Around the Rink
On an otherwise quiet Veterans Day with just two NHL teams in action, ugly, game-changing news was made.
The Lightning came into Boston on Monday afternoon riding high, winners of four straight games as part of a 12-4-0 start that had them on top of the Eastern Conference by a three-point margin. Then it all came crashing down.
The 3-0 loss – well, that’s just one game out of 82. But in the second period, Steven Stamkos slid into the goalpost, hard. He broke his right leg in one of the more brutal sights you’ll see in the already-brutal game of hockey. Now Stammer will need surgery and is out indefinitely – meaning several months, most likely. While the superstar will probably be back this season, and the injury theoretically shouldn’t affect his career, both the Lightning and his fantasy owners (not to mention the Canadian Olympic team) will be looking for answers in the interim. There are no easy ones, but today’s recommended pickup (at the bottom of the article) tries to fill the gap the same way Tampa will.
Get well soon, Steven.
Meanwhile, the injury bug wasn’t done with the Bolts, as Sami Salo and Keith Aulie also suffered injuries Monday. An ugly day all around.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Devils (Martin Brodeur) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00
Kings (Jonathan Quick) at Sabres (Ryan Miller), 7:00
Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov) at Hurricanes (Justin Peters), 7:00
Predators (Marek Mazanec) at Islanders (Kevin Poulin), 7:00
Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Capitals (Braden Holtby), 7:00
Jets (Ondrej Pavelec) at Red Wings (Jimmy Howard), 7:30
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:30
Flyers (Steve Mason) at Senators (Craig Anderson), 7:30
Ducks (Frederik Andersen) at Panthers (Tim Thomas), 7:30
Coyotes (Mike Smith) at Blues (Jaroslav Halak), 8:00
Sharks (Alex Stalock) at Flames (Reto Berra), 9:00
Injury News for Teams Playing Tuesday
Stephen Gionta, LW (ankle) – Didn’t play Sunday
Patrik Elias, LW (back) – Missed fifth straight game Sunday
Jon Merrill, D (face) – Still hasn’t been able to return since being hurt in NHL debut
Rick Nash, LW (concussion) – Skated before practice Saturday
Taylor Pyatt, LW (concussion) – Was concussed Thursday and sat out Sunday
Dominic Moore, C (oblique) – Skated with the team Monday; expected back Saturday
Jeff Carter, C (lower body) – Not skating or near returning
Kyle Clifford, LW (head) – Didn’t practice Sunday; could have a concussion
Jarret Stoll, C (upper body) – Participated fully in practice Sunday
Matt Greene, D (undisclosed) – Not close to returning
Mike Weber, D (thumb) – Could be ready to return this weekend
Ryan Wilson, D (back) – Still out ‘til late November at least
Alex Tanguay, LW (knee) – Another week ‘til he’s reevaluated
Jeff Skinner, LW (upper body) – Expected to remain out more than a week yet
Pekka Rinne, G (hip) – Rehab’s coming along nicely, but still out about another month
Matt Hendricks, C (undisclosed) – Left Sunday’s game and didn’t return
Thomas Vanek, LW (upper body) – Didn’t play Sunday; no word on severity of injury
Cal Clutterbuck, RW (upper body) – Didn’t play Sunday for third straight game
Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) – Not close to returning
Brian Strait (upper body) – Out long-term
Nick Foligno, LW (personal) – Missed Saturday’s game; return time indeterminate
Matt Calvert, LW (abdomen) – Skating in practice; getting close to returning
Boone Jenner, C (leg) – Like Calvert, skating and close to returning
Nathan Horton, RW (shoulder) – Skating, but a long ways away yet
John Erskine, D (upper body) – On IR ‘til at least Nov. 20
Jacob Trouba, D (neck) – Practicing lightly, but still out a while
Jim Slater, C (sports hernia) – Out indefinitely
Johan Franzen, C (illness) – Will be ready to go Tuesday
Brendan Smith, D (shoulder) – Expected back Tuesday
Stephen Weiss, C (groin) – Out about another five days
Jonathan Ericsson, D (shoulder) – Skating with the team
Steven Stamkos, C (leg) – Out indefinitely with broken tibia suffered Monday
Sami Salo, D (lower body) – Appeared to suffer a leg injury Monday; doubtful for Tuesday
Keith Aulie, D (upper body) – Got hurt Monday; no word on Tuesday
Tom Pyatt, RW (collarbone) – Still just working out off the ice
Brian Lee, D (knee) – Same as Pyatt
Daniel Briere, RW (concussion) – Practiced fully Saturday; return coming this week
Alexei Emelin, D (knee) – Expected back this weekend
Steve Downie, RW (concussion) – Cleared by doctors, but a game-time decision Tuesday
