Happy New Year, everybody!
Around the Rink
-- While watching a 2008 Winter Classic replay Friday, Eddie Olczyk said that the normal temperature for an indoor hockey arena is 62 degrees.
-- Having Jordan Staal come back for Saturday's game makes perfect sense. Not only would it incite the 70,000 crowd at Heinz Field, but it'd also put a charge in Staal's teammates.
-- Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa has been bouncing around waiver wires all season. If he gets traded, then his fantasy value likely gets a bump up with increased playing time and an increased role. Of course, he'd have plenty of value with the Canucks if a couple blueliners went on the shelf.
-- Kudos to the NHL Network for its historical segments on Howie Morenz and others. Hockey's history is underrated and not very well known, especially in the United States.
-- Twenty-year-old Tomas Tatar scored his first NHL goal for Detroit on Friday. He's probably up only long enough for a taste in the league, but the Wings have a way of working young players from across the pond into viable fantasy sources.
-- Canucks goalie Cory Schneider is 6-0-2, with a 2.38 GAA and save percentage of .923. Think how valuable he'd be if Roberto Luongo got hurt.
Steve Ott He's collected 58 penalty minutes in December, with no more than 12 PIMs in any game. Now that's consistency. He also picked up three goals and eight points in 16 games.
John Tavares New York is 6-1-1 since Tavares snapped a five-game pointless streak that had more than a few observers questioning his worth. In the Isles' last seven, the centerman has 10 points (3, 7).
Shane Doan Cast aside and onto waiver wires earlier in the season, Doan registered 16 points (8, 8) in 14 December contests.
James Wisniewski He scored two goals, including the game-winner Friday, and also assisted on a third score. He finished with four hits, four blocked shots and six shots on goal. Think he's happy with in Montreal?
Steve Mason The battered goalie has three wins in the last five days. Some suggested a trip to the AHL would be the best career move for the 22-year-old. Maybe not.
Kevin Shattenkirk No points in his last six games. The whole team has cooled off with 13 goals during that span, but it's always good to keep a closer eye on rookie offensive defensemen.
Justin Braun Speaking of rookie offensive defensemen, the Sharks sent him back to the AHL after the health of their blue line improved. Braun collected nine points (1,8) in 14 NHL contests prior to his demotion.
Cedrick Desjardins The Tampa Bay goalie is as speculative as a Texas oil patch, but he beat the Canadiens on Thursday and will get another start New Year's Day.
Probable Starting Goalies
Boston (Tuukka Rask) at Buffalo (Ryan Miller), 7 p.m.
New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) at Carolina (Cam Ward), 7 p.m.
Toronto (Jonas Gustavsson) at Ottawa (Brian Elliott), 7 p.m.
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Tampa Bay (Cedrick Desjardins), 7:30 p.m.
Washington (Semyon Varlamov) at Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury), 8 p.m.
San Jose (Antero Niittymaki) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick), 9 p.m.
Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) at Edmonton (Nikolai Khabibulin), 10 p.m.
Rotowire Goalie Grid
Injury Roll Call
Boston vs. Buffalo
Gregory Campbell Questionable, missed Thursday's game due to illness.
Mark Stuart Out, still out since injuring finger in a game against Buffalo on Dec. 7.
Patrick Kaleta Out, not expected to play Saturday because of a minor upper body injury.
Tim Connolly Probable, has returned to practice after suffering facial injury two weeks ago.
Derek Roy Out, will miss 4-6 months after tearing a quad.
New Jersey vs. Carolina
Matt Taormina Out, hasn't played since injuring ankle back in mid November.
Colin White Questionable, missed Friday's win due to illness, not expected to play Saturday.
Mark Fraser Out, sent to AHL Albany as part of a rehab stint Thursday.
Zach Parise Out, knee surgery has him out at least until March.
Bryce Salvador Out, could be shut down remainder of season due to concussion.
Jacob Josefson Out, will meet with doctors Monday to see if he can return to practice.
Jussi Jokinen Out, will miss Saturday's game with lower body injury.
Joni Pitkanen Out, will Saturday with upper body injury and is day-to-day.
Jiri Tlusty Questionable, missed Wednesday's shutout win with upper body injury, check updates.
Toronto vs. Ottawa
Jean-Sebastien Giguere Out, continues to miss time with a groin injury.
Mike Brown Out, four weeks into a 4-6 week prognosis after breaking a finger.
Pascal Leclaire Out, not expected back from lower-body injury until second week of January.
Jason Spezza Out, looking at more than six weeks before coming back from shoulder injury.
Rangers at Tampa Bay
Derek Boogaard Out, missing time with a concussion.
Michael Del Zotto Questionable, day-to-day with a groin injury.
Vaclav Prospal Out, his timetable always changes, but he'll be back sometime in January, we think.
Ryan Callahan Out, won't be back from hand injury until February.
Erik Christensen Out, will miss 4-6 weeks with sprained right knee.
Steve Downie Out, could come back from high ankle sprain within the next week.
Mike Smith Out, knee sprain likely to keep him out for another week or so.
Washington vs. Pittsburgh
Marcus Johansson Questionable, day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Mathieu Perreault Probable, broken nose not expected to interfere with his Winter Classic experience.
Tomi Poti Questionable, has returned to practice, check updates.
Matt Bradley Out, recently underwent surgery to mend broken finger.
Boyd Gordon Out, foot infection continues to keep him out of action.
Eric Godard Out, placed on injured reserve with broken nose.
Brent Johnson Probable, back in reserve role after missing time with groin and flu past week.
Jordan Staal Probable, game-time decision that would make big splash with Winter Classic debut.
Mike Comrie Out, not expected back until April, at the earliest, following hip surgery.
San Jose vs. Los Angeles
Torrey Mitchell Questionable, missed this week's action so far with lower body injury.
Joe Pavelski Questionable, could return for Saturday's contest, check updates.
John McCarthy Out, placed on IR recently with no listed timetable.
Alexei Ponikarovsky Questionable, didn't play Thursday with lower-body injury.
Willie Mitchell Questionable, also missed Thursday's 7-4 loss to Philly, week-to-week.
Calgary vs. Edmonton
Steve Staios Out, has missed the last month with rib injury.
Shawn Horcoff Out, not expected back until after All-Star game, though's he skating now.
Ryan Whitney Out, expected to miss a minimum of a month with ankle injury, possibly more.
Steve Reinprecht Placed on waivers by Florida.
David Desharnais Recalled by Montreal from AHL Hamilton.
Jim O'Brien Recalled by Ottawa from AHL Binghamton.
Linus Omark Sent to AHL Oklahoma City by Edmonton.
Brett Maclean Sent to AHL San Antonio by Phoenix.
Ryan Parent Sent to AHL Manitoba by Vancouver.
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