Around the Rink
Zach Parise scored two goals and assisted on two more Thursday against Colorado – only to see his team stuck with a 5-4 loss. That only highlights the greatest problem faced by the Wild this year (besides that Josh Harding can't seem to stay off IR for very long): It seems as though if Parise doesn't score for Minnesota, nobody does.
The Wild have had a veritable offensive explosion by their standards over the last two games, scoring eight goals, and Parise's factored into seven of them. Minnesota's got the fifth-lowest goal total (and average) in the league, thanks in large part to the fact that the Wild simply can't put a top six together that scores consistently.
They're still in playoff position thanks to all the great goaltending Harding's given them when healthy, but Minnesota's just 11-14-3 when Niklas Backstrom or Darcy Kuemper have drawn the starts, and that's a concern, too.
But hey, the Wild aren't playing on Friday; let's take a look at the teams that are in action.
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 Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00
Blues (Jaroslav Halak) at Hurricanes (Anton Khudobin), 7:00
Capitals (Michal Neuvirth) at Red Wings (Jimmy Howard), 7:30
Devils (Martin Brodeur) at Predators (Carter Hutton), 8:00
Canucks (Eddie Lack) at Jets (Ondrej Pavelec), 8:30
Injury News for Teams Playing Tuesday
New York Islanders
Travis Hamonic, D (concussion) – Placed on IR retroactive to Jan. 12
New York Rangers
Derek Dorsett, RW (leg) – Will undergo more X-rays Friday
Cam Ward, G (lower body) – Activated from IR; heading to AHL for weekend
Patrick Dwyer, RW (upper body) – Practicing with team; could play Friday
Mikhail Grabovski, C (ankle) – Not traveling with the team
Jack Hillen, D (leg) – Skating on his own; will return sometime post-Olympics
Mike Green, D (undisclosed) – Left Thursday's game; questionable for Friday
Detroit Red Wings
Johan Franzen, C (concussion) – Won't play in the Olympics
Cory Emmerton, C (finger) – Did some skating Thursday
Stephen Weiss, C (sports hernia) – Skated with the team Thursday
Pavel Datsyuk, C (groin) – Won't return Friday
Henrik Zetterberg, LW (upper body) – Probable for Friday
New Jersey Devils
Dainius Zubrus, RW (leg) – Injured Thursday after blocking a shot
Peter Harrold, D (foot) – Has been cleared to return, but still not activated
Viktor Stalberg, LW (upper body) – Has sat the last two; seems possible for Friday, though
Matt Cullen, C (upper body) – Also out the last two games and possible for Friday
Shea Weber, D (upper body) – Didn't practice Thursday
Pekka Rinne, G (hip) – Rehab continues
Chris Tanev, D (thumb) – Placed on IR Thursday
Mike Santorelli, C (shoulder) – Season-ending surgery
Henrik Sedin, C (ribs) – Day-to-day; should return on current trip
Andrew Alberts, D (head) – Remains out indefinitely
Kevin Bieksa, D (undisclosed) – Not traveling on current road trip
Matt Halischuk, RW (forearm) – Probably back sometime after Olympics
Grant Clitsome, D (back) – had season-ending surgery
Jim Slater, C (sports hernia) – Comin' along, but still out a while
Paul Postma, D (leg) – Sent to AHL for conditioning stint
Evander Kane, LW (hand) – Out through the Olympics with infection
Jaromir Jagr, RW, NJD – Jags has been lighting it up lately, with Thursday's two-assist performance against his former employers in Dallas giving him 10 points in his last eight games. He may be 43 years old – and he'll turn 44 during the Olympics – but Jagr's been a consistency king this year, as he's got double-digit points in every month of the season.
Roman Josi, D, NAS – Josi's had a slow year, but he's been terrifically productive recently – his goal Tuesday gave him nine points in his last eight games. Prior to that, he'd managed a not-very-fantasy-relevant 14 points in 38 contests. The 23-year-old Swiss defender has real offensive skills, as he put up more-than-respectable point totals in the Swiss league as well as the AHL, and it seems he may finally be expressing them in a way that helps his fantasy owners.
Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG – Another guy who's been hot over the last eight, Wheeler's ripped off an impressive six goals and five assists in that span. Since a slow start to the year in which he totaled just 17 points and a minus-6 rating in the first 28 games, he's been running at a goal-heavy point-per-game pace over the last two months – not to mention that he's gone plus-5 with a very helpful 26 PIM in that span as well.
Marcus Johansson, LW, WAS – Being returned to the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and skating major power-play minutes has failed to yield dividends lately for Johansson, who's got just a lonely assist in his last seven games and is minus-5 in that span. He hasn't taken a shot on goal in the last three games despite averaging 16 minutes of ice time and four minutes of power-play time in that time. I'm just gonna leave it at that.
Martin Brodeur, G, NJD – Things are really starting to go Corey Schneider's way in New Jersey, as the only time Brodeur started in the last five games was out of respect in Sunday's outdoor game at Yankee Stadium – never a good way to make a hockey decision – and he couldn't even get all the way through that one after giving up six goals. Marty's posted a sub-.900 save mark in four of his last five starts and is clearly the No. 2 for the Devils. Despite that, he's expected to start in Nashville on Friday, though that hasn't been confirmed yet.
Alex Burrows, RW, VAN – Burrows has played in six games – getting major minutes, including on the man advantage, every time – since returning from a jaw injury, and here's the stat line he's posted in that span: zero goals, zero assists, an even rating, nine shots on goal, 10 penalty minutes. If he didn't have the PIM, he'd have nothing. Burrows remains without a goal in his 23 games this year, and he has just three assists and a minus-7 rating to show for that span, too. Ouch.
Mark Scheifele, C, WPG – Despite Scheifele's excellent pedigree as the No. 7 pick in 2011 and his spectacular scoring in juniors – capped by a 41-point performance in 21 playoff games for OHL Barrie last year – the 20-year-old remains criminally under-owned in fantasy. While his stats early this year granted Scheifele utility only in deeper formats, he's quietly become superbly consistent over the last couple months, totaling nine goals and 22 points – not to mention a plus-7 rating – over his 27 games in December and January. His ice time's only going to go up with numbers like those. Own him.