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The Daily Puck: The Foot That Slew New York

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.

December 1 Daily Puck: The Foot That Slew New York
by John Toperzer, RotoWire Writer

Around the Rink

It looks like it's time to finally fear the Capitals. Trading offensive surplus they won't miss (Tomas Fleischmann) for a defenseman, Scott Hannan, who actually has a strong history of playing defense should scare the rest of the Eastern Conference. If they pick up a veteran goalie (who can actually contribute) at the deadline, I don't see how they can be stopped. In Washington, change is always good, but it might not be for the rest of the NHL.

By the way, Fleischmann will finally get a chance to show what he can do in Colorado. I've always been a big fan. His fantasy value gets a bump up, not down, provided he sees top-six minutes. We'll find out whether the Caps made Fleischmann or vice versa.

Welcome back Simon Gagne. Here's to staying healthy for your patient fantasy owners. Cheers.

Sidney Crosby was named the McLean's magazine's newsmaker of the year winner for his gold-medal winning Olympic goal. In an unrelated note, New York writers nominated Crosby for the Madison Square Garden's Dirty Player of the Year award in honor of Sean Avery.

Speaking of Sid Vicious and his entanglement with Ryan Callahan on Monday night, I think there should have been a tripping call on Crosby. Giving the only penalty to Callahan was crazy. It is interesting to note that after the first-period incident, Pittsburgh did not get another power-play opportunity. I think the Pens only getting one chance with a man advantage is surprising news.

Follow Matt Hunsick. Perhaps his six goals and 27 points in 53 games with Boston was a mirage in 2008-09, but he's the under-the-radar type that helps fantasy teams. No need to run to the grocery store quite yet, just keep watch.

A sizeable number of fantasy poolies (and writers) believed Marc-Andre Fleury was overrated a few weeks ago. Now that he's gone on a regression run, is it time to sell him?

Time stood still on Tuesday night for Corey Crawford fantasy owners. The six-lettered network featured Chicago and St. Louis. After the 'Hawks jumped out to a fortuitous 5-1 lead, you just got the feeling that the scoring wasn't over. When the Blues scored three straight, I had to turn the channel. Sometimes I'm just not a pressure player, even in fantasy sports.

Something just made me feel good reading that Martin Gerber knocked off the Sens on Monday night.

The last month reinforces my beliefs on why I never take a Toronto player in fantasy. Okay, I usually pick Tomas Kaberle somewhere along the line, but he's been on the trading block since Darryl Sittler was his forward, hasn't he?


Henrik Zetterberg - Tuesday's two goals, two assists, a plus-3 and seven shots puts Hank on the hot list. He hasn't missed a game yet, either. Shhhhhhh.

Tomas Kopecky - A goal and four points Tuesday puts Kopecky back on the hot list after a cold list appearance last week. He's a plus-5 in his last three games after rough patch and he's got one less stud to compete with for the next couple weeks (Marian Hossa).

Bobby Ryan - "The player picked immediately after Sidney Crosby" ... ever heard that one before? Ryan netted a hat trick a couple games ago and has 12 goals and 22 points through 26 contests and his 41 hits aren't bad, either.

Alexander Ovechkin - Second in power-play assists (12) and fourth in hits (82) to go along with six assists and 18 shots on goal in his last three. Ovechkin's also good at hunting Penguin.


Olivier-Magnan Cormier (16 games), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (23), Colin White (23), Kyle Quincey (16) and Mattias Ohlund (17) have played a combined 95 games and scored a total of one point, an assist. Can you name the player with the point?

Recommended Pickup

Brad Stuart - The Detroit defender has 47 hits and 49 blocked shots. Stuart's also collected 10 points and a plus-11 rating through 22 games. This pickup is more for the secondary categories of hits, plus-minus and blocked shots. Let's face it, the point production won't last.

Probable Starting Goalies

Edmonton (Martin Gerber) at Montreal (Carey Price), 7:00 p.m.
Boston (Tim Thomas) at Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 p.m.
Nashville (Pekka Rinne) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7:00 p.m.
Washington (Semyon Varlamov) at St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak), 8:00 p.m.
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) at Minnesota (Nicklas Backstrom), 8:00 p.m.
Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) at Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff), 9:30 p.m.
Florida (Tomas Vokoun) at Anaheim (Jonas Hiller), 10:00 p.m.

