Around the Rink
Is there anything worse in all of professional sports than seeing a guy who was simply awful for your team come back to play you with another team and suddenly look like a star? (Yeah, there are probably worse things. Let's not dwell on it.) It stinks when it happens in fantasy, and but it's even worse when it's Olli Jokinen -- Olli "I scored four goals in 26 games as a Ranger" Jokinen putting up a pair of goals to break a third-period tie. Amazingly, before Monday's game, Jokinen was actually on a slower scoring pace than that of his 2009-10 stint in New York.
But there's just something about facing your old team, isn't there? Somehow, this always seems to happen in fantasy, too if I may mix my sports, those people who cut Alshon Jeffrey three weeks into the season have almost certainly suffered his huge games as celestial retribution. So it is with Olli Jokinen.
Anyway, how 'bout that Josh Harding, eh? Oft-injured though he may be, he's spinning a season for the ages right now. He's got three shutouts in 19 starts after blanking the Flyers on Monday, and hasn't allowed more than three goals in a game all season long. He's tied for the NHL lead in GAA and third in save percentage. One thing for his fantasy owners to fear, though: the possibility of a spot on the Canadian Olympic team. Though it's certainly a thrill to make the team, that'd be bad news for a guy who'll need those two weeks of rest to be fresh for the stretch run.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Sharks (Antti Niemi) at Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:00
Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Islanders (Kevin Poulin), 7:00
Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at Capitals (Braden Holtby), 7:00
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00
Senators (Craig Anderson) at Panthers (Tim Thomas), 7:30
Stars (Kari Lehtonen) at Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:00
Canucks (Roberto Luongo) at Predators (Marek Mazanec), 8:00
Coyotes (Mike Smith) at Oilers (Devan Dubnyk), 9:30
Kings (Ben Scrivens) at Ducks (Jonas Hiller), 10:00
Injury News for Teams Playing Tuesday
Raffi Torres (knee) and Adam Burish (back) remain out long-term
Cody Franson, D (lower body) Not at practice Monday
Joffrey Lupul, LW (groin) On IR
Dave Bolland, C (ankle) On IR
Tomas Vokoun, G (blood clot) Hasn't ruled out a return to the Penguins this season
Chuck Kobasew, RW (lower body) Returned to practice Thursday
Paul Martin, D (leg) Still out a month or more
Robert Scuderi, D (ankle) Supposedly rehabbing
Tanner Glass, LW (hand) Out another 2-3 weeks
Beau Bennett, RW (hand/wrist) Out 7-9 weeks yet
Brian Strait, D (upper body) Returned to practice Monday
Evgeni Nabokov, G (groin) Also returned to practice Monday
Lubomir Visnovsky, D (concussion) Still indefinite
Tim Gleason, D (lower body) Should be nearing a return, but no word
Alexander Semin, LW (concussion) Did some work at Friday's morning skate
Andrej Sekera, D (upper body) Could be back Tuesday
Anton Khudobin, G (ankle) Traveling with the team this week
Brooks Laich, C (lower body) Not on the ice for Monday's practice
Michal Neuvirth, G (lower body) Placed on IR Monday
John Erskine, D (upper body) Long since eligible to come off IR, but no moves
Ryan Malone, LW (foot) Will miss a couple weeks
Steven Stamkos, C (leg) Coming along well; optimism
Tom Pyatt, RW (collarbone) Expects to miss two more weeks of action
Pierre-Cedric Labrie, LW (upper body) Did not take part in Monday's practice
Radko Gudas, D (upper body) Hoping to return by Saturday's game against the Jets
Jared Boll, RW (foot) Has missed four straight
Derek MacKenzie, C ( back) On IR
Marian Gaborik, RW (knee) Still out another 2-4 weeks
Nathan Horton, RW (shoulder) Still rehabbing
Marc Methot, D (illness) Scratched prior to Sunday's game due to the flu
Matt Gilroy, D (lower body) On IR
Tomas Kopecky, RW (wrist) Has missed four straight, but still day-to-day
Aaron Rome, D (lower body) Placed on IR Monday
Stephane Robidas, D (leg) Out 4-6 months
Tyler Seguin, C (concussion) Started having symptoms, which kept him out Sunday
Mike Kostka, D (foot) Seemingly close to returning, but no definite date
Bryan Bickell, LW (lower body) Out a period of weeks still
Jordan Schroeder, C (ankle) Still out about a month yet, maybe more
Filip Forsberg, RW (upper body) Placed on injured reserve Saturday
