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The Daily Puck: Dropping Saturday's Puck

John Toperzer

John Toperzer

John Toperzer writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Around the Rink

Whether or not Vincent Lecavalier's retaliatory slash on P.K. Subban was justified, I'm sure glad no one every sticked me like that when I played. Talk about a welt. Ouch.

-- Antoine Vermette should be suspended just for being a bad skater. An out-of-control Vermette slid into Brian Rafalski's knee and once again hurt the fragile Detroit defender. Rafalski has 40 points in only 52 games. Wow.

-- Michal Neuvirth reasserted himself with a 33-save, 3-0 shutout of New Jersey on Friday night. Are the Caps peaking too early or can they carry their momentum into the postseason? Right now they are the beast of the East.

-- The Coyotes are 6-0 on the road against Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. It's almost like someone is calling the franchise back home to Canada. Hockey can work in Phoenix, move the Thrashers.

Who's Hot

Jason LaBarbera Makes 46 saves in a 3-1 win at Vancouver on Friday night, despite starting for just the third time in nine weeks.

Christian Erhoff Nineteen goals, really? He's a solid all-around rear guard but I never saw a 20-goal season coming. Neither did Alexander Edler, but then again, he's hurt and the probable reason Erhoff has 19 scores.

Mike Ribeiro The centerman has six goals and 15 points in his last 14 games in a relatively quiet 60 point-plus campaign.

Who's Not

Patrik Hornqvist He's got one stinking goal in his last 12 games. Thank goodness for his game misconduct cheap shot worth 15 PIMs on Thursday. I never thought I would be saying such a thing. The shooting savant has but two shots in the last four games.

Erik Johnson My boy Erik Johnson has a minus-8 rating in his last six games. So that's why I'm dropping in the standings.

Marc-Andre Bergeron Things aren't coming so easy for Bergeron after he tallied two assists in his first game back. He's pointless in his last eight with a minus-4 rating.

Recommended Pickup

Ryan McDonagh Pat yourself on the back if you knew the Rangers defenseman leads the NHL in plus-minus over the last month (plus-10) and has five assists. He is zero percent owned in Yahoo! fantasy leagues. He's doing better than Erik Johnson and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

Probable Starting Goalies

Columbus (Steve Mason) at Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom), 2 p.m.
Islanders (Rick DiPietro) at Florida (Tomas Vokoun), 7 p.m.
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at Buffalo (Ryan Miller), 7 p.m.
Boston (Tim Thomas) at Toronto (James Reimer), 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson) at Ottawa Craig Anderson), 7 p.m.
Detroit (Jimmy Howard) at Nashville (Pekka Rinne), 8 p.m.
Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 8 p.m.
Colorado (Brian Elliott) at Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk), 10 p.m.
Anaheim (Daniel Ellis) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 p.m.
St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 10:30 p.m.

Rotowire Goalie Grid

Injury Roll Call

Columbus

Kristian Huselius Out, continues to miss with lower-body injury.
Chris Clark Out, still hopes to return before season's end.

Minnesota

Marek Zidlicky Out, ruled out for Saturday with lower-body injury.
Cam Barker Out, not close to returning from lower body.
Guillaume Latendresse Out, will miss Saturday with an aggravation of a previous lower-body injury.

Islanders

Trevor Gillies Out, seven games into a 10-game suspension.
Florida
Shawn Mattias Out, expected to play during team's upcoming five-game road trip.
Evgeny Dadonov Out, will test his finger Saturday after missing nearly two months of action.
Jacob Markstrom Out, will miss rest of season after undergoing successful knee surgery.

Atlanta

None

Buffalo
Johan Hecht Questionable, missed Wednesday with an upper-body injury.
Derek Roy Out, could return in May from quad injury, should the Sabres still be playing.

Boston

Andrew Ference Questionable, missed Thursday but could return from lower body Saturday.
Brad Marchand Out, will missed second game of two-game suspension Saturday.

Toronto

Mike Komisarek Questionable, missed Thursday and unlikely to go with lower body Saturday.

Tampa Bay

Steve Downie Out, still missing time with ankle injury.
Ryan Malone Abdomen, skating with non-contact red jersey.

Ottawa

Craig Anderson Questionable, dealing with minor lower-body injury, could play Saturday.

Detroit

Pavel Datsyuk Questionable, lower body injury after Rick Nash hurt, walking gingerly, 50/50 for Saturday.
Jiri Hudler Out, will not play Saturday due to illness.
Chris Osgood Out, will skate Saturday in anticipation of returning to game action next week.
Brian Rafalski Questionable, GM Ken Holland said he thinks Rafalski will play Saturday, we say 50/50.
Ruslan Salei Questionable, team not sure if Salei will go Saturday after attending birth of child.

Nashville

Joel Ward Questionable, optimistic about playing through lower body Saturday.

Philadelphia

Chris Pronger Out, expected to miss another three weeks with small fracture to hand.

Dallas

Adam Burish Out, has missed the last three games with lower body.
Loui Eriksson Questionable, missed Thursday and no real updates for Saturday not good.

Colorado

Erik Johnson Probable, expected to play after taking shot off leg.
Milan Hejduk Questionable, missed Wednesday and has played poorly when healthy lately.

Edmonton

Theo Peckham Out, couple days away from returning after concussion.
Ryan Whitney Out, season is officially done due to ankle after hot start to season.
Shawn Horcoff Out, hairline ankle fracture, hopes to return in about one week.

Anaheim

Jonas Hiller Out, making progress from vertigo but no set date for a return.
Los Angeles
Kyle Clifford Out, will not play Saturday due to upper body.

St. Louis

Nikita Nikitin Questionable, skating and close to returning from upper body.
Phil McRae Questionable, also back skating and could return any game now.

San Jose

Niclas Wallin Questionable, missed Wednesday but could return against Blues, day-to-day.
Dany Heatley -- Out, will miss second game of two-game suspension Saturday.

Transactions

Tyson Strachan Activated off IR by St. Louis.
Nathan Oystrick Assigned to AHL Peoria by St. Louis.
Michael Duco Assigned to AHL Rochester by Florida.

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