RotoWire Goalie Grid

Injury Roll Call

Edmonton vs. Montreal

Ales Hemsky - Probable, has missed last several games so check updates to make sure he's back.
Nikolai Khabibulin - Out, could return as soon as Thursday from a groin injury that's kept him out.
Ladislav Smid - Probable, the fantasy-impaired d-man played Tuesday against the Sens.
Ryan O'Marra - Out, expected to miss the next three weeks with a shoulder injury.

Andrei Markov - Out, check back in a couple months for updates.

Boston vs. Philadelphia

Jordan Caron - Questionable, missed Sunday's game with the flu, check updates.
David Krejci - Questionable, also missed Sunday's game with flu, check late updates.
Marc Savard - Out, could make his season debut as soon as Saturday, wouldn't bet on it, though.
Marco Sturm - Out, looking for a return sometime in December, but no real timetable.

Michael Leighton - Out, beginning a six-day rehab stint in the AHL before taking next step.
Matt Walker - Out, still looking at a mid-December return from hip surgery.
Daniel Carcillo - Out, returned to practice Monday, but has no specific return date.

Nashville vs. Columbus

Cody Franson - Probable, returned to action Tuesday after taking errant stick to throat Saturday.
David Legwand - Out, looking to come back Saturday from a lower-body injury.
Matthew Lombardi - Out, has no idea when he might be able to return from concussion.

Marc Methot - Out, missed practice Tuesday with an upper-body injury.
Kristian Huselius - Out, he's at least three weeks away from coming back from an ankle injury.

Washington vs. St. Louis

Mike Green - Questionable, skated off during Sunday's overtime period, check updates.
Tom Poti - Probable, skated in Sunday's win after sitting out practice Saturday with sore groin.
Tyler Sloan - Questionable, eligible to return Wednesday after going on IR with undisclosed injury.

St. Louis
David Perron - Out, reporting small progress made but still no timetable from concussion.
T.J. Oshie - Out, will miss another 2-3 months as he recovers from ankle surgery.
Roman Polak - Out, could return from tendon surgery in early January.

Phoenix vs. Minnesota

Phoenix - No reported injuries.

Chuck Kobasew - Questionable, could suit up Wednesday, back practicing with team.
Clayton Stoner - Questionable, missed Monday's game with an upper-body injury.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Probable, Bouchard is expected to make his season debut Wednesday.
Guillaume Latendresse - Out, will likely miss remainder of regular season after sports hernia surgery.
James Sheppard - Out, hopes to return before the end of the regular season from knee surgery.

Vancouver vs. Calgary

Kevin Bieksa - Out, dealing with a case of pneumonia of undetermined strength.
Ryan Parent - Out, currently on AHL rehab stint for about another week.
Alexandre Bolduc - Out, no recent news but his original timetable hints at an early December return.
Guillame Desbiens - Out, close to practicing but not expected to play until mid December.
Rick Rypien - Out, given leave of absence for personal reasons a week ago.
Sami Salo - Out, might start skating sometime around Christmas, though a return remains further away.

Craig Conroy - Questionable, hasn't played since Nov. 26 with shoulder injury, two points in 17 games.
Raitis Ivanans - Out, hasn't played since getting concussion in opener.
Ales Kotalik - Questionable, could make season debut Wednesday, check updates.
Adam Pardy - Out, not far off with a shoulder injury, but unlikely to play Wednesday.

Florida vs. Anaheim

Cory Stillman - Questionable, hasn't practiced since leaving Saturday's game with back spasms.
Steve Bernier - Probable, he's expected to play for the first time since taking a stick to face on Nov. 12.
Rostislav Olesz - Out, not expected back from a finger injury for another week.
Bryan Allen - Out, will likely miss at least another week with a broken bone in foot.

Lubomir Visnovsky - Probable, playing through back issues but not missing any time.
Joffrey Lupul - Out, two games into a three-game rehab stint, has one goal in two AHL games.


Brian Lee - Placed on waivers by Ottawa.

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