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The Daily Puck: Kesler on a Roll

Ben Rauscher

Ben Rauscher

Ben Rauscher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Sunday Night Summary

-- It seems that I talk about the Washington Capitals every week, but this club is always making news of some sort. On Sunday night, the Caps broke an eight-game skid by taking a slim 3-2 decision over host Ottawa. The most telling point of the win was the following statement by Mathieu Perreault: “We felt like we won a championship. We needed that win so much for our confidence and just for the team. That was a huge win for us.”

-- Why am I quoting Perrault? Well, he started and finished the comeback by scoring a pair of goals. Alexander who?

-- Two games back, two goals - including a game winner Sunday - for T.J. Galiardi who missed about a month with a fractured wrist.

-- Playing in his 700th NHL game, the Stars’ Brenden Morrow scored his second goal of the contest with a little over three minutes left in the third to tie the score and force overtime. Dallas wound up with a 4-3 victory when Loui Eriksson’s shot 4:18 in found the back of the net.

-- Jiri Hudler was a healthy scratch for the Red Wings, who are trying to find some consistency after going 3-4-2 in their last nine games. Hey Hudler! Thanks for coming back from Russia, now go sit in the press box...

-- Is this the season that Marty Turco lost fantasy relevance, or did that already happen a couple of years ago in Dallas? Regardless, it is the Corey Crawford show in Chicago; and if for any reason this kid is still sitting on the waiver wire of your league, I want an invite next year, er, go pick him up!

-- In all seriousness, the Blackhawks are benefitting from a stronger commitment to team play in all three zones and may have finally realized that the up-tempo style they played last year (before losing all those players this offseason) won’t work with their current personnel.

Around The Rink

-- Rick DiPietro sat out Saturday with swelling in his surgically-repaired knee, but Islanders coach Jack Capuano said the injury wasn't serious... riiiiiight.

-- Avs defenseman Kyle Quincey will miss the rest of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. Previously a waiver wire darling, Quincey has lost offensive minutes to the emerging Kevin Shattenkirk and the reenergized John-Michael Liles. It is safe to drop Quincey in single-season formats if you have not already done so.

-- Sticking with the Avs, Craig Anderson is a solid goaltender (and is also on a six-game winning streak)... that is all.

-- I remember doing an interview with Logan Couture just after his first cup of coffee at the NHL level. He impressed me with his hockey IQ, but there were questions regarding how his offense would transition to the professional game. There are NO questions anymore!

-- Don Cherry was immortalized by DJ Steve Porter in a remix of all Cherry’s idiosyncratic sayings... Check it out HERE.

HOT

Joffrey Lupul has three goals (two on the PP) and an assist in eight games since returning from a yearlong absence due to back problems. He was my recommended pickup last week but remains largely available, so consider this another hint.
T.J. Galiardi rejoined a high-scoring Colorado team after a month off and scored a goal in each of his first two games. Galiardi will slow down, but he should remain an offensive producer for the Avs.

Ryan Kesler has grown beyond pest, past defensive specialist, and into a legitimate NHL star. Kesler has scored 13 points since the same date last month, including his first NHL hat trick last week.

COLD

Marty Turco is beyond cold, but since I don’t have a category for that, he sticks here.

Alexander Ovechkin, can you score a goal? He is on pace for fewer than 30 and is single-handedly losing fantasy leagues for his owners.

Chris Pronger isn’t scoring points as many points as he used to, and he has also become brittle. Pronger may rebound next year, or even when he returns from his most recent injury, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

Recommended Pickup

Kevin Bieksa continues to be part of the rumor mill in Vancouver, but his strong play of late may have silenced the talks a little. Regardless, he should be universally owned and be planted in starting rosters.

Monday Game Information

Atlanta @ Toronto, 7:00pm EST

Thrashers:
Probable starter – Ondrej Pavelec

Injuries
None

Maple Leafs:
Probable starter – Jonas Gustavsson

Injuries
Jean-Sebastien Giguere – Out; he is suffering from a groin injury that is worse than originally thought and could be out a while depending on the results of his visit to the doctor Monday. Stay tuned.
Mike Brown - Out

Florida @ Philadelphia, 7:00pm EST

Panthers:
Probable starter – Tomas Vokoun

Injuries
Byron Bitz – Out
Mark Cullen – Out
Rostislav Olesz – Out
Radek Dvorak – Out
Cory Stillman - Out

Flyers:
Probable starter – Sergei Bobrovsky

Injuries
Chris Pronger – Out
Ian Laperierre – Out
Matt Walker - Out

Phoenix @ Pittsburgh, 7:00pm EST
Coyotes:
Probable starter – Jason LaBarbera

Injuries
Ilya Bryzgalov – Out; nursing an upper-body injury that has cost him two games in a row.
Kurt Sauer - Out

Penguins:
Probable starter – Marc-Andre Fleury

Injuries
Jordan Staal – Out
Mike Comrie - Out

Carolina @ Tampa Bay, 7:30pm EST

Hurricanes:
Probable starter – Cam Ward

Injuries
None

Lightning:
Probable starter – Mike Smith

Injuries
Steve Downie – Out

Anaheim @ Boston, 7:30pm EST

Ducks:
Probable starter – Jonas Hiller

Injuries
Aaron Voros – Out

Bruins:
Probable starter – Tim Thomas
Injuries
Trent Whitfield - Out

Calgary @ Minnesota, 8:00pm EST

Flames:
Probable starter – Miikka Kiprusoff

Injuries
Daymond Langkow – Out
Steve Staois – Out

Wild:
Probable starter – Niklas Backstrom

Injuries
James Sheppard – Out
Josh Harding – Out
Guillaume Latendresse – Out

Vancouver @ St Louis, 8:00pm EST

Canucks:
Probable starter – Roberto Luongo

Injuries
Sami Salo – Perpetually Out
Mason Raymond - Out

Blues:
Probable starter – Jaroslav Halak

Injuries
T. J. Oshie – Out
David Perron – Out
Andy McDonald – Out
Dave Scatchard – Out

Starting Goalie Recap

Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) @ Toronto (Jonas Gustavsson); 7:00pm EST
Florida (Tomas Vokoun) @ Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky); 7:00pm EST
Phoenix (Jason LaBarbera) @ Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury); 7:00pm EST
Carolina (Cam Ward) @ Tampa Bay (Mike Smith); 7:30pm EST
Anaheim (Jonas Hiller) @ Boston (Tim Thomas); 7:30pm EST
Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) @ Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom); 8:00pm EST
Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) @ St Louis (Jaroslav Halak); 8:00pm EST

**For complete starting goalie details, please visit the GOALIE GRID.