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Monday Daily Puck: Is Ryane Clowe-ser To Returning To His Former Self?

John Toperzer

John Toperzer

John Toperzer writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Around the Rink

Give Ryane Clowe credit. After missing 32 games with a concussion, Clowe fought Islanders’ tough guy, Matt Carkner, in his second game back Saturday. New Jersey signed the forward to a five-year, $24.25 million deal over the summer, but so far he hasn’t produced. He has one assist in eight games in a concussion-plagued season. What’s more concerning is that his scoring drought has extended back further than those eight contests. The longtime San Jose Shark has three goals on 102 shots in his last 56 games (including seven playoff games) for a 2.94 shooting percentage -- this from a player who averaged 21 goals from 2008-09 to 2011-12. New Jersey and Clowe fantasy owners have to hope the 31-year-old forward finds his mojo again.

It was good to see T.J. Oshie with a two-point night Sunday against Dallas. The going might be tougher with Alexander Steen sidelined. Not only that, but David Backes was also missing against the Stars. Speaking of the Blues, Jaden Schwartz has flown under the radar in many leagues. He scored his 13th goal Sunday, giving him a five-game goal-scoring streak and seven in his last nine games. Fantasy owners who sold him after a rookie season in which he totaled only 13 points in 45 games have likely endured some teeth-gnashing in 2013-14.

Logan Couture found the net Sunday for the first time in 12 games Sunday. Hallelujah!

What would a line of Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-James Neal look like for Team Canada?


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

Washington Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Ottawa Senators (Craig Anderson), 7:30 PM
Los Angeles Kings (Martin Jones) at Chicago Blackhawks (Antti Raanta), 8:00 PM
Detroit Red Wings (Jonas Gustavsson) at Nashville Predators (Carter Hutton), 8:00 PM
Philadelphia Flyers (Steve Mason) at Vancouver Canucks (Eddie Lack), 10:00 PM

Injury News For Teams Playing Monday

Washington Capitals
Brooks Laich, C - Laich (groin) will travel with the team for its upcoming two-game road trip kicking off Sunday in Buffalo, Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports. (12/28/2013)
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)
Michael Latta, C - Latta (lower body) was placed on injured reserve by the Capitals on Tuesday, Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports. (12/17/2013)

Ottawa Senators
Chris Phillips, D - Phillips is dealing with a left foot injury and will not play Saturday. (12/28/2013)
Jason Spezza, C - Spezza is suffering from a "new injury" that's not related to his previous groin or back problems, according to CBC's Hockey Night in Canada which cited Sens coach Paul MacLean in his post-game news conference on Saturday night. (12/28/2013)

Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick, G - Quick (groin) returned to practice Friday for the first time since his injury, the Los Angeles Times reports. (12/28/2013)

Chicago Blackhawks
Brad Mills, C - Mills (lower body) was waived by the Blackhawks on Friday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports. (11/15/2013)
Nikolai Khabibulin, G - Khabibulin (groin), who has been out since Nov. 16, is still "a way" from returning to the ice, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. (12/7/2013)
Corey Crawford, G - Coach Joel Quenneville said he expects Crawford (leg) to return to action either next Thursday vs. the Islanders or Friday vs. the Devils, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. (12/28/2013)/2013)

Detroit Red Wings
Stephen Weiss, C - Weiss has chosen to undergo surgery for a sports hernia and will be out until late-February, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. (12/21/2013)
Jimmy Howard, G - Howard (knee) said he thinks he can play Monday against the Predators, but he felt soreness in the knee Sunday and needs to see the team doctor for final clearance, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. (12/29/2013)
Johan Franzen, C - Franzen (concussion) still has not resumed skating with his teammates, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. (12/28/2013)
Jonathan Ericsson, D - Ericsson (ribs) was placed on IR on Friday. (12/27/2013)
Darren Helm, C - Helm (shoulder) is likely to return Monday against the Predators. (12/29/2013)
Jonas Gustavsson, G - Gustavsson (groin) will not play Monday against the Predators, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. (12/29/2013)

Nashville Predators
Pekka Rinne, G - Rinne (hip) will remain under limited activity for the next two weeks. (12/20/2013)

Philadelphia Flyers
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)
Erik Gustafsson, D - Gustafsson is expected to miss about two weeks with a left knee sprain. (12/22/2013)

Vancouver Canucks
Hunter Shinkaruk, C - Shinkaruk will require major hip surgery and miss the rest of the WHL season, Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun reports. (12/27/2013)
Ryan Stanton, D - Coach John Tortorella said Stanton would miss multiple weeks with an ankle injury, Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun reports. (12/19/2013)
Roberto Luongo, G - Luongo (lower body) has been placed on IR. (12/28/2013)
Andrew Alberts, D - Alberts left Sunday's game against the Flames to be evaluated for a possible concussion and will not return, Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun reports. (12/29/2013)
Alexandre Burrows, RW - Updating a previous report, Burrows underwent successful surgery on a broken jaw Monday and will be out for four weeks, News 1130 reports. (12/3/2013)
Alexander Edler, D - Edler is out indefinitely with what is now being reported as a knee injury, Team 1040 reports. (12/6/2013)
Jordan Schroeder, C - Schroeder (ankle) had successful surgery on his broken ankle in early November and is expected to return in eight-to-nine weeks, News 1130 reports. (11/5/2013)

