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Johnson For Shattenkirk, Stewart Revisited: Wednesday Daily Puck

Dan Pennucci

Dan Pennucci

Dan Pennucci has covered hockey for Rotowire since 2002 and is the author of Blue Line Buzz since 2011 as well as being the co-author of Morning Skate. He also is a contributor to Talking Red, a New Jersey Devils blog and podcast. He is an English teacher and formerly wrote for The Coast Star in Manasquan, New Jersey where he and his sports section won several New Jersey Press Association awards. Dan Pennucci is a supporter of the New Jersey Devils, Washington Nationals and Chelsea FC. He's attended sporting events in six countries.

Around The Rink
The NHL schedule has long been an enigma to fans. Prolonged road trips, stretches of days off followed by back-to-back contests etc. The league has 13 games on Wednesday night but just one was played on Tuesday night, as Dallas beat Anaheim 6-3 in what used to be a divisional contest across three time zones. There are no games on Thanksgiving, as it should be, but a veritable feast of afternoon hockey on Black Friday. A little balance would be nice.

As for Wednesday’s contests, there are several appealing matchups as well as games featuring Buffalo, Columbus, the Islanders and Florida.

One of Wednesday’s potentially entertaining tilts is one most viewers in the Eastern Time Zone might not be awake for, as San Jose hosts Los Angeles in a playoff rematch from last season. Both teams are among the top squads in the Western Conference and two of the league’s better defensive teams on most nights. LA goalie Ben Scrivens has filled in wonderfully for the injured Jonathan Quick with a 5-0-3 record since assuming the starting role. He has not lost a game in regulation and has allowed just nine goals over eight starts with two shutouts. Scrivens appears to be enjoying life much in southern California following his trade from Toronto this past summer for Jonathan Bernier.

The Kings have one of the league’s best defensive systems, but Scrivens has been carrying his team when they’re having difficulty scoring. He played almost half the games for Toronto last season, but has a more clearly defined role with the Kings, both now and when Quick is healthy. The pressure to perform well in Los Angeles has to be a bit less than in a city like Toronto with a slightly interested fan base.

-St. Louis, a team establishing itself as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, faces off against the upstart Avalanche who are coming back to Earth following an amazingly hot start. The Blues thumped Colorado 7-3 on November 14 and own an 8-1-1 record since November 5. The Blues have one of the league’s most productive blue lines in Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk.

Wednesday’s contest is another opportunity for Shattenkirk to face the team that drafted him, the team for whom he notched 26 points in 46 games as a rookie before he was traded to St. Louis along with Chris Stewart for Erik Johnson, a first-rounder and Jay McClement in February 2011. True Story.

It’s safe to say the Blues have won this trade. Johnson has developed into a solid defensemen, minus the offensive production the Avs thought they were getting when dealing for him. Meanwhile, Shattenkirk put up a 43-point season in his first full year with St. Louis after an impressive 17 through 26 games following the 2011 trade. Stewart has yet to crack the 20-goal mark since the 2011 campaign. However, Stewart has given St. Louis a strong presence along the wing. Most were hoping for more from Stewart following his 36-point stat line in last year’s truncated campaign. He has a modest 10 points through 23 games this year, but has five points in the last seven games. Johnson meanwhile has 11 points in the last 53 games. Points are not the entire indicator of a player's ability, but the Avs were expecting more. Kudos to St. Louis for cashing in on Johnson's 39-point season in 2009-10.

Just remember: Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart for Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a first round pick in 2011 which the Avs used on Duncan Siemens, a young defender waiting for his NHL debut. (He’s just 20 and playing in the AHL for Lake Erie).

