The Daily Puck
Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire Writer
Around the Rink
We're getting into the stretch run of this year's regular season, which means that it's time for some fantasy-season-changing injuries! Yesterday, Derrick Brassard, Matt Duchene and Jonas Hiller all suffered injuries. Kevin Bieksa's injury may not hit your team as hard, but it'll hit it just the same. Jean-Sebastien Giguere got hurt, too, but at least if you own him, you might be happy to have an excuse to drop him.
Best wishes to Joel Quenneville, who's in the hospital for some reason.
As tired as Topper was yesterday of people talking about the Islanders-Penguins game, that's how tired I've become of people talking about the Devils. Look how hot the Devils are! They're playing like the Devils again! Will they make the playoffs? Please stop. Please. Yes, the Devils are "only" 12 points out of a playoff spot. Yippee. Calgary is the eighth seed in the West, and they're "just" 15 points out of being the first seed. Think they'll get there?
What I'm saying is that a cellar-dwelling team's hot streak doesn't mean they'll make the playoffs. In fact, I'm saying that the Devils aren't going to make the playoffs. You heard it here ... probably not first.
They're definitely going to win the Stanley Cup now that I said that, aren't they?
The Thrashers may be looking to move due to their lack of fans and general interest despite awesome stunts like their mascot (not really) getting arrested for stealing a Zamboni; also, the team comes out and plays some decent hockey sometimes. Hey, newly extended Dustin Byfuglien, Quebec's got a massive, empty arena with your name on it.
Projected Goalie Starters
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00 ET
Boston (Tuukka Rask) at Islanders (Nathan Lawson), 7:00 ET
Detroit (Jimmy Howard) at Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson), 7:30 ET
Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) at Nashville (Pekka Rinne), 8:00 ET
Montreal (Carey Price) at Edmonton (Nikolai Khabibulin), 9:00 ET
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov), 9:00 ET
Washington (Michael Neuvirth) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 10:30 ET
Recent Injury News for Teams Playing Thursday
Marco Sturm, LW (knee) - Still not back Wednesday and no word yet on Thursday status
Wojtek Wolski, LW (ribs) - Out Thursday
Derek Boogaard, LW (concussion, shoulder) - Made an appearance at practice, but still most likely out for the year
Ruslan Fedotenko, LW (appendix) - Probably about two weeks away
Andrew MacDonald, D (nose) - Broke his nose Tuesday, but he's a tough guy; will go Thursday
Kevin Poulin, G (knee) - Surgery went well
Matt Martin and Trevor Gillies, LW (suspension) - Two games left for each
Valtteri Filppula, C (knee) - Won't go Thursday; maybe back next week
Mike Modano, C (wrist) - Plans to return Feb. 26
Brad Stuart, D (jaw) - Will return Thursday
Nate Thompson, C (head) - Likely to return Thursday
Matt Smaby, D (illness) - Missed Tuesday's game
Kevin Bieksa, D (foot) - Out three weeks with fractured foot
Dan Hamhuis, D (concussion) - Has begun light workouts
Andrew Alberts, D (wrist) - Surgery was successful
Keith Ballard, D (knee) - Could return quicker than original timetable
Lee Sweatt, D (foot) and Alexander Edler (back) - Just included here to show you that Vancouver has a respectable six-man starting lineup of injured d-men
Hal Gill, D (upper body) - Day to day; could possibly play Thursday
Michael Cammalleri, C (shoulder) - Targeting a return Sunday for the Heritage Classic
Jaroslav Spacek, D (lower body) - Not traveling with team on current road trip, but apparently could join up
Gilbert Brule, C (illness) - Likely to return Saturday
Alex Burmistrov, C (foot) - Cracked a bone in the foot and is on crutches currently
Freddy Meyer, D (upper body) - Apparently dealing with multiple injuries
David Schlemko, D (upper body) - Practicing fully, no word on return date
Mike Green, D (ear) - Didn't play Wednesday; no word on Thursday, but seems iffy
Eric Fehr, RW (shoulder) - Going full speed in practice, so should be back soon
Olli Jokinen, C, CGY - It's a blast from the past: Jokinen is scoring again. He has a goal in four of five and points in five of six. Overall, in his last six games, Jokinen has racked up 11 points. We're less than two-thirds of the way through February, and it's already his highest-scoring month of the year. He appears here rather than under "recommended pickups," but he is rather widely available still.
Teemu Selanne, RW, ANA - Still a machine at 40, Selanne's been ripping it up on a five-game points streak in which he's collected three goals and six assists. Like Nicklas Lidstrom and Mark Recchi, he continues to defy old age, as Selanne has 54 points in 49 games in a surprisingly healthy year.
Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, NJD - It's no surprise that Kovy's resurgence and the Devils' big run have come at the same time. New Jersey is 7-0-1 in Kovalchuk's eight-game points streak, and he's got six goals, four assists and a plus-7 in that period to show for it.
Joe Thornton, C, SAN - It's been a rough go for Thorny, who just snapped a five-game pointless streak with an assist on Tuesday and hasn't scored a goal since Feb. 1. His inconsistency this season has been maddening.
Paul Stastny, C, COL - He's collected a couple assists in his last three games, but Stastny hasn't hit paydirt since Jan. 22 and has just four assists in 10 games in that interim.
Nicklas Lidstrom, D, DET - Lidstrom actually hasn't been defying old age lately, as he's failed to record a point in six straight contests and actually has only seen the scoreboard in three games since his eight-game scoring streak ended on Jan. 4.
Ray Whitney, LW, PHO - He's not an exciting name and he sure is old, but Whitney is very capable of helping your fantasy team out. He's got eight points in his last seven games and is owned in less than half of Yahoo leagues. Andrew Ladd, a comparable player, is owned in 21% more leagues than Whitney is. Sounds like there's value to be had here.