Kevin Klein, D (lower body) Out at least two weeks
Shea Weber, D (eye) Will miss Tuesday's game against the Canucks
Pekka Rinne, G (hip) Still looking at late December
Zbynek Michalek, D (lower body) Yet to resume skating; no timetable
Lauri Korpikoski, LW (upper body) Skated before Friday's practice; could return this week
Philip Larsen, D (undisclosed) Didn't travel on road trip; no word on return
Ilya Bryzgalov, G (head) Seems likely to miss at least some time
Boyd Gordon, C (undisclosed) Didn't play Sunday
Matt Greene, D (upper body) Skating, but not imminent to return
Jonathan Quick, G (groin) Still expected out through Christmas
Luca Sbisa, D (hand) Out another 5-7 weeks
Jakob Silfverberg, LW (hand) Out at least through late December
Viktor Fasth, G (lower body) Out 2-3 weeks still
Sheldon Souray, D (wrist) Skating, but still out 'til late December at least
Bryan Allen, D (lower body) Game-time decision Tuesday
Francois Beauchemin, D (upper body) Has resumed skating
Ryan Johansen, C, CLM The fourth overall pick in 2010, Johansen struggled in his first two years of NHL action, but he's been coming around this season especially lately. He's been hot over the last four games, picking up four goals and two assists, and though he's had trouble establishing great consistency, his 19 points in 27 games on the year are solid and he has the look of a guy who's only going to get better. Johansen's also seeing more ice time recently, skating 19:48, 20:06, 18:09 and 20:25 over the last four games the most ice he's seen in any four-game span of his career.
P.K. Subban, D, MON It's not really news anymore when Subban's hot it's just his normal state of existence. He's just on a solid run, as he's often been six points in his last six games, with a plus-5 rating to boot. Oh, and nine penalty minutes, too, because why not.
Jaden Schwartz, C, STL After an up-and-down start to the year, Schwartz is on a hot run now, ripping off points in six straight games totaling three goals and four assists along with a plus-6 rating in that span. He only sees 14-16 minutes of ice time and rarely gets a chance on the power play, but Schwartz is just a flat-out good player. Right now, he's merely fantasy-relevant, with 17 points and a plus-10 rating in 25 games. But make no mistake, this kid is headed for stardom.
Dustin Brown, RW, LA Brown has gone ice-cold lately, being held off the scoreboard for the last four games and 10 of the last 12. While he's chipping in PIM here and there and is plus-10 for the year, Brown's fantasy value is way down, to the point where he's not more than roster filler unless your format counts hits, Brown's bread and butter.
Martin St. Louis, RW, TB Things have been trending downward for St. Louis since the injury to Steven Stamkos, which shouldn't be terribly surprising. He's been held off the scoreboard in four of the last five games, and though the other one was a three-point effort Nov. 25 against the Rangers, the diminutive winger still largely hasn't looked the same and he's been in the minus in all four of those scoreless games. Going back to the game against the Bruins in which Stamkos was hurt, St. Louis has a respectable eight points in 10 games, but six of those points came in two games. There's cause for some concern here, but don't be too anxious to cut bait.
Craig Anderson, G, OTT Anderson keeps playing himself into a hole. While backup Robin Lehner looks like a star in the making, Anderson keeps struggling badly. He's given up four goals in four consecutive starts, and he wasn't playing well before that either. Lehner's gotten the start in three of the last five games, plus a relief appearance, so things are certainly trending strongly in the young Swede's direction right now. Meanwhile, Anderson is a poisonous presence on fantasy rosters at this point.
Anton Khudobin, G, CAR While the conventional wisdom is that Justin Peters played so well in relief of the injured Cam Ward (and Khudobin) that he's got the backup job on lockdown, I'm not so sure. Khudobin is traveling with the team and seemingly nearing a return, and it's hard to ignore how good he looked before suffering his ankle injury. Ward hasn't been the guy he once was and Peters, despite his hot streak, is no starting NHL netminder, so it wouldn't be surprising if Khudobin ends up as the primary starter. It wouldn't be surprising to see Ward traded to make room.