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Montreal (Carey Price) at Buffalo (Ryan Miller), 7:00 PM
Carolina (Cam Ward) at New Jersey (Martin Brodeur), 7:00 PM
Winnipeg (Ondrej Pavelec) at New York (Kevin Poulin), 7:00 PM
Ottawa (Craig Anderson) at Washington (Braden Holtby), 7:00 PM
Nashville (Marek Mazanec) at Columbus (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 PM
Boston (Tuukka Rask) at Detroit Red (Jonas Gustavsson), 7:30 PM
Philadelphia (Steve Mason) at Tampa Bay (Ben Bishop), 7:30 PM
New York (Henrik Lundqvist) at Florida (Tim Thomas), 7:30 PM
Toronto Maple (Jonathan Bernier) at Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:30 PM
Phoenix (Mike Smith) at Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom), 8:00 PM
St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak) at Colorado (Semyon Varlamov), 9:00 PM
Chicago (Corey Crawford) at Calgary (Reto Berra), 10:00 PM
Los Angeles (Ben Scrivens) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 10:30 PM
Injury News For Teams Playing Wednesday

Montreal
Rene Bourque, LW - Bourque (lower body) will not play Wednesday against the Sabres, Jessica Rusnak of TSN Radio 690 reports. (11/26/2013)
Davis Drewiske, D - Drewiske will miss the next five-to-six months following shoulder surgery, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette reports. (10/16/2013)
Buffalo
Cody McCormick, C - McCormick (upper body) will miss a week of action, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. (11/23/2013)
Carolina
Tim Gleason, D - Gleason will miss a week with a lower-body injury, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (11/26/2013)
Joni Pitkanen, D - Pitkanen (heel) was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (10/1/2013)
Alexander Semin, LW - Semin (concussion) could return to the ice early next week, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (11/26/2013)
Anton Khudobin, G - GM Jim Rutherford said Khudobin (ankle) is about a week away from returning from injured reserve, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (11/19/2013)
Kevin Westgarth, RW - Westgarth was handed a two-game suspension Tuesday as a result of his illegal hit on Ottawa's Mark Borowiecki during Sunday's game, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (11/26/2013)
New Jersey
Stephen Gionta, LW - Gionta will miss Monday's game against the Jets with an ankle injury, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. (11/25/2013)
Adam Larsson, D - Larsson is expected to miss Monday's game against the Jets with a lower-body injury, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. (11/25/2013)
Ryane Clowe, LW - GM Lou Lamoriello said Clowe (concussion) resumed skating this week, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. (11/23/2013)
Anton Volchenkov, D - Volchenkov (leg) has resumed skating, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. (11/23/2013)
Bryce Salvador, D - Salvador (foot) still hasn't skated on his own, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. (11/23/2013)
Winnipeg
Zach Bogosian, D - Bogosian (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Friday. (11/22/2013)
Paul Postma, D - Postma (leg) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday retroactive to Sunday. (10/29/2013)
Jim Slater, C - Slater underwent surgery for a sports hernia Thursday and will be out indefinitely, Scott Brown of True North Sports reports. (11/7/2013)
New York
Andrew MacDonald, D - MacDonald (upper body) left practice early Monday after being hit with a puck, according to Newsday. (11/25/2013)
Thomas Hickey, D - Hickey suffered a lower-body injury during the game Saturday and won't return, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. (11/23/2013)
Evgeni Nabokov, G - Nabokov (groin) has been placed on injured reserve, Katie Strang of ESPN reports. (11/18/2013)
Lubomir Visnovsky, D - Visnovsky (concussion) rode a stationary bike Friday, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. (11/22/2013)
Brian Strait, D - Strait (upper body) still has no definitive timetable for return, Newsday reports. (11/19/2013)
Washington
John Erskine, D - Erskine (upper body) will not play Wednesday against the Penguins, Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports. (11/20/2013)
Jack Hillen, D - Hillen (leg) was placed on long-term injured reserve by the Capitals on Monday, the Washington Post's Katie Carrera reports. (10/8/2013)
Tomas Kundratek, D - Kundratek has suffered a torn ACL, which will end his season, Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports. (11/12/2013)
Evgeny Kuznetsov, C - Kuznetsov is expected to miss two months with a shoulder injury, NHL.com reports. (9/9/2013)
Nashville
Pekka Rinne, G - The Predators announced that Rinne (hip) has experienced no setbacks in his recovery thus far. (11/11/2013)
Patric Hornqvist, RW - Hornqvist (lower body) will not play Wednesday against the Blue Jackets, Nick Cole of The Tennessean reports. (11/26/2013)
