
Mark Fraser Out, skating but has no timetable for return.
Anssi Salmela Out, sent on AHL rehab Thursday for no more than two weeks.
Bryce Salvador Out, still not playing after suffering concussion in November.
Jacob Josefson Out, hasn't resumed skating since suffering hand injury in October.
Zach Parise Out, looking for a return in late January or February from knee surgery.
Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo
Mike Comrie Out, placed on IR on Friday with undisclosed after missing team's last seven games.
Jordan Staal Out, continues to skate with broken hand in practice, out until late December.
Evgeni Malkin Questionable, expected to take game-day skate Saturday but unlikely to go vs. Sabres.
Shaone Morrisonn Out, will miss the next week with post-concussion symptoms.
Drew Stafford Questionable, missed third straight game Thursday with shoulder injury.
Tim Connolly Out, continues to miss time due to a groin injury, currently on IR.
Rob Niedermayer Out, slow recovery from knee injury with no return date.
Dallas vs. Phoenix
Mark Fistric Out, groin injury continues to keep him sidelined, missed Friday's game.
Kari Lehtonen Out, missed Friday's game with Andrew Raycroft filling in well, also out Saturday.
Toby Petersen Out, placed on IR Thursday, unable to play since getting hit by Mike Green slapper.
Brandon Gormley Out, team's first round pick in 2010 expected to miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury.
Florida vs. Nashville
Bryan Allen Questionable, could return Saturday after missing Thursday with foot.
Chris Higgins Out, suffering from staph infection in foot, could possibly return next Wednesday.
Cory Stillman Out, back spasms have sidelined the vet since Nov. 27.
Radek Dvorak Out, placed on injured reserve last week with shoulder injury.
Rostislav Olesz Out, hasn't played since November due to finger injury, currently on IR.
Pekka Rinne Out, still 1-3 weeks away, no truth to the rumor that Lindback has Wally Pipped him.
Martin Erat Questionable, left Wednesday's game after taking stick to face, check updates.
David Legwand Probable, also left Wednesday but is expected to go Saturday.
Matthew Lombardi Out, still no word when and if Lombardi might return from concussion.
Carolina vs. St. Louis
No reported injuries.
David Perron Out, no timetable for return from concussion.
Andy McDonald Out, also missing indefinite time from ravages of concussion.
T.J. Oshie Out, one month into three month minimum rehab from broken ankle.
Roman Polak Out, stickhandling but still out until January as severed wrist tendon recovers.
Chicago vs. San Jose
Jassen Cullimore Out, will traveling with team to San Jose but missed practice Friday.
Fernando Pisani Out, won't travel with team to San Jose because of upper body injury.
Marian Hossa Out, could return to the lineup from lower body injury next week.
Patrick Kane Out, likely to miss a minimum of two more weeks with leg ailment.
Kent Huskins Out, hasn't played since Nov. 27 with undisclosed injury.
Devin Setoguchi Out, Sharks reluctant to say what's caused his injury or slump.
Minnesota vs. Los Angeles
Matt Cullen Questionable, considered doubtful Saturday but still receiving treatment, check updates.
John Madden Questionable, didn't practice Friday and likely won't go against the Kings.
Greg Zanon Questionable, day-to- day with arm injury and could suit up Saturday night.
Brad Richardson Questionable, unlikely to play due to upper body injury.
Willie Mitchell Out, could return from broken wrist as soon as Monday.
Tampa Bay vs. Vancouver
Mattias Ritola Out, battling an inner ear issue that could jeopardize his season, if not career.
Steve Downie Out, 2-3 weeks away from returning with high ankle sprain.
Vincent Lecavalier Out, he's now three weeks out from hand surgery, yet no timetable's been given.
Christian Erhoff Questionable, missed practice Friday after taking shot off ear. Erhoff, off-ear, get it?
Mikael Samuelsson Questionable, suffered mild concussion Sunday but could return Saturday.
Guillame Desbiens Questionable, hopes to return either Saturday or Sunday for Canucks.
Cody Hodgson Out, expected to miss a month after breaking cheekbone in AHL game.
Mason Raymond Out, broken thumb puts him in the "week to week" category.
Sami Salo Out, skating but has no timetable for a return from Achilles injury.
Dustin Jeffrey recalled by Pittsburgh from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Nikita Filatov sent to Springfield of the AHL.
Tom Sestito recalled by Columbus from AHL Springfield.
Oscar Moller recalled by Los Angeles from AHL Manchester.
Ryan Parent recalled by Vancouver from AHL Manitoba.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot recalled by Tampa Bay from AHL Norfolk.
Brian Fahey recalled by Washington from AHL Hershey.
Aaron Voros placed on IR by Anaheim.
Dan Sexton recalled by Anaheim from AHL Syracuse.
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