Hot

Mikhail Grabovski: Even though he had nowhere to go but down after a hat trick and five points in his first two games, the second-line center has pushed through the first half of 2013-14 with strong numbers. Grabovski has 11 goals and 30 points in 37 games, including 11 points in his last 12 contests. Every new player in Washington is a lock, right? Not quite, Martin Erat has zero goals and 14 helpers in 36 tilts. Grabovski had an outlier season in 2012-13 with only 16 points (9G, 7A) in 48 games for Toronto, but he’s making his fantasy owners look good right now.

Cody Ceci: A bright spot for the Sens. Ceci tallied two assists and finished plus-3 rating against Boston on Saturday. Thought of mostly as a keeper on a team dominated on the blue line by Erik Karlsson, Ceci is showing his own flair for offense in the early going. The 2012 first-round draft pick is worth a pickup in deep leagues before he inevitably cools off, and those in keeper leagues should roster him if he’s somehow available.

Mike Fisher: I’m talking about his hockey, not his wife (at least for these purposes). Fisher scored two goals and added a helper Friday. He’s also taken 16 shots in his last three games. The forward is a half-point per game player for his career (and better than that the last two seasons). Friday’s showing squeeked him up to 16 points in 32 games, but there’s probably a little bit more mojo left in the stick in Week 14.

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg: Both players have had nice breaks in the last five weeks, something which figures to serve them well in April and May. They’re both back now. Datsyuk had two assists in Friday and Zetterberg scored a goal in the same contests. Their presence makes everyone around them on Detroit’s roster a bit more fantasy relevant.

Niklas Hjalmarsson: Just about everyone with an Indian-painted emblem across his sweater is hot right now. Hjalmarsson has three goals, 17 points and a plus-15 rating in 41 games. His point total would’ve tied him for first among all Pittsburgh blueliners, but Hjalmarsson has a couple guys named Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook who produce on defense for the Blackhawks. Still, impressive work from the 26-year-old who scored only 10 points in 80 games in 2010-11.

Eddie Lack: For everyone who rushed out and picked up Lack when Roberto Luongo went down Dec. 22, congratulations! Sunday proved to be worth the wait. Lack shut out the Calgary Flames, stopping 18 shots in a 2-0 win. The rookie goalie could pick up four starts in Week 13 with Luongo expected to miss at least another week. The schedule isn’t a pushover, but the heavy slate could pay dividends for a player not rostered in many leagues before Bobby Lu got hurt.

Cold

Jason Spezza: What a miserable campaign for Spezza, who has 30 points in 39 games. He started out strong in what looked to be a rebound year, potting seven goals and 12 points in 11 October contests. Since then, he’s been on a steady decline into mediocrity and now he’s suffering from a lower-body injury. His captaincy is off to a terrible start. He’s totaled 651 points in 650 career games, but look for that number to slip under a point per game with the way he’s playing right now.

Ben Scrivens: Scrivens made just his third start in December on Saturday and lost for the second time. It looked like he might Wally Pipp Jonathan Quick during a four-game winning streak in the middle of November, but Martin Jones has since Pipped him. Week 13 won’t be easy with three road games against Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis. A home game versus Vancouver also comes as the second game of a back-to-back.

Antti Raanta: The rookie goalie picked a bad time to have a meltdown with Corey Crawford due back Thursday. Even if Raanta hadn’t given away a lead to the Blues on Saturday, he was still headed for the pine. Before dumping Raanta (if you had any such plans), make sure Crawford doesn’t reinjure himself. How often does a netminder aggravate an injury in his return?

Michael Raffl: The rookie saw his lowest ice total (13:02) in 11 games Saturday. Raffl was named the game’s No. 2 star Saturday for his game-deciding shootout goal, but his power-play time has dropped from 3:58 TOI six games ago to nothing in the last two contests. He has only one assist in his last five games. If you’ve got speculative space on your roster, he might still turn things around. There are plenty of options with better opportunities available, however.

Jason Garrison: The Canucks’ go-to defender was due for some regression and has fallen off with one assist in his last six games. He saw more time (26:43 TOI) than any other Vancouver skater not named Daniel Hamhuis Sunday and his power-play time is still nearly three minutes per game. That said, the defenseman already has 23 points in 40 games and his career high in points is 33 in 77 games two seasons ago. It might be tempting to sell high on Garrison before Alexander Edler returns, though Edler remains sidelined indefinitely.

Recommended Pickup

Philipp Grubauer: The Capitals could shift back to Braden Holtby with a strong performance Monday, but the fact that Grubauer started the first game back from Christmas break tells me that either the team is unhappy with Holtby or that he has a minor injury. Regardless, goalies such as Grubauer and Jeff Zatkoff are a moment away from reeling in major fantasy points. It pays to check out which backup goalies are available in your league.