Filip Forsberg, RW - Forsberg (upper body) will not play Wednesday against the Blue Jackets, Nick Cole of The Tennessean reports. (11/26/2013)
Columbus
Jared Boll, RW - Boll (foot) likely won't be available Wednesday against the Predators, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (11/26/2013)
Nikita Nikitin, D - Nikitin (lower body) is not expected to play Wednesday against the Predators, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (11/26/2013)
Marian Gaborik, RW - Gaborik (knee) was officially placed on injured reserve Friday, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (11/15/2013)
Nathan Horton, RW - The Blue Jackets placed Horton on long-term injured reserve last week, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (11/25/2013)
Derek MacKenzie, C - MacKenzie (upper body) is not expected to play Wednesday against the Predators, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (11/26/2013)
Brandon Dubinsky, C - Dubinsky (foot) will not play Wednesday against the Predators, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (11/26/2013)
Boston
Dennis Seidenberg, D - Seidenberg will travel with the team to Detroit for Wednesday's game. (11/26/2013)
Adam McQuaid, D - McQuaid (lower body) will travel with the team to Detroit for its game Wednesday. (11/26/2013)
Marc Savard, C - The Bruins are expected to place Savard (concussion) on Long-Term Injured Reserve, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports. (7/6/2013)
Detroit Red
Pavel Datsyuk, C - Datsyuk (head) will not play in Wednesday's game against the Bruins, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. (11/26/2013)
Danny DeKeyser, D - DeKeyser (shoulder) expects to return in 3-6 weeks, MLive.com reports. (11/26/2013)
Todd Bertuzzi, RW - Bertuzzi will miss his third straight game Wednesday against the Bruins, NHL.com's Brian Hedger reports. (11/26/2013)
Philadelphia
Chris Pronger, D - Flyers GM Paul Holmgren openly acknowledged Tuesday that Pronger's career is over due to his concussion issues, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "I'll say it; Chris is never going to play again," Holmgren said. "I have no problems saying it." (10/15/2013)
Marc-Andre Bourdon, D - Bourdon (concussion) has been placed on the non-roster injured reserve list, CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio reports. (9/30/2013)
Tampa Bay
Tom Pyatt, RW - Pyatt (collarbone) is expected to return after Thanksgiving, the Tampa Tribune reports. (11/15/2013)
Pierre-Cedric Labrie, LW - Labrie suffered an upper-body injury in Monday's game against the Rangers, reports the Tampa Tribune. (11/26/2013)
Radko Gudas, D - Gudas' (upper body) injury isn't considered serious. "I'm not saying (he) won't play by the end of the week," said coach Jon Cooper. (11/26/2013)
Ryan Malone, LW - Malone (foot) will not play in Monday's game against the Rangers. (11/25/2013)
Brian Lee, D - Lee (knee) is still only doing off-ice workouts. (11/9/2013)
Steven Stamkos, C - Stamkos (leg) is walking without crutches, a walking boot or cast just two weeks after surgery to repair his broken leg, reports the Tampa Tribune. "I didn’t think I’d be walking on my own without a boot or crutch less than two weeks after surgery," said Stamkos. "I’ve already started rehabbing and I feel pretty good." (11/26/2013)
Keith Aulie, D - Aulie (upper-body) shed his non-contact jersey and was in regular gear during Sunday's practice, Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reports. (11/24/2013)
Mattias Ohlund, D - Ohlund (knee) was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times reports. (10/2/2013)
New York
Taylor Pyatt, LW - Pyatt went through contact drills Tuesday, reports Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record. (11/26/2013)
Florida
Tomas Kopecky, RW - Kopecky (wrist) was placed on injured reserve Monday, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. (11/25/2013)
Jesse Winchester, LW - Winchester had an x-ray on a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports. (11/22/2013)
Matt Gilroy, D - The Panthers placed Gilroy on injured reserve Monday with a lower body injury, Harve Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports. (11/25/2013)
Ed Jovanovski, D - Jovanovski will not accompany the Panthers on their five-game road trip beginning Friday, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. (11/15/2013)
Toronto Maple
Dave Bolland, C - Bolland has been placed on long-term injured reserve, David Alter of Sportsnet 590 The Fan reports. (11/8/2013)
Joffrey Lupul, LW - Lupul was diagnosed with a Grade 2 groin strain and will not play in Wednesday's game against the Penguins, James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports. (11/26/2013)
Pittsburgh
Paul Martin, D - The Penguins will have to wait "the next few days" before finding out how significant Martin's lower-body injury is, coach Dan Bylsma said in his media scrum Tuesday. (11/26/2013)
Robert Scuderi, D - Scuderi (ankle) is expected to ramp up his rehab in the next week or so, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. (11/21/2013)
