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The Daily Puck: More Futility in Toronto

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, RotoWire Writer

-- Man, are the Leafs ever going to be good again? Toronto got pounded by the Sabres on Saturday night, and it looks more and more like six straight years without the playoffs in the T-Dot. So much for the "everyone makes the playoffs in the NHL" cliché.
-- The Predators and Red Wings little rivalry keeps growing. They play some intense games against each other. Pekka Rinne was the number one star on Saturday night after he stood on his head for the Preds, stopping 35 pucks in Nashville's 3-0 win over the Wings.
-- If Peter Forsberg does end up coming back to play for the Avs this year, he should be forced to wear the number four on his jersey. Peter is a few text messages away from being the NHL's version of Brett Favre as the "will he or won't he" story is almost a month old, with no contract signed. [Ed Note: Forsberg did indeed sign early on Sunday.]

Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) vs. Washington (Semyon Varlamov), 12:30 p.m

Pittsburgh injuries:

Sidney Crosby (C) - Remains out with concussion. The Pens have been vague, to say the least, as to any progress Sid is making in his recovery.
Evgeni Malkin (C) - Out, likely for the remainder of the season after tearing his MCL and ACL Friday night against the Sabres.
Arron Asham (RW) - Doubtful for Sunday with upper body injury.
Mark Letestu (D) - Out; will miss four-to-six weeks after sustaining a knee injury on Tuesday night.

Washington injuries:

Tom Poti (D) - Out with undisclosed injury
Alexander Semin (LW) - Out for Sunday with thigh injury, but is expected to return within the next week.

New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) vs. Montreal (Carey Price), 3:00 p.m

New Jersey injuries:

No Significant Injury News

Montreal injuries: 

Mike Cammalleri (C) - Out for Sunday with shoulder injury but is making progress and could be back this week.
James Wisniewski (D) - Doubtful for Sunday after sitting out Saturday night's game against the Rangers with the flu.

St. Louis (Ty Conklin) vs. Tampa Bay (Dan Ellis), 3:00 p.m

St. Louis injuries:

Eric Brewer (D) - Should be back on the ice on Sunday after missing Friday night's game due to the birth of his child.
Jaroslav Halak (G) - Out for Sunday with upper body injury that is not thought to be too serious.

Tampa Bay injuries:

Ryan Malone (LW) - Questionable for Sunday. Skated on Friday but was held out of the lineup with lower-body injury. With a limited NHL schedule on Sunday, it won't hurt to plug Malone into your lineup in daily leagues.

TRANSACTIONS

Chris Mueller (C) Nashiville - Assigned to Milwaukee (AHL)
Tim Wallace (RW) Pittsburgh - Recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)
Carter Hutton (G) San Jose - Recalled from Worcester (AHL)
John McCarthy (LW) San Jose - Recalled from Worcester (AHL)
Mike Smith (G) Tampa Bay - Assigned to Norfolk (AHL)
Marc-Andre Bergeron (D) Tampa Bay - Recalled from Norfolk (AHL)
Lee Sweatr (D) Vancouver - Assigned to Manitoba (AHL)

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Who's Hot

Jonathan Toews (C) Chicago - It's time for Toews and company to turn up the intensity a bit as the defending Stanley Cup champs sit in ninth place in the Western Conference. Their captain is doing his part with seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the last three games for the Hawks.
Chris Campoli (D) Ottawa - After going all season without a multiple point game, Campoli has put together two games in a row with multiple points. He's a plus-4, with a goal and four assists in the last two games for the Sens.

Who's Cold

Dustin Byfuglien (D) Atlanta - You don't need a reminder of how cold Byfuglien has been if you own him. You keep waiting for that game where Byfuglien rediscovers his unbelievable, pre-January form, but it's just not happening. He managed to stay off the scoresheet again on Saturday night, marking the 13th consecutive game in which he has been AWOL.
Rick DiPietro (G) NY Islanders - DiPietro managed to get the NHL a mention on ESPN during Super Bowl week ... for all of the wrong reasons. What's not to love about a goalie fight, right?  They are as rare as a perfect game in baseball it seems, and they're just as memorable. DiPietro would argue that, after getting smoked on one punch to the face from Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson at the end of Wendesday night's loss to the Pens. DiPietro was going through a rough stretch before the Wednesday, and the viral video of him getting drilled only adds injury to the insult. He'll need a month to deal with the physical injuries from "the punch" but he may never live down the infamy.
 
Recommended Pickup

Vaclav Prospal (C) NY Rangers - On Thursday Prospal returned to the ice from a knee injury that had kept him out all season. He managed to score while putting five shots on goal in his first game back. Projections had Prospal near 60 points before the year started, and he's definitely worth taking a flyer on if your squad is thin at center.