The Daily Puck
Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire Writer
Around the Rink
Well, the Coyotes came into Tampa Bay with an eight-game winning streak and left with their tails between their legs, as Teddy Purcell's first career hat trick led the Bolts to an 8-3 romp over one of the league's hottest teams. Of course, if I had to pick one goalie in the NHL to give up an eight spot, Jason LaBarbera might very well be that guy.
Paul Stastny's dad, one-time Blues stud forward Peter Stastny, thinks that the Avs dealing Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk "destroyed the team." Really? Not that I think they got the better of the deal, but they did get a guy back in Erik Johnson who was once a first overall pick and has as high an upside as any defenseman. Still, I'd take Shattenkirk plus Stewart over him.
Dallas apparently wants Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal and Derek Stepan in exchange for a concussed Brad Richards - a two-month rental. If the Stars want to get nothing for Richards, they're doing a great job.
The more I think about it, the more I think that the ideal destination for Tomas Vokoun is Detroit. Sure, Jimmy Howard is starting to get his sea legs under him a little, but he's proven this year that he's not a big-time goalie yet. The numbers that Vokoun has been able to put up for Florida teams with bad offense and worse defense over these past four years have been nothing short of spectacular; put the guy on a Red Wings team that actually scores and plays responsibly in its own zone, and he could be the No. 1 fantasy goalie down the stretch - and would stand a very good chance of winning a Stanley Cup.
This is kind of a funny scenario for Florida, though, because very few of the top teams need a goalie. I'd say that Tampa Bay still does, but they already dealt for Dwayne Roloson and don't seem likely to make a push for Vokoun. Maybe Washington would do it, but that'd push out Michael Neuvirth or Semyon Varlamov, which would certainly be a hard choice to make.
In late-breaking deadline news, Alexei Kovalev returns to Pittsburgh (for a seventh-round pick; bag of pucks not included) and Dan Ellis goes to Anaheim for Curtis McElhinney. Ellis suddenly gains fantasy value with the Ducks, as Jonas Hiller is still suffering from dizziness. As for Kovalev, well, I'll never bet on him succeeding, but I'll never bet against it, either.
The Pens really made out on that James Neal deal, by the way. That was a horrible trade for Dallas, sending Neal and James Niskanen for the unimpressive Alex Goligoski.
A warm welcome back to Joel Quenneville, who's resumed his coaching duties. Glad you came through all right, hoss.
Projected Goalie Starters
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Islanders (Al Montoya) at Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 ET
Toronto (James Reimer) at Montreal (Alex Auld), 7:30 ET
Dallas (Kari Lehtonen) at Detroit (Jimmy Howard), 7:30 ET
Chicago (Corey Crawford) at Nashville (Pekka Rinne), 8:00 ET
St. Louis (Ty Conklin) at Vancouver (Corey Schneider), 10:00 ET
Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier), 10:30 ET
Recent Injury News for Teams Playing Thursday
Jeremy Colliton, RW (ribs) - Placed on waivers, adding insult to injury
Milan Jurcina, D (groin) - Left Tuesday's game and not practicing Thursday, but injury doesn't seem serious
Radek Martinek, D (lower body) - Missed Tuesday's game
Blair Betts, C (finger) - Didn't go Tuesday; not practicing right now
Jody Shelley, LW (upper body) - Needed 60 stitches after his fight with Nolan Yonkman a couple days ago; probably won't keep the tough guy out
Oskars Bartulis, D (shoulder) - Having surgery after being hurt Tuesday
Sean O'Donnell, D (knee) - Says he'll play Thursday
Jonas Gustavsson, G (heart surgery) - Getting some AHL rehab action in
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G (groin) - Could return this weekend
Jaroslav Spacek, D (lower body) - Possibly out for the year
Adam Burish, RW (face) - Hopes to get back into game action Thursday
Niklas Grossman, D (hip) - Practiced Tuesday, but not ready to come back yet
Valtteri Filppula, C (knee) - Won't go Thursday; maybe back Saturday
Mike Modano, C (wrist) - Plans to return Feb. 26
Patrick Eaves, RW (groin) - Not traveling on the road trip that begins this weekend
Chris Osgood, G (sports hernia) - Skated before practice Tuesday, so he's making his way back gradually
Fernando Pisani, RW (head) - Has missed five straight, but should return Thursday
Ryan Suter, D (upper body) - Should return Thursday
Jaroslav Halak, G (hand) - Traveling with team, but will miss fourth straight game Thursday
Kevin Bieksa, D (foot) - Out another two weeks
Cam Barker, D (upper body) - Not traveling on current road trip
Kyle Brodziak, C (illness) - Out Thursday and probably will miss Friday as well
Mikko Koivu, C (finger) - Placed on IR
Guillaume Latendresse, LW (shoulder, groin) - Practicing in non-contact jersey; probably will need to build strength well into March before returning to action
James Sheppard, C (knee) - Practiced Wednesday, but has a long road ahead of him
Scott Parse, RW (hip) - Had a setback; early-March return now looks more like mid-March return
Andy McDonald, C, STL - McDonald played in his 600th NHL game Tuesday and scored a goal - something he's made a habit of doing ever since returning from a concussion Feb. 4. He's got six goals and 12 points in his 10 games since returning, and has recorded a point in five straight (and, in fact, in eight of those 10 games). He's not a sexy name, but a healthy McDonald can always be counted on to pick up plenty of points.
Bobby Butler, RW, OTT - This one kills me. I've always been Butler's biggest advocate, but after a season that saw him get shuttled from AHL to NHL and back again repeatedly, with his production at both levels suddenly falling below expectations, I cut him in a dynasty league to make room on my farm team to send down Brett MacLean. He was immediately picked up, and since then, Butler's been streaking, racking up five goals in his last five games. Sigh.
Steve Mason, G, CLM - I bet you thought you'd never see the day again when Mason would appear in the hot section, but the dude is 6-1-0 in his last seven with two shutouts, lifting his season save percentage over the .900 mark. He's playing as well as he ever has in the last two years; the problem is that he's teased us with this before and then fallen back down to earth. How much do you need to see from Mason to believe that he's righted the ship?
Dwayne Roloson, G, TAM - Rollo collected four shutouts between Jan. 4 and Feb. 1, but since then he's been mediocre at best and disastrous at worst, letting 26 goals through over his last six outings, good for a GAA over 4.00 in that span. It could be that the heavy workload is catching up to the 41-year-old Roloson, and he just had his backup get traded away for a worse goalie. Heck, maybe a Vokoun deal is on the horizon for Tampa.
Tomas Plekanec, C, MON - The normally reliable Plekanec has gone three straight without a point and hasn't had a multi-point game since Jan. 21. On the bright side, even though he has nothing to show for it, he's put 13 pucks on net in his last two games.
Zdeno Chara, D, BOS - In truth, aside from his contributions in plus-minus and shots on goal, Chara has had a pretty run-of-the-mill season, picking up just 31 points in 60 games. He hasn't scored a goal since his Jan. 17 hat trick and has just two points in his last eight contests.
Al Montoya, G, NYI - It is with some reservations that I recommend Montoya, a one-time sixth overall pick (in 2004) by my Rangers. Montoya has sparkled in his five appearances with the Isles thus far, allowing just six goals in all and saving 94.6% of the shots that came his way. On the one hand, although he's considered a bust, he's still just 26 years old and does have pedigree. On the other hand, he had a 3.19 GAA and .891 save percentage in the AHL this year. If you need a goalie who's gonna get some run, Montoya fits the bill. Just tread carefully.