Tomas Vokoun, G - Vokoun (pelvis) will be out for 3-6 months. (10/2/2013)
Chuck Kobasew, RW - Kobasew (lower body) could return to practice within the next few days, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. (11/21/2013)
Tanner Glass, LW - Glass will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken hand, according to coach Dan Bylsma. He was subsequently placed on injured reserve. (11/26/2013)
Beau Bennett, RW - Bennett will miss the next 8-10 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair his hand and wrist Monday. (11/25/2013)
Phoenix
Shane Doan, RW - Doan (lower body) wasn't present during Tuesday's practice, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (11/26/2013)
Lauri Korpikoski, LW - Michalek (lower body) has begun working out off the ice, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (11/26/2013)
Zbynek Michalek, D - Michalek (lower body) has begun working out off the ice, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (11/26/2013)
Minnesota
Zach Parise, LW - Parise is expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks with a left foot contusion. (11/26/2013)
Josh Harding, G - Harding will not play Monday against St. Louis, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Harding is out with a a stiff hamstring. (11/25/2013)
Torrey Mitchell, C - Mitchell (leg) has been placed on IR, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. (11/25/2013)
Mikael Granlund, C - Coach Mike Yeo is hopeful Granlund (upper body) will return to the ice against the Coyotes on Wednesday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. (11/26/2013)
Keith Ballard, D - Ballard (upper body) is considered probable to play Wednesday against the Coyotes, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. (11/26/2013)
St. Louis
Jordan Leopold, D - Leopold will need surgery to repair a ligament in his hand and is expected to miss at least eight weeks, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports. (11/11/2013)
Ryan Reaves, RW - Reaves is expected to miss at least six weeks due to his broken hand, according to the Blues' official website. (11/25/2013)
Colorado
Ryan Wilson, D - Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said Wilson (back) is about two weeks away from returning to practice, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. (11/26/2013)
Matt Duchene, C - Duchene (oblique) is doubtful to play Wednesday against the Blues, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. (11/26/2013)
Alex Tanguay, LW - Avs coach Patrick Roy said Tanguay (knee) needs another two weeks off before returning to on-ice action, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. (11/26/2013)
Chicago
Nikolai Khabibulin, G - Khabibulin (groin) was placed on injured reserve Sunday, ESPN Chicago reports. (11/17/2013)
Bryan Bickell, LW - Bickell (lower body) will miss the next few weeks, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville announced Thursday morning on WGN-AM Radio in Chicago. (11/21/2013)
Mike Kostka, D - Kostka (foot) took part in Monday's morning skate, ESPN.com reports. (11/25/2013)
Brad Mills, C - Mills (lower body) was waived by the Blackhawks on Friday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports. (11/15/2013)
Johnny Oduya, D - Oduya missed Tuesday's practice with a leg injury, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. (11/26/2013)
Calgary
T.J. Galiardi, LW - Galiardi (back spasms) appears doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks after missing his second consecutive day of practice, Aaron Vickers of NHL.com reports. (11/26/2013)
Patrick Sieloff, D - Sieloff is at home in Ann Arbor, Mich., recovering from a staph infection, the Calgary Herald reports. (11/22/2013)
Shane O'Brien, D - O'Brien missed Saturday's practice with an illness, NHL.com's Aaron Vickers reports. (11/23/2013)
Mark Giordano, D - Giordano (ankle) was back on the ice Tuesday for the first time since breaking his ankle in late October, Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald reports. (11/26/2013)
Curtis Glencross, LW - Glencross is expected to miss six weeks with a second degree MCL sprain, Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald reports. (11/7/2013)
Los Angeles
Matt Frattin, RW - Frattin is not traveling with the team due to a lower-body injury, LA Kings Insider reports. (11/26/2013)
Matt Greene, D - Greene (upper body) is headed for long-term IR, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports. (11/13/2013)
Jonathan Quick, G - Quick (groin) was placed on injured reserve Monday. (11/25/2013)
Trevor Lewis, C - Lewis (lower body) has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 21, Helene Elliott of the LA Times reports. (11/23/2013)
San Jose
Adam Burish, RW - Burish will undergo back surgery in the coming days and is out indefinitely, CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz reports. (10/16/2013)
Raffi Torres, LW - Torres (knee) skated on his own Tuesday, the David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports. (10/22/2013)

