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The Daily Puck: The Quick and the Benched

John Toperzer

John has written for since 2003 and serves as the beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates. Hes 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.

October 27 Daily Puck
by John Toperzer, RotoWire Writer

Projected Goalie Starters

Washington (Michal Neuvirth) at Carolina (Cam Ward), 7:00 p.m.
Atlanta (Chris Mason) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00 p.m.
Islanders (Dwayne Roloson) at Montreal (Carey Price - confirmed), 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury - confirmed) at Tampa Bay (Mike Smith - confirmed), 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier - confirmed) at Chicago (Marty Turco - confirmed), 8:30 p.m.
New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) at San Jose (Antero Niittymaki), 10:30 p.m.

Injuries For Teams Playing Wednesday

Washington vs. Carolina


Boyd Gordon (F) - Could return Wednesday per coach Boudreau after missing three games.
Marcus Johansson (F) - Out Wednesday due to hip injury.
Tom Poti (D) - Out Wednesday with undisclosed injury.
Semyon Varlamov (G) - Day-to-day with undisclosed injury. Michal Neuvirth doing fine in goal.


Jiri Tlusty (F) - Out Wednesday, recalled from conditioning stint for knee on Tuesday.

Atlanta vs. Rangers


Freddy Meyer (D) - Unlikely to play Wednesday due to a “mid-body” injury.
Zach Bogosian (D) - Has missed six straight so far, not expected back Wednesday.
Nikolai Antropov (F) - Missed Saturday's game with hip and should be back Wednesday after rest.


Michael Sauer (D) - Day-to-day with general soreness, could play Wednesday.
Vaclav Prospal (F) - Doesn't need surgery and could be back in 6-8 weeks.
Chris Drury (F) - Out with broken finger for another month.
Marian Gaborik (F) - Could return from shoulder injury in next week or two, should start skating soon.

Islanders vs. Montreal


Josh Bailey (F) - On track to return Wednesday after sitting out Saturday, practiced Monday.
Michael Grabner (F) - Out Wednesday with groin injury.
Trent Hunter (F) - Practiced Monday and Tuesday after missing time with foot injury, looks good.
Andrew MacDonald (F) - Out for next month after breaking hand.
Robbie Schremp (F) - Skated Monday for first time in weeks, needs several practices before return. 
Mark Streit (D) - No new news, hoping for a February return.


Andrei Markov (D) - Returning this weekend after month-long speculation.

Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay


Zbynek Michalek (D) - Out for Wednesday, skating with team.
Arron Asham (F) - Set to make his debut Wednesday night after suffering from shoulder injury.
Jordan Staal (F) - Looking great in practice but going through conditioning right now, out Wednesday.
Eric Godard (F) - Out Wednesday due to illness.

Tampa Bay

Brett Clark (D) - Wore red non-contact jersey in practice Tuesday, game-time decision Wednesday.
Dominic Moore (F) - Out Wednesday with groin injury.
Mattias Ohlund (D) - Slim chance seeing limited minutes Wednesday against Pittsburgh .
Matt Smaby (D) - Missed practice Monday and is listed as day-to-day with stomach virus.
Simon Gagne (F) - Placed on IR with neck injury retroactive to Oct. 21.

Los Angeles vs. Chicago

Los Angeles

Drew Doughty (F) - Out for both Wednesday and Thursday with concussion.
Scott Parse (F) - Skating at full speed in practice, could return soon after sitting out with groin injury.


Brian Campbell (D) - Could finally return to action this weekend after hurting knee in preseason.

New Jersey vs. San Jose

New Jersey

Rod Pelley (F) - Day-to-day after taking puck to face in Saturday's game.
Brian Rolston (F) - Skating lightly after undergoing sports hernia surgery, return in mid-November.
Anssi Salmela (D) - Long term IR and will likely miss season.
Bryce Salvador (D) - Still suffering from preseason concussion, out indefinitely.
Mark Fraser (D) - Out 2-4 more weeks with broken hand.
Anton Volchenkov  (D) - Expected to start skating this week, not expected to play on western road trip.

San Jose

Scott Nichol (F) - Dealing with foot injury and is questionable for Wednesday's game.
Derek Joslin (D) -- Out with upper body injury and not thought to be close to returning.

Other News

Ilya Kovalchuk skated on the Devils third line in practice, along with Jacob Josefson and Jamie Langenbrunner.  No truth to the rumor that New Jersey is petitioning Gary Bettman and the NHL to declare the Kovalchuk deal null and void.

The Maple Leafs recalled Luca Caputi from the Marlies while the team awaits word on the severity of Colby Armstrong's undisclosed upper body injury.

Hershey Bears defenseman Sheldon Souray broke his hand in a fight Saturday and will miss at least the next two weeks. He'll have to wait by the phone with his other hand now.

Alexander Ovechkin grew up as a Penguins fan and his idol was Mario Lemieux. That, and he likes girls.


Jeff Carter (F) - Carter goes from the cold list to the hot list in two days after potting a power-play goal and two assists in Tuesday's win over Buffalo.

Alexei Kovalev (F) - Everybody's favorite player to bash, Kovalev netted two goals and assist Tuesday after collecting one point in his first eight. He was only rated as the 209th best player by Yahoo! in preseason. Kovalev is all about expectations - keep them low and he won't disappoint. He still has value.

Victor Hedman (D) - The post-hype defenseman for Tampa Bay has six points in eight games after collecting 20 in 74 last season as a rookie. He won't keep up his scoring pace, but he has a bright future for a long, long time.


Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk, Martin Brodeur. Their respective Yahoo! rankings follow.

Parise -(8th preseason, 124th actual), Zajac -( 68th, 305th), Kovalchuk (11-115), Brodeur (13, 113).

Unless poolies think Kovalchuk can ruin an entire team, then there's plenty of reason to target the above players, including Kovy, as the talent level is too high to slump all season long.

Recommended Pickup

Brian Campbell (D) - He's due back this weekend and some crazy owners have dumped him.
Alexandre Burrows (F) - See above. He's due back within the next week or two.
Marc-Andre Fleury (G) - Depending on the league, his value may have fallen as to next to nothing. It won't stay that way for long.