Around the Rink
Trade speculation is swirling around former No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov, with armchair GMs speculating about potential deals already. The whole Yakupov thing has become a distraction for the Oilers, but with four points and a minus-15 rating so far this year, his value’s never been lower and other teams have to be wary of a potential bolt to the KHL if Yakupov finds his game to be incompatible with the NHL’s standards of grit and effort. If I were a team like the Rangers, I’d be quite wary about giving up the Michael Del Zotto-Chris Kreider package that’s been floated as a possible match for Yakupov. Kreider’s the best player in that deal right now.
The Jonathan Quick injury has changed the game for the Kings, and perhaps for the better; Quick was already playing unimpressively before going down with the groin ailment, and maybe a bit of a layoff will help him get whipped into shape for the second half or so of the season. Quick had just a .905 save mark this year, and after last season’s .902, there’s very reasonable cause for fantasy owners to be concerned. Ben Scrivens and the newly recalled Martin Jones (see tomorrow’s The Coming Thing for more on him) are going to take Quick’s place, and right now that doesn’t look like a downgrade.
In other news, whatever kind of Wheaties Alex Steen is eating, I want some.
It’s been a long night, so let’s get to it.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Maple Leafs (James Reimer) at Sabres (Ryan Miller), 7:00
Ducks (Jonas Hiller) at Hurricanes (Justin Peters), 7:00
Kings (Martin Jones) at Devils (Cory Schneider), 7:00
Predators (Marek Mazanec) at Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00
Canadiens (Carey Price) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00
Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Red Wings (Jimmy Howard), 7:30
Bruins (Tuukka Rask) at Senators (Craig Anderson), 7:30
Flyers (Steve Mason) at Jets (Ondrej Pavelec), 8:00
Panthers (Tim Thomas) at Wild (Josh Harding), 8:00
Sharks (Antti Niemi) at Oilers (Devan Dubnyk), 10:00
Injury News for Teams Playing Friday
Nazem Kadri, C (suspension) – Banned for three games, starting Friday
Tyler Bozak, C (hamstring) – Back at practice, seems to be on track for Nov. 21 return
Mike Weber, D (thumb) – Could return this weekend
Viktor Fasth, G (lower body) – Activated from IR
Ryan Getzlaf, C (upper body) – Didn’t play Thursday; questionable for Friday
Cam Ward, G (lower body) – Practiced fully Thursday; return nearing
Anton Khudobin, G (ankle) – Practiced lightly Thursday
Jeff Skinner, LW (upper body) – Could return Friday
Radek Dvorak, RW (lower body) – Could be good to go Friday
Tim Gleason, D (upper body) – Trying to get back this weekend
Kevin Westgarth, RW (upper body) – Practicing in no-contact jersey
Jonathan Quick, G (groin) – Out 3-6 weeks
Jeff Carter, C (foot) – Out indefinitely with broken foot
Kyle Clifford, LW (head) – On IR; out for at least the current road trip
Jarret Stoll, C (upper body) – Didn’t go Thursday
Patrik Elias, LW (back) – Practiced Thursday; should be back soon
Anton Volchenkov, D (leg) – Unlikely for this weekend
Stephen Gionta, RW (ankle) – Back at practice Thursday
Eric Gelinas, D (head) – Sounds like he might be good to go Friday
Mike Fisher, C (lower body) – Practiced fully Thursday; seems to have a chance for Friday
Gabriel Bourque, LW (personal) – Should be back Friday
Paul Martin, D (lower body) – Seems to be optimism for Friday return
Rob Scuderi, D (ankle) – Doing minimal rehab; still out another 4-6 weeks
Brandon Prust, LW (shoulder) – Looking at a Saturday return
Alexei Emelin, D (knee) – Expected back in Saturday
Matt Calvert, LW (abdomen) – Practicing and looking at a return next week
Boone Jenner, C (leg) – Practicing; exact timetable unclear
Mike Green, D (lower body) – Traveling with the team, but uncertain for Friday
Tomas Kundratek, D (knee) – Has a torn ACL; out for the year
Stephen Weiss, C (groin) – Skated Thursday; could be back next week
Brendan Smith, D (shoulder) – Won’t go Friday, but getting close
Jonathan Ericsson, D (shoulder) – Will be back in Friday
Adam McQuaid, D (leg) – Didn’t play Thursday; not likely for Friday
Erik Condra, RW (leg) – Likely to return Sunday
Chris Phillips, D (undisclosed) – Morning decision for Friday
Pretty healthy overall except for that whole Pronger thing.
