Around the Rink
One of the best thing about old stars sticking around is seeing them take down old-time records. The 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr tied a big one on Thursday night, scoring his 121st career game-winning goal tying him with none other than the great Gordie Howe. A healthy Jagr will likely deliver at least one more winner this year to hold the all-time crown singlehandedly, and it's going to be a long time until anyone else catches up. The best threat to make it, long-term, is Alex Ovechkin, who already owns 62 game-winners at the age of 28. Unfortunately, that's well behind Jagr's pace at the same age, as Jags broke into the league at 18, as opposed to Ovi's 20.
Just when Ondrej Pavelec was starting to inspire hope, bam, another five-goal loss, albeit to a good team in the 'Hawks. Pavs is one of the most terrifying goalies to roll out in fantasy this side of Carter Hutton, as you really never know what you're going to get. He can put together stretches of hot play for two, three four games at a time, but always falls back, and never lightly.
All of a sudden, the Flyers are a threat. They've pushed their record to a manageable 9-10-2, thanks in large part to a recent offensive renaissance. Most crucially, Claude Giroux is starting to contribute regularly after an atrocious start to the season, and Jake Voracek too, but the secondary contributions from guys like Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn have been what's really driving this bus. Of course, they've received surprisingly impressive play in goal this year from former Blue Jacket Steve Mason, which is double good for them because they can finally feel better about trading Sergei Bobrovsky.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Islanders (Kevin Poulin) at Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00
Canadiens(Peter Budaj) at Capitals (Braden Holtby), 7:00
Panthers (Scott Clemmensen) at Flames (Reto Berra), 9:00
Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Canucks (Roberto Luongo), 10:00
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Ducks (Jonas Hiller), 10:00
Injury News For Teams Playing Friday
Evgeni Nabokov, G (groin) On IR
Lubomir Visnovsky, D (concussion) No timetable
Brian Strait, D (upper body) Still no timetable
Thomas Vanek, LW (upper body) No word yet on Friday status
Robert Scuderi, D (ankle) Expected to ramp up his rehab in the next week or so
Chuck Kobasew, RW (lower body) Could return to practice within the next few days
Rene Bourque, LW (lower body) Will not play Friday
John Erskine, D (upper body) Seems to be getting close; weekend return possible
Mike Green, D (lower body) Expected to play Friday
Ed Jovanovski, D (hip) Out at least through current road trip; probably longer
Scott Gomez, C (groin) Has missed six straight
Mike Weaver, D (illness) Out Tuesday; no word on Friday
Curtis Glencross, LW (knee) Out about another month yet
Mark Giordano, D (ankle) Out another 3-5 weeks still
Marian Gaborik, RW (knee) Out another 3-5 weeks
Nathan Horton, RW (shoulder) Still no timetable
Brandon Dubinsky, C (foot) Will be evaluated for Friday after morning skate
Dalton Prout, D (back) Placed on IR
Jordan Schroeder, C (ankle) Successful surgery; out through new year
Brian Lee, D (knee) Still only doing off-ice workouts
Steven Stamkos, C (leg) Had a rod put in; out long-term, perhaps all year
Mark Barberio, D (upper body)Thought to be left arm injury
Keith Aulie, D (upper body) Possible for Friday return
Tom Pyatt, RW (collarbone) Expected to return after Thanksgiving
Sheldon Souray, D (wrist) Skated before Thursday's practice
Francois Beauchemin, D (upper body) Sustained an upper-body injury Wednesday
Jakob Silfverberg, LW (hand) Not expected to return until late December at best
Saku Koivu, C (concussion) Still sometimes feels dizzy while skating
Patrick Kane, RW, CHI Kane's the proud owner of a nine-game point streak, most recently extended Thursday night in Winnipeg with a goal and an assist. He's got 13 points (five goals, eight assists) over that span as he continues to round into midseason form. After slumping early in the year, he's back on the familiar point-per-game pace we expected from him all along.
Bryan Little, C, WPG It should come as no news to fantasy owners that Little is red-hot, as he's been that way for nearly a month now. Over a 12-game span stretching back to Oct. 27, he's recorded six multi-point efforts and a total of 15 points, pushing his season totals to 12 goals and 11 assists in 24 games. That's unexpected from a guy who's never contributed more than 51 points in a season and that way back in '08-'09 but at just 26, it's not surprising to see Little finding another gear. He's been deadly in combination with Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler on the Jets' top line.
Steve Mason, G, PHI Mason got a rest Thursday, which was unfortunate for him, as he could have padded his stats further against the woeful Sabres. He'll have to settle for simply being one of the league's hotter goalies, as the Flyers have found some offense to complement the great play Mason's given them all year. The Ontarian netminder has gone 3-0-2 in his last five games, giving up just eight goals in that span. While Ray Emery got to shut down Buffalo on Thursday, Mason will likely draw an Islanders team that's currently flailing on both sides of the puck Sunday.
Brad Richards, C, NYR Things have slowed down for Richards again, and though his season numbers remain fairly strong thanks to his hot start, fantasy owners have to be concerned about seeing him record no goals and just one assist in the last five games. That said, he's remained very active especially in the last three games, in which he's taken 15 shots on goal, but been rewarded with no points and a minus-2 rating. Richards continues to see heavy ice time and should benefit from the return of Rick Nash, but things aren't going so hot right now.
Jonas Hiller, G, ANA Things are sliding in the wrong direction for Hiller. Though he's got a fine 7-3-2 record, that's much more because of the impressive Anaheim offense than Hiller's great play in goal. He owns a season save mark under .900, has given up nine goals in the last two games, and has seen rookie Frederik Andersen now back in the AHL totally outplay him. The one thing Hiller has going for him is that he's arguably better than Viktor Fasth, but it's quite possible that neither of them is better than Andersen.
Mathieu Perreault, C, ANA Uh-oh, it's another Duck. Perrealt's hot start to the season seems like a distant memory, as he's gone six straight games without a point, plus another one that he missed due to the flu. Not coincidentally, he's seeing his ice time dwindle a bit where he was consistently seeing 14-16 minutes a game, Perreault skated just 12:15 and 13:06 in the Ducks' last two contests. It says a lot about how awesome the Ducks' roster is that they have two players in the cold column here and one of their best scorers (Jakob Silfverberg) on IR, and yet their 33 points are just one off the pace of the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks.
Carl Soderberg, LW, BOS The Swedish import has come along relatively slowly for the Bruins, with just nine points in 16 games, but even that is reasonable production for deeper formats; yet, Soderberg remains widely unowned. He's scored goals in two of the last three games, adding an assist hardly a delivery on the promise of the 60 points he put up in 54 games in Sweden last year, but still a promising little run. Soderberg's playing consistent minutes on the third line with Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith, and he's been seeing extra time on the power play of late. It's time for his ownership figures to rise.