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The Daily Puck: Opening Night

John Toperzer

John has written for since 2003 and serves as the beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s worked for the Pirates for 17 years, written for the Penguins’ Web site as the first game-day editor, and rooted for the Steelers dating back to the Immaculate Reception.

The Daily Puck
John Toperzer, RotoWire Writer

Ed Note: For those of you who are our baseball subscribers, you might be familiar with this format - it's our hockey version of the Lineup Card.

Projected Goalie Starters

Montreal (Carey Price) at Toronto (Jean Sebastian Giguere) 7:00 PM.
Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury)7:00 PM.
Chicago (Marty Turco) at Colorado (Craig Anderson)10:00 PM.
Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) at Edmonton (Nikolai Khabibulin) 10:00 PM.

Injuries for Teams Playing Thursday

Day-to-Day (Includes DL players close to returning)

Hal Gill (D) Montreal - (Face) Clipped by stick Saturday. Should play Thursday but defense is his game.
Roman Hamrlik (D) Montreal - (Knee) Skated but won't play Thursday. Weekend return possible.
Michael Cammalleri (F) Montreal - (Suspension) Out Thursday, will return Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Andrei Markov (D) Montreal - (Knee) Skated all week, won't play Thursday, return closer than thought.
Brett Lebda (D) Toronto - (Upper Body) Likely out Thursday. Small role means little fantasy value.
Blair Betts (F) Philadelphia - (Knee) Expected to play Thursday.
Daniel Briere (F) Philadelphia - (Illness) Lost 10 pounds due to cold but should be ready Thursday night.
Chris Pronger (D) Philadelphia - (Knee) Took part in full skate Wednesday for first time, won't take long.
Arron Asham (F) Pittsburgh - (Shoulder) Went on IR Thursday morning after not practicing all week.
Kristopher Letang (D) Pittsburgh - (Illness) Questionable for Thursday, didn't practice in morning skate.
Brooks Orpik (D) Pittsburgh - (Groin) Expected to play Thursday against Flyers.
Nick Boynton (D) Chicago - (Suspension) Out for Thursday, eligible to return for second game.
David Moss (F) Calgary - (Shoulder) Not expected to play in Thursday's opener.

Long Term or IR

Michael Leighton (G) Philadelphia - (Back) Recovery should take less than 10 games, but out weekend.
Jordan Staal (F) Pittsburgh - (Foot Infection) Out min. of 10 games or 24 days, could miss more time.
Brian Campbell (D) Chicago - (Knee) Out for a month with a right knee sprain.
David Koci (F) Colorado - (Broken Jaw) Out for several weeks, was able to skate Wednesday.
Peter Mueller (F) Colorado - (Concussion) No timetable for a return.
Daymond Langkow (F) Calgary - (Neck) Out for several weeks.
Matt Stajan (F) Calgary - (Shoulder) Out with separated shoulder for extended period.
Ryan Stone (F) Calgary - (Knee) Still out indefinitely after undergoing surgery in March.
Ladislav Smid (D) Edmonton - (Neck) Smid is out with neck and a potential broken nose.
Jean-Francois Jacques (F) Edmonton - (Back) Hoping to make debut later in October.


Pierre-Marc Bouchard (F) Minnesota - Placed on IR.
Matt Kassian (F) Minnesota - Sent to Houston of the AHL.
Arron Asham (F) Pittsburgh - Placed on IR.
Jose Theodore (G) Minnesota - Will begin season with Houston of the AHL.
Casey Wellman (F) Minnesota - Prospect made the Wild's Opening Night roster.
Alexandre Bolduc (F) Vancouver - Sent to AHL but expected back for opener on Saturday.
Craig Conroy (F) Calgary - Made Calgary's Opening Night roster.
Maxim Goncharov (D) Phoenix - Assigned to San Antonio of the AHL.


Sergei Bobrovsky (G) Philadelphia - Named starter for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh. Flyers have had trouble against the Pens, but the unknown rookie could get extended play with strong start.

Recommended Pickup

Michal Neuvirth (G) Washington Capitals - Neuvirth gets a crack at backstopping the highest-scoring team in the NHL while Semyon Varlamov spends time on IR. Neuvirth, at the least, is a valuable hand-cuff for Varlamov, and could see the majority of time next to the injury-prone Varlamov. 

Yahoo! Picks

Depending on size and categories in Yahoo! Leagues, these players might provide good value.

Claude Giroux (Player Ranking at 136), Chris Kunitz-LW, Pittsburgh (172), PK Subban-D, Montreal (178), Ray Whitney-LW, Phoenix (200), Brad Boyes-RW, St. Louis (229), Martin Havlat-RW Minnesota (234), Tomas Fleischmann-LW, Washington (280), Michal Neuvirth-G, Washington (368), David Clarkson-RW New Jersey (418), Mike Comrie-LW Pittsburgh (532), Jiri Hudler-RW, Detroit (714), Anton Babchuk-D, Carolina (745), Eric Tangradi-C, Pittsburgh (940), Derek Stepan-C, Rangers (1155).