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The Daily Puck: Get Your Goon Points Here

John Toperzer

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

November 10 Daily Puck

Around The Rink

*So the NHL is going to appoint two captains to pick teams from among the 42 selected players for the All-Star game. Why put pressure on the shoulders of the captains picking their teams? Maybe some fans might like to see Sidney Crosby squirm over his final selection of Lubomir Visnovsky or Keith Yandle, I'm not sure. If the league is looking to spice things up a bit and generate fan interest, why not have a contest selecting two "Super Fans" to pick the teams. I mean, what difference does it really make?   

*Mike Knuble netted his first goal Tuesday since Opening Night. At 38 he's fossilizing in front of us, but keep in mind that he scored 22 of his 29 goals last year after January 1. If you know what year Knuble was drafted, what round and by what team, then you're a fossil, too, and part Rain Man. (Answer at end of section).

*Michael Cammalleri is going to get hot. He's not off to a terrible start, with nine points in 14 games and a Montreal-best plus-10 rating, but he hasn't had one of his patented hot stretches. His offensive talent is near elite - he has two 80-point seasons out of the last four - but keep in mind that he gets hurt every other season. This is his year to stay healthy. Call it the Chili Davis effect.

*Ryan Getzlaf appeared to be favoring his left leg Tuesday after getting bent over backwards. The injury didn't appear to be anything major, but it just goes to show the level of dedication it takes to play in a professional sport. If I fell on my leg like he did, I'd be out for two weeks, minimum. I often lose sight of reality playing fantasy sports because I can just change channels or wait for the next game to come on.

*Maybe it's just me, but Michal Neuvirth is looking less and less like the answer in Washington. He's on two of my four fantasy teams and I'm getting nervous that his porous recent play might leave the door open for Semyon Varlamov to take back the starter's job. Even if Varlamov gets hurt again, I just don't believe in Neuvirth very much after watching him play. I do have Braden Holtby in reserve, just in case.

*Trivia Answer-Mike Knuble was drafted by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 1991 draft.    


Eric Staal picked up four assists, two on the power play, on Tuesday night. They might've been mostly meaningless helpers with Carolina routing Edmonton, 7-1, but fantasy owners still reaped the benefits of his outburst. The helpers give Staal 15 points in 15 games, right at the point-per-game he enjoyed last year (70 in 70).

Erik Karlsson has a goal and six points in four November games. I dumped him early and was fortunate enough to pick him back up. He's also a plus-5 in his last four, an indication he's figuring things out at the NHL level.

Dan Ellis earned his second shutout in three starts on Tuesday night. Ever since relieving Mike Smith against Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, Ellis has played very well, going 3-0-1.


Sam Gagner put up a minus-4 rating Tuesday against Carolina. The 21-year-old forward has seven points in 13 games. I keep waiting for a breakout season as I've had him since his rookie year of 2007-08. He's always heated up later in the season, so there's no reason to panic. Still, he could muddle around in mediocrity for the next five years and be just 26. Some players figure things out later than others, like Mike Ribeiro. I'm not saying that will be the case with Gagner, but it's something that often happens. The opportunity cost of keeping a player with upside but not necessarily the numbers has derailed more than a few fantasy teams along the way.     

Recommended Pickup

Matt Cooke - Cooke and the Pens square off against the Bruins on Wednesday night. Boston may be out to get Cooke after the feisty forward took out Marc Savard last year. Cooke is one of the NHL's leaders in hits and provides PIMs and some points. He should find himself in the middle of action Wednesday.   

Projected Starting Goalies

Buffalo (Jonas Enroth) at New Jersey (Johan Hedberg), 7:00 p.m.
Boston (Tim Thomas) at Pittsburgh (Brent Johnson), 7:00 p.m.
St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7:00 p.m.
Toronto (Jean-Sebastien Giguere) at Florida (Tomas Vokoun), 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) at Chicago (Marty Turco), 8:30 p.m.
Islanders (Dwayne Roloson) at Anaheim (Jonas Hiller), 10:00 p.m.

Rotowire Goalie Grid

Recent Injury News

Buffalo vs. New Jersey


Patrick Lalime - Out Wednesday, may not even accompany team on trip.
Ryan Miller - Questionable Wednesday, expected to serve as backup for Jonas Enroth.
Craig Rivet - Out Wednesday, stuck on one point thus far in 2010-11.
Drew Stafford - Out Wednesday, no timetable for return.
Nathan Gerbe - Out Wednesday, still probably three weeks away from returning after breaking jaw.

New Jersey

Martin Brodeur - Out Wednesday, didn't practice Tuesday and team recalled backup Jeff Frazee.
Matthew Corrente - Questionable Wednesday, would like to return but team has final say.
Mark Fraser - Out Wednesday, looking at another three weeks before returning from hand injury.
Brian Rolston - Out Wednesday, practiced last three days and could come back Friday.
Zach Parise - Out Wednesday, shooting for a February return after undergoing knee surgery.

Boston vs. Pittsburgh


Marc Savard - Out Wednesday, likely to miss another month with concussion recovery.
Marco Sturm - Out Wednesday, practicing, thought to be looking at mid-to-late November return.
David Krecji - Out Wednesday, likely week-to-week with concussion symptoms.


Mike Comrie - Questionable Wednesday, missed practice with illness Tuesday, not producing at all.
Jordan Staal - Out Wednesday, One week into recovery from broken hand, foot getting extra heal time.

St. Louis vs. Columbus

St. Louis

Brad Winchester - Questionable Wednesday, looking like a game-time decision w/knee contusion.
Carlo Colaiacovo - Out Wednesday, weeks away with concussion-like symptoms.
Barret Jackman - Out Wednesday, expected to miss the next month with knee injury.
Roman Polak - Out Wednesday, could miss two months with after undergoing wrist surgery.


Ethan Moreau - Out Wednesday, won't come back until late November, at the earliest.
Kristian Huselius - Out Wednesday, out another month but no team update on ankle in last week.

Toronto vs. Florida


Dion Phaneuf - Out Wednesday, not missing much in Toronto right now.
Colby Armstrong - Out Wednesday, getting cast removed Thursday but still weeks away.


Jay Garrison - Questionable Wednesday, hasn't played since injuring groin last Wednesday.
Cory Stillman - Questionable Wednesday, practicing but team may have him rest shoulder longer.

Phoenix vs. Chicago


Shane Doan - Out Wednesday, getting cut by fantasy owners and could be good pickup when healthy.


Marian Hossa - Out Wednesday, expected to return to action Sunday night against Edmonton.
Dave Bolland - Questionable Wednesday, practiced Tuesday but not expected back Wednesday.

Islanders vs. Anaheim


Kyle Okposo - Out Wednesday, no recent news on the young forward.
Mark Streit - Out Wednesday, no recent updates on his condition, still hoping for February return.


Matt Beleskey - Out Wednesday, has missed last four games but nearing a return.
Kyle Chipchura - Out Wednesday, has missed last two games with concussion-like symptoms.
Joffrey Lupul - Out Wednesday, skating but not on radar until late November.
Dan Sexton - Out Wednesday, back practicing with team but didn't play in Tuesday's OT win.
Ryan Getzlaf - Probable Wednesday, bent left knee backwards Tuesday, looked less than 100 percent.


The Devils recalled Mattias Tedenby, the team's 2008 1st round draft pick, who has three goals and five points in 10 AHL games. He's expected to make his NHL debut on Wednesday night.
The Islanders recalled Jon Sim from AHL Bridgeport. Sim has one assist and a minus-7 rating in 11 games.