Around the Rink
Holy Franzen! If you haven’t heard, The Mule came back to work with a vengeance Wednesday, ripping off five goals against the hapless Senators. Here’s video of all five. Sure, one was an empty-netter. So what? The guy just naturally knows how to be in the right place at the right time. With this game, Franzen actually moved himself into a tie for fifth in goals league-wide. My RotoWire Staff Keeper Hockey League team thanks you, Johan.
It truly was a spectacular night of NHL action, as Brent Johnson nearly pitched a shutout, but instead he went ahead and delivered this knockout to Rick DiPietro. One punch and down goes DP, who will now be out for the year.
That’s a joke. Please don’t drop Rick DiPietro because of me.
Johnson gave him a good shot, but he’s no Dan Cloutier. If you click only one link out of my article, make it this one. Glorious. But NHL.com has video of all the classic goalie fights up, which is always worth checking out.
No Crosby, no Malkin, no problem – the Pens keep chugging along, and if their results along with what we saw in “24/7” are any indicator, Dan Bylsma should be considered one of the very top coaches in the NHL.
The Peter Forsberg “comeback” story is chugging along slowly. Obviously, he had a tough time in his first real practice with the team, and things don’t sound really positive, but we’ll give him a couple more weeks to round into top form before necessarily saying that Foppa’s latest comeback attempt has hit the skids for sure. For what it’s worth, Adam Foote said he looked great out there.
Projected Goalie Starters
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00 ET
Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) at Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec), 7:00 ET
Nashville (Anders Lindback) at Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 ET
Dallas (Andrew Raycroft) at Boston (Tuukka Rask), 7:00 ET
Carolina (Cam Ward) at Toronto (James Reimer), 7:00 ET
Minnesota (Jose Theodore) at Colorado (Craig Anderson), 9:00 ET
Recent Injury News for Teams Playing Thursday
Mark Fayne, D (illness) – Practiced Wednesday, likely to play Thursday
Vaclav Prospal, LW (knee) – Will come off IR and play alongside Marian Gaborik Thursday
Ruslan Fedotenko, LW (shoulder, appendix) – Out another three or four weeks after appendectomy
Derek Boogaard, LW (concussion) – Out for the year
Erik Christensen, C (knee) – Practicing, but at least a week away
Steve Staios, D (ribs) – Missed Tuesday’s game; no word yet on Thursday’s status, but he’s healthy scratched frequently
Chris Mason, G (knee) – Practiced Wednesday, but no timetable; should be on the way back though
Tobias Enstrom, D (finger) – Missed third straight Tuesday and could still miss two to three more weeks
Jim Slater, C (concussion) – Out indefinitely
Francis Bouillon, D (concussion) – Concussion officially diagnosed; day-to-day
Steve Sullivan, LW (groin) – Chronic issue has kept him out since late December; practicing, but no timetable
Jordin Tootoo, RW (personal) – Skating with team, but needs to get back into hockey shape before being redeployed
Marek Svatos, RW (knee) – Should be getting close to returning, as it’s been 10 days since his knee cleanout
Mark Fistric, D (illness) – Missed Tuesday’s game
Tom Wandell, C (shoulder) – Placed on IR
Marc Savard, C (concussion) – Will undergo further testing and could be out for the year
Tim Gleason, D (personal) – Missed practice, but expected to play Thursday
Jussi Jokinen, LW (lower body) – Will miss a week or two
Mike Brown, LW (upper body) – Will miss a couple weeks
Guillaume Latendresse, LW (hip) – Aiming for March 1 return
Marco Scandella, D (concussion) – Has missed six straight; seems to be no timetable
Marek Zidlicky, D (shoulder) – Improving and could be skating again in two weeks
Ryan O’Reilly, C (shoulder) – Wouldn’t have played Tuesday if game wasn’t canceled; questionable for Thursday
David Jones, LW (shoulder) – Skated before practice Wednesday; still out indefinitely
Daniel Sedin, LW, VAN – Normally the goal-scoring Sedin, Daniel’s taken a page out of his brother’s book with an all-assists points streak – five games going into the All-Star break, and extended to seven since. If you own him, sit back and enjoy.
Teddy Purcell, RW, TAM – Always kind of an enigmatic player, Purcell busts out with major offensive contributions every so often. This is one of those times, as he put up two multi-point games before the break and came out of it strong with two goals against the Flyers, including the game-winner. He’d scored just one point in the 14 games that preceded this mini-streak.
Dwayne Roloson, G, TAM – Roloson’s not just hot, he’s lightning hot. (See what I did there?) He has three shutouts in his last eleven starts, including two in a row sandwiching the All-Star break, and a five-game winning streak in which he’s allowed a total of five goals. When you can shut down all 38 shots that the Flyers put on you, well, you’re going as well as anyone in the NHL.
Jaroslav Halak, G, STL – Halak had a simply miserable month of January – not that his teammates helped him much (thanks for the own goal, Erik Johnson!) – allowing four goals seven times, including three straight to enter the break. He’s got a fairly friendly February schedule aside from Vancouver twice and games against Chicago and Tampa Bay, so Halak can turn things around if he gets started now on reclaiming the spectacular form he showed earlier on in the year.
Vincent Lecavalier, C, TAM – Remember when Vinny scored 52 goals? No one knows what’s happened to the one-time superstar, but things are looking pretty bad these days. He has just a single goal in his last 15 games, and it’s not like he’s making up for that by racking up assists, either. He’s only 31, so age shouldn’t have caught up with him this quickly. It’s telling that his linemate Purcell is in the “hot” column, while Lecavalier is still cold.
Michael Grabner, RW, NYI – Grabner went into the All-Star break hot, scoring points in seven of eight (including six goals), won the fastest skater competition, and came out of the gate into the second half with an assist and a plus-2 against Atlanta. The former first-round pick is quietly third on the team with 15 goals and could be a legit contributor down the stretch. His January totals – seven goals, three assists in 13 games and a plus-5 – are certainly fantasy-worthy.