The Daily Puck
Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire Writer
Around the Rink
If you like goals and fights (and who doesn't?), the Bruins and Canadiens put on maybe the game of the year last night, combining for 14 goals, 182 PIM and one really lame goalie fight between Tim Thomas and Carey Price. The teams combined to score seven goals in a span of 6:19 of the second period, and yet somehow neither goalie was pulled from the game. A second-period brawl left the penalty boxes stuffed and another couple at the end of this one, when Boston had it well in hand, left almost no players on the benches. All in all, it was a glorious spectacle.
Tom Pyatt really got his face beat in by Gregory Campbell in one of those fights. Dude got seriously wrecked.
The goalie fight thing has to be curbed, though. We can't have goalie fights becoming commonplace because the awesome thing about goalie fights is that they're like double rainbows. It's the rarity of the thing that makes it so awesome; let's not overdo it.
Remember when I made that joke last week that Rick DiPietro would be out for the year after being punched out by Brent Johnson, then the very next day it was announced that he was out for 4-6 weeks? Some joke. It must suck to be just as brittle as your reputation.
Speaking of Islanders goalies, Kevin Poulin's Cinderella story came to an end as well - at least for this season - as he's out for the year with a dislocated kneecap. Ouch.
First pre-trade-deadline action, as the Ducks reacquired Francois Beauchemin, who won a Stanley Cup with them back in '07, in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, stud defense prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional draft pick. This is just a fantastic deal for the Leafs; I have no idea how they got something useful in exchange for a really mediocre defenseman in Beauchemin.
But that wasn't the only deal! Michael Frolik and goalie prospect Alexander Salak to the Blackhawks. In exchange, Jack Skille heads to Florida along with mega-bust Hugh Jessiman (the 12th overall pick by the Rangers in 2003 has never seen NHL action) and low-grade center prospect David Pacan. I say Chicago wins big on this one; Skille is a nice player, but Frolik is much nicer and could be very successful in his new digs.
The Senators also just, as I write this, traded Mike Fisher to Nashville for first- and second-round picks.
Evgeni Malkin's going to have knee surgery and should be ready for training camp next season. Boy, did things go off the rails for the Penguins, from huge winning streaks and “24/7” and the Winter Classic to losing their two superstars. The NHL can be brutal sometimes. To me, Jordan Staal is the one guy who is really going to have to step up; taken second overall in 2006, Sidney Crosby and Malkin have blocked him from top-line action. He's the guy who needs to get it going; otherwise, the Pens are really going to be hard up for scoring.
Projected Goalie Starters
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Carolina (Cam Ward) at Philadelphia (Brian Boucher), 7:00 ET
New Jersey (Johan Hedberg) at Toronto (James Reimer), 7:00 ET
Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick) at Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00 ET
Islanders (Mikko Koskinen) at Montreal (Alex Auld), 7:30 ET
Buffalo (Ryan Miller) at Florida (Tomas Vokoun), 7:30 ET
Recent Injury News for Teams Playing Thursday
Joni Pitkanen, D (leg) - Likely out Thursday
Jussi Jokinen, LW (lower body) - Not traveling on the current road trip
Martin Brodeur, G (knee) - Ruled out for Thursday and Friday; look for him in the middle-end of next week
Anton Volchenov, D (suspension) - Three-game suspension begins Thursday
Mike Brown, LW (upper body) - Out about another week
Marco Sturm, LW (knee) - Close to returning; no firm word yet on Thursday status, but could play
Scott Parse, RW (hip) - Practicing with team, but still a few weeks away
Sidney Crosby, C (concussion) - Feeling better, but still no timetable
Evgeni Malkin, C (knee) - Having surgery Thursday; see you next year
Chris Kunitz, LW (lower body) - Will miss 4-6 days
Arron Asham, RW (upper body) - On IR and not practicing
Matt Cooke, RW (suspension) - Four-game penalty starts Thursday
Bruno Gervais, D (upper body) - Will return Thursday after missing two straight
Blake Comeau, LW (concussion) - Out Thursday
Kevin Poulin, G (knee) - Out for the year
Rick DiPietro, G (face, knee) - Placed on IR
Trent Hunter, RW (knee) - Out for the year
Nathan Lawson, G (knee) - Practicing; day-to-day
Doug Weight, C (back) - Could be out for the year
Jeremy Colliton, C (ribs) - Out two weeks
Tom Pyatt, RW (face) - Took a beating at Gregory Campbell's hands Thursday; no word on whether he'll miss time
Michael Cammalleri, C (shoulder) - Didn't play Wednesday and most likely still out for the time being
Steve Montador, D (upper body) - Out Thursday; could have a concussion
Patrick Kaleta, RW (hand) - Won't return Thursday
Cory Stillman, LW (upper body) - Thursday status unknown
Bryan McCabe, D (jaw) - Has started skating, but will be out a while yet
Jacob Markstrom, G (knee) - Panthers' goalie of future could need season-ending surgery
Mikael Samuelsson, RW, VAN - Samuelsson's got a five-game points streak stretching back to the beginning of the month, and it's no cheapie - four multi-point efforts and 10 points (five on the power play) over that period. That's just one point less than he scored in the previous two months combined.
Nikolai Kulemin, LW, TOR - Another guy on a five-game streak, Kulemin's scored goals in four of five and reached the 20-goals and 40-point marks for the first time in his career. His plus-5 rating on the year (which, in truth, is thanks to going plus-five during this streak) is downright impressive, too, considering he plays for the Leafs.
Ryan Kesler, C, VAN - What has gotten into Kesler? All of a sudden, this season he's pulling nearly a point per game this year and has 32 goals, including five in his last five games. He's really been hot all season long with the exception of October.
Kris Letang, D, PIT - Pointless and minus-4 since the All-Star Game, Letang has only an assist in his last 10 games. No one has suffered more from the losses of Crosby and Malkin.
Marian Gaborik, RW, NYR - Remember that four-goal game Jan. 19? That was great. Unfortunately, Gabby has just a single goal to go with four assists in eight games since and is in serious danger of falling into John Tortorella's doghouse. He could even be traded.
Mike Richards, C, PHI - Just an assist and a minus-three in three games since the break for the star center, who came into the break hot with seven points in four games.
Sergei Kostitsyn, LW, NAS - Kostitsyn's racked up six points in five games since the break and generally has provided quite useful offensive stats from the wing over the last couple of months, yet he's only owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues and a quarter of CBS leagues. He's got 29 points over his last 32 games. Take a long, hard look at your left wings; are they doing better than that?