Erik Condra, RW (leg) – Skated with team Monday, but doesn’t sound like return is imminent
Ryan Getzlaf, C (upper body) – Looking optimistic for Tuesday
Jonas Hiller, G (illness) – Scratched late Sunday, but considered likely Tuesday starter
Viktor Fasth, G (lower body) – Sent to AHL on conditioning trip
Matt Beleskey, LW (thumb) – Also the AHL for conditioning
Saku Koivu, C (concussion) – Clear of symptoms for a week, but still not back
Scott Gomez, C (groin) – Has missed three of last four games; not on your fantasy team
Jesse Winchester, LW (suspension) – One more game on his ban
Ed Jovanovski, D (hip) – No one seems to know what’s happening here
Radim Vrbata, RW (upper body) – Didn’t play Saturday; back this week
Derek Morris, D (lower body) – Didn’t go Saturday; expected back this week too
Jordan Leopold, D (hand) – Out eight weeks due to surgery
Magnus Paajarvi, LW (upper body) – Progressing, but still not ready
Brent Burns, LW (mouth) – Practicing; could return within the next week or so
Lee Stempniak, RW (foot) – Practiced in full Sunday; could possibly play Tuesday
Chris Breen, D (abdomen) – Practiced Sunday for first time since injury
Curtis Glencross, LW (knee) – Out at least five weeks yet
Corey Perry, RW, ANA – Perry’s been hot all year, and now’s no different; he’s on a five-game points streak in which he’s totaled five goals and three assists. Three times this year, Perry’s gone two straight games without a point, and each time, he ripped off a multi-point outing in the next contest. That’s the kind of fantasy productivity he brings to the table; you’re forgiven if visions of his 2010-11 season dance in your head.
Henrik Lundqvist, G, NYR – Yeah, he had his struggles in the beginning of the year, but Henrik is still The King. He’s won four of his last five outings and allowed just six goals in that span, making the best of New York’s mediocre offense. With his season numbers normalizing, the buy-low window has closed; those fantasy players savvy enough to trade for Lundqvist while he was slumping early are going to be richly rewarded.
Shane Doan, RW, PHO – Doan started the year stone-cold – just three points in his first nine games – but has come on strong of late. He’s recorded a point in seven of his last eight contests, including a two-goal evening against Washington on Saturday. Even at age 37, Doan clearly has something left in the tank; that said, his early goal-scoring probably has a bit of flukiness to it. Though he’s got eight markers already, it’d be surprising to see Doan go far beyond 20 on the year.
Sam Gagner, C, EDM – In his six games with Edmonton so far, Gagner’s done about as much to help the Oilers win as he did in the first 13 of the year while he was sidelined with a broken jaw. Despite heavy ice time, he’s managed just a lonely assist and a whopping minus-9 rating since his return, throwing a crimp into the plans of those fantasy owners who thought he was going to blossom into stardom this year. Still, it’s advisable to hold him a while longer to see if he comes around.
Marian Gaborik, RW, CLM – Gabby’s hit a rough patch lately, as he’s suffering from a Gagner-like six-game slump in which he has no goals and one assist. The difference for Gaborik is that he had a solid start to the year and was looking revived in Columbus, but it appears he’s prone to the same inconsistencies as the rest of the Jackets. He hasn’t totally fallen off a cliff and still should be useful for fantasy purposes, but he’s clearly not a star anymore.
Carter Hutton, G, NSH – Pekka Rinne’s rehab is going well, so that’s good, because Hutton has been a largely unmitigated disaster between the pipes for the Preds. He’s dropped four of his last six starts, allowing 24 goals in that span and generally looking like the career minor leaguer he’s always been. Feel free to cast him off fantasy rosters in the vast majority of leagues.
Tyler Johnson, C, TB -- Fantasy owners looking for the silver lining to the cloud of Stamkos misery may be intrigued by Johnson, the widely available rookie who’s going to get more consistent play now as the second-line center for the Bolts. The 23-year-old Johnson has managed just seven points in 17 games so far, but that's been with somewhat inconsistent ice time. He’s got the goods, though. Last year, Johnson led AHL Syracuse with 37 goals and 65 points – plus another 21 points in 18 playoff games – so the undrafted middleman has definite fantasy upside. And unless you play in a keeper format, he’s most likely available in your league. Go get him.