Jacob Trouba, D (neck) – Still practicing lightly
Jim Slater, C (hernia) – Out indefinitely
Scott Gomez, C (groin) – Has missed three straight, which may be addition by subtraction
Mikael Granlund, C (head) – Expected to play Friday
Niklas Backstrom, G (head) – Likely out a few games
Michael Rupp, RW (knee) – On conditioning stint
Brent Burns, LW (mouth) – Practicing without contact
Justin Schultz, D (groin) – Has missed six straight, but seems to be getting close to a return
Mike Richards, C, LA – A statistical disappointment in his first two seasons with Los Angeles, Richards has blown up all of a sudden this year, finally returning to something resembling his old point-per-game ways. He’s got 17 points in 18 games, much of that coming in a just-concluded five-game point streak (nine points). With all that ice and all that power-play time, the points are sure to keep coming.
Henrik Zetterberg, LW, DET – Zetterberg’s goal-scoring has fallen off significantly over the years, but he’s had a revelation this season, putting 10 pucks home already in 19 games. Zetter only scored 11 goals in 46 games last year, so this is quite an about-face. He’s currently riding a six-game point streak in which he’s found twine four games as he continues to pay off those fantasy owners who felt optimistic that the 33-year-old could still produce at a high level.
Brayden Schenn, C, PHI – Schenn’s been getting his game in gear lately, tallying five points in the last three games, including a two-goal effort in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He’s scored power-play goals in consecutive games and is generally starting to come into his own. Last year’s 26 points in 47 games represented some development, but he’s developing a lot better this year despite not seeing a huge bump in ice time.
Sven Baertschi, LW, CGY – One of many ineffective pieces on an ineffective Calgary team, Baertschi saw a couple healthy scratches in early November, but doesn’t seem to have taken the lesson – he has just an assist and a minus-1 in three games since. The 21-year-old certainly has a world of talent, but he’s not realizing it now; as such, he ought to be benched in fantasy ‘til he gets it together.
Dion Phaneuf, D, TOR – Phaneuf’s hit another extended slump, going five straight games without a point despite continuing to see heavy minutes, especially on the top power-play unit for Toronto. With just seven points in 18 games for the season, he’s been a big disappointment for fantasy owners and the Leafs alike. Unfortunately, if you own him, you likely have no choice but to keep rolling him out. Now might be a good time to trade on his name value, as Phaneuf is a long way removed from his elite fantasy days.
Craig Anderson, G, OTT – A combination of injuries and ineffectiveness has Anderson scrambling to hold onto his job now, with a hideous 3.30 GAA sticking out like a sore thumb on his stat line. When he’s been able to crack the lineup lately, Anderson’s managed to give up 19 goals in four games. Meanwhile, Robin Lehner las looked like the budding star we’ve always known he is. The Sens are still going to lean toward Anderson for now, but don’t be surprised to see changes come if he can’t get his game in order soon.
Mats Zuccarello, LW, NYR – I try not to be a homer who recommends too many Rangers, but it’s simply impossible to ignore what Zuccarello is doing right now. Still available in a wide variety of leagues, the Norwegian winger has become one of the Rangers’ most important offensive players, operating at a point-per-game level over 10 contests since sitting out as a healthy scratch Oct. 24 in Philadelphia. Before that game, he hadn’t found the scoreboard at all in seven contests; since, he’s been making plays all over the ice and earning plenty of power-play time. At 26 years old, he’s finally developing into an everyday NHLer and a very real fantasy asset.