Hot
Scottie Upshall, LW, Florida-A player who never has too long of a stay in one place, Upshall has been registering a steady flow of points on a team who doesn’t score that often. Upshall has five points in the last five contests (1-4-5), but just one goal in the last six contests. He’s always been a player long on potential, but he’s settled into a role as a moderately productive player on teams struggling to score. Seven of his 12 points have come in the last seven games, so don’t be fooled entirely by the stat line.

Jay Bouwmeester, D. St. Louis- While Alex Pietrangelo is cementing his spot on the Canadian Olympic team, as is Kevin Shattenkirk with the Americans, Bouwmeester is showing flashes of the talent we haven’t seen since his Florida days. Bouwmeester has a point in five of the last six games and seven points in the last seven contests. He’s still one of the league’s best skaters and seems to be enjoying not having to carry the weight of a team on his shoulders. He’s currently on pace for 63 points and sits with a plus-13 rating.

Wayne Simmonds, RW, Philadelphia- The Flyers seems to be finding their stride after a rather abysmal start, but Simmonds has been seeing his name on the scoresheet often the last two weeks. The bruising winger has a point in six of the last seven games and four goals in the last five contests. Simmonds has a track record of producing since his arrival in Philadelphia and should continue seeing scoring chances for the Flyers.

Cold
Matt Moulson, LW, Buffalo
True, Buffalo isn’t the league’s most dynamic offensive team and playing in the City of Fires is a far cry from riding shotgun alongside John Tavares, but the Sabres have been expecting more from Moulson, the player they flipped for Thomas Vanek. Moulson scored twice in his Sabres debut on October 28, but has not registered a goal since the trade from Long Island. He has a modest seven assists over 11 games, six of which have come in three contests, but just one helper in the last five. Moulson likely will be traded come deadline day, but picking up the pace a bit would be beneficial. He’s shooting the puck and seeing power play time, just not seeing the puck go in. He’s quietly been one of the league’s most consistent scorers the last four seasons.

Derrick Brassard, C, New York Rangers- Brassard had a solid stretch of play earlier in the season, but has been quiet the last two weeks with a goal and an assist over the last nine contests. Brassard is still seeing power play time and scoring opportunities, but he has yet to find consistency in his game dating back to his Columbus days.

Martin Havlat, RW, San Jose- Owners might not have been expecting Havlat to challenge the league’s scoring title upon his recent return from pelvic surgery, but Havlat is a more skilled player than we’ve seen in his 10 games. The formerly dynamic winger has three points in 10 games and just one helper in the last seven contests. His lack of production has even seem him be a healthy scratch one contest.


Recommended Pickup
Darren Helm, C, Detroit-Few players on most waiver wires have been as active Detroit’s Helm. Owner of a goal in three straight contests heading into Wednesday, Helm has enjoyed returning to the ice following an 18-month absence. He’s seeing his power play time fluctuate depending on the game’s situation, but his six points over the last six contests are hard to ignore, especially considering the lack of production Detroit has received from Stephen Weiss due to injury and inconsistency.