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The Daily Puck: Huge Showdown

Kevin King

Kevin King

Kevin is a suffering Tottenham supporter living in Buffalo, New York, where also suffers from being a Buffalo Bills fan. He covers Major League Soccer and the English Premier League for Rotowire.

Around the League

- The last day of the season! And it's the most aggravating day of the season in daily leagues. Teams resting goalies, and limiting the minutes of that one player who you need to get a plus-2 in order to move into the money. I've been there. It's the equivalent of having your fantasy football playoffs in Week 17.
- Things are far from decided out West. One point clinches a playoff berth for the Blackhawks, and gets them away from having to face Vancouver in the first round. However, if the Hawks lose in regulation, they will become the biggest Minnesota Wild fans on the planet. Dallas can overtake Chicago with a regulation win over the Wild, and a Chicago regulation loss to Detroit.
- Like I stated earlier, I've lost money and won money on the last day of the season in roto leagues. Keep posted on the latest news on who is starting in net with our goalie grid, and keep an eye out on some of the match-ups where you can grab a player or two at a position where you're still under the max.

Detroit (Jimmy Howard) vs. Chicago (Corey Crawford), 12:30 p.m

Detroit injuries:

Chris Osgood (G) - Won't play Sunday because of the groin injury he has been battling, but it looks like he'll be set to back up Jimmy Howard when the playoffs start this week.
Niklas Kronwall (D) - Out. Could go if he needed to, but he'll rest that shoulder and get it ready for the start of the playoffs.
Henrik Zetterberg (C) - Out, and his status for the first few games of the playoffs are highly in doubt as well with what appears to be an injury to his knee.

Chicago injuries:

Dave Bolland (C) - Won't play Sunday and his status for the playoffs hasn't really been discussed since the Hawks still need to qualify. He resumed skating this week as he tries to overcome a concussion.
Troy Brouwer (RW) - Doubtful with shoulder injury, but should be ready to go if the Hawks do lock up a playoff spot on Sunday.

Boston (Tuukka Rask) vs. New Jersey (Martin Brodeur), 3:00 p.m

Boston injuries:

NO SIGNIFICANT INJURY NEWS

New Jersey injuries: 

Dainius Zubris (C) - Doubtful with shoulder/neck injury that kept him out of the lineup on Saturday.
Anton Volchenkv (D) - Doubtful as well after a lower-body injury kept him off the ice on Saturday.
Colin White (D) - Doubtful with lower-body injury that kept him out on Saturday also.

Pittsburgh (Brent Johnson) vs. Atlanta (Chris Mason), 3:00 p.m

Pittsburgh injuries:

James Neal (LW) - Doubtful with undisclosed injury, but should be all set for the playoffs.

Atlanta injuries:

Tobias Enstrom (D) - Will not play Sunday due to a shoulder injury.
Radek Dvorak (RW) - Highly doubtful as he battles to overcome concussion-like symptoms.

Edmonton (Nikolai Khabibulin) vs. Colorado (Brian Elliott), 3:00 p.m

Edmonton injuries:

Tom Gilbert (D) - Doubtful to play due to a back injury.
Gilbert Brule (C) - Also doubtful with an undisclosed injury. Perhaps no other player in the NHL is looking forward to the end of the 2010-11 season as Brule.

Colorado injuries:

Erik Johnson (D) - Doubtful after being scratched from Friday's game with a head injury.
Matt Hunwick (D) - Doubtful as well with a head injury.
John-Michael Liles (D) - Make it another Avs defenseman whose doubtful with a head injury.

Dallas (Kari Lehtonen) vs. Minnestoa (Niklas Backstrom), 6:00 p.m

Dallas injuries:

Nicklas Grossman (D) - Questionable and a likely game-time decision with a knee injury.
Brian Sutherby (C) - Doubtful with a back injury.

Minnesota injuries:

Marek Zidlicky (D) - Out with hamstring injury.
Cam Barker (D) - Doubtful with back injury.
John Madden (C) - Doubtful with lower-body injury.
Martin Havlat (RW) - Doubtful as well with a lower-body injury.

TRANSACTIONS

Carl Klingberg (RW) Atlanta - Recalled from Chicago (AHL).
Shane Sims (D) NY Islanders - Signed a contract with the Islanders.
Cody Bass (C) Ottawa - Recalled from Binghamton (AHL).
Bennn Ferriero (C) San Jose - Recalled from Worcester (AHL).

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Who's Hot

Marian Hossa (RW) Chicago - With their entire season on the line, the Blackhawks are getting a hot Marian Hossa at the most important possible time. He has two goals and an assist in the last two games, and it just feel like Hossa is ripe for a big game against his old team on Sunday afternoon.
Tim Thomas (G) Boston - He won't play on Sunday for a couple of reasons. Obviously, the B's don't want to risk an injury to Timmy, but most importantly, he'll end the season with an NHL record .938 save percentage. Just a brilliant season from the 36-year-old...a season that should end with a Vezina trophy.

Who's Cold

Jimmy Howard (G) Detroit - Howard gave up four goals on Friday night to the Blackhawks, and he looked really, really bad in the process. He has two losses in a row, and with everything on the line for Chicago on Sunday, Howard will be tested like he hasn't been tested at any other time this year.
Jonathan Toews (C) - So many storylines heading into Sunday afternoon's game between Chicago and Detroit. The biggest may be how cold Toews has been down the stretch, with only one point (a goal) in the last six games. When a guy has been as cold as Toews, he usually breaks out in a big way, and if he doesn't, the defending champs may be setting up tee times on Monday morning.

Recommended Pickup

Nikolai Khabibulin (G) Edmonton - If he is available in your daily league and you are still under your maximum starts, you need to get the 'Bulin wall in your lineup today. He faces a pretty punchless Avalanche team and you could steal a win if you're desperate enough.

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