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The Daily Puck: Island Surprise

George Kurtz

George Kurtz

George Kurtz writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Goalie Starters

Boston (Tuukka Rask) at Islanders (Al Montoya), 7:00 p.m. ET
Carolina (Cam Ward) at Washington (Brian Holtby), 7:00 p.m. ET
Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7:00 p.m. ET
Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk) at Detroit (Jimmy Howard), 7:30 p.m. ET
Ottawa (Craig Anderson) at Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson), 7:30 p.m. ET
New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) at Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec), 7:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota (Jose Theodore) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30 p.m. ET
Anaheim (Dan Ellis) at Colorado (Brian Elliott), 9:00 p.m. ET

Injuries for Teams Playing Friday

Day-to-Day (Includes DL players close to returning)
Blake Comeau (W) Islanders – (Neck) Expected to play Friday.
Nicklas Backstrom (C) Washington -- (Thumb) Practicing with non-contact jersey, questionable to play Friday.
Michal Neuvirth (G) Washington – (Face) Good to go, but still may not start Friday.
Gilbert Brule (C) Edmonton -- (Flu) Questionable to play Friday.
Patrick Eaves (W) Detroit -- (Groin) Out until next week.
Brian Rafalski (D) Detroit -- (Back) Questionable to play Friday.
Steve Downie (W) Tampa Bay -- (Ankle) Not expected to play until next week.
Radek Dvorak (W) Atlanta -- (Hamstring) Game-time decision for Friday.
Dustin Byfuglien (D) Atlanta -- (Lower body) Questionable to play Friday.
Cal Clutterbuck (W) Minnesota -- (Head) Questionable to play Friday.
Cam Barker (W) Minnesota -- (Upper body) Out for Friday.
Jason Blake (W) Anaheim -- (Hand) Doubtful for Friday.
John-Michael Liles (D) Colorado (Thigh) Game-time decision for Friday.

Long Term or IR
Semyon Varlamov (G) Washington -- (Knee) Practicing but doubtful to play Friday.
Mike Green (D) Washington – (Concussion) Placed on long term IR, still suffering symptoms.
Kristian Huselius (W) Columbus – (Lower body) Practicing, doubtful for Friday.
Sam Gagner (C) Edmonton – (Hand) Out for the season.
Chris Osgood (G) Detroit -- (Hernia) Could play as soon as this weekend.
Pavel Kubina (D) Tampa Bay -- (Suspension) Out the next three games.
Mikko Koivu (C) Minnesota -- (Finger) Doubtful to play Friday.
Zach Parise (W) New Jersey – (Knee) Skating, taking shots, best case scenario is a return at the end of March.
Jonas Hiller (G) Anaheim -- (Vertigo) Skating, but no timetable for his return.

Transactions

Doug Janik (D) Detroit – Recalled from the AHL.
Ben Maxwell (C) Atlanta – Re-called from the AHL.
Drayson Bowman (C) Tampa Bay –Recalled from the AHL.
Derek Grant (C) Ottawa – Signed to a three-year entry-level contract.
Pavel Kubina (D) Tampa Bay – Suspended three games.
Alex Plante (D) Edmonton– Re-assigned to the AHL.
Jeff Petry (D) Edmonton -- Recalled from the AHL.
Mark Mancari (W) Buffalo -- Recalled from the AHL.
Teemu Laakso (D) Nashville -- Recalled from the AHL.
Marco Scandella (D) Minnesota -- Recalled from the AHL.
Dave Scatchard (C) St. Louis -- Recalled from the AHL.
Casey Wellman (C) Minnesota -- Recalled from the AHL.

Hot

Pierre-Marc Bouchard (C) Minnesota – Bouchard has missed about a third of the season due to a concussion, but he has been making up for lost time lately with three goals and six assists in his last nine games. Unlikely that Bouchard will keep up this point-a-game production, but if you're looking to ride the hot player, Bouchard could be your man until Mikko Koivu is ready to return for Minnesota.

Al Montoya (G) Islanders – The Islanders have been an easy target this season, but over the past two months they have been one of the top five teams in the NHL. They aren’t truly that good, but ever since the team fired head coach Scott Gordon and instituted Jack Capuano and his more carefree offensive system the Isles have responded with a total team effort. Montoya has been the beneficiary of that effort and has a 2.02 GAA and 92.7 SV% since being acquired by the Isles.

Cold

Ruslan Fedotenko (W) Rangers -- The Rangers were hoping that Fedotenko would be the spark their offense needed when he came back from injury, but since his return, he has only one assist in five games and has hardly lit the fire the team was hoping for. The Rangers are in a battle to claim one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference and desperately need the kind of offense Fedotenko can provide.

Jack Johnson (D) Los Angeles – That's six games and counting without a point for Johnson and 15 games without a goal. Johnson was a top fantasy defenseman during the first half of the season but has pretty much been a no-show during the second half.

Recommended Pickup

Braden Holtby (G) Washington – If you're looking for a shot in the dark in net, how about Holtby? Semyon Varlamov has proved to be a solid goaltender but has also proven that he can't stay healthy for any length of time. Michal Neuvirth has played well, but Holtby is someone the organization has great faith in and may ride while he's hot. At the end of the day the Caps probably play Varlamov, but the team also knows its biggest uncertainty is between the pipes and may decide to see if Holtby is the answer to that question.