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The Daily Puck: Sharpshooter

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.

January 5 Daily Puck
by John Toperzer, RotoWire Writer

Around the Rink

Recommending players on a daily basis doesn't always work out over the course of a six-month season. That's what make Patrick Sharp's season gratifying. He's a recommended player that has come through. Sharp has 23 goals and 41 points in 40 games. Following shots on goal is a good place to start in fantasy and Sharp ranks third in the league with 167 shots.

Would Tomas Vanek have made a difference on the Oilers or would he have Kovalchuked them?

As much as shots on goal (SOG) are valuable in determining how a player might do, I don't like SOG as a fantasy category. Shooting percentage is a more skillful representation.

Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos and the Lightning knocked off Washington, 1-0, behind new (well, old really) goalie Dwayne Roloson on Tuesday. Tampa Bay travels to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. A win would move them into sole possession of first place overall in the Eastern Conference. Is Steve Yzerman that good?

Since SOG are a category in many leagues, let's point out that Dustin Byfuglien has 47 more SOG than any other defenseman, with 166. The rest of the top five blueliners include Shea Weber (129), Zdeno Chara (124), Kris Letang (120) and Dan Boyle (117).        

It's a great night for hockey. Canada vs. Russia for Gold, U.S.A. vs. Sweden for Bronze in the World Juniors. Lightning vs. Pens for first place, Steven Stamkos vs. Sidney Crosby, the NHL Network's even going to show the Pens-Caps Alumni game with Mario Lemieux and friends in some markets.

Cedrick Desjardins, we hardly knew ya. Thanks for the two wins in two starts with a 1.00 GAA and .968 save percentage.

The last five pickups in the Industry Experts League are P.A. Parenteau, Travis Hamonic, Jose Theodore, Desjardins, and Patrick Eaves.

Alexander Ovechkin is on pace for 29 goals after potting 46 a year ago. Would you trade one of the Sedin twins for him?

The final installment of HBO's 27/7 premieres Wednesday.     

Who's Hot

Corey Perry - Seventy four penalty minutes along 21 goals and 44 points rank him fourth overall in Yahoo! Leagues.
John Tavares - Consecutive three-point contests gives Tavares 13 points (5, 8) in his last nine games.

Who's Cold

Jarret Stoll - Kings are making noise but not because of Stoll. He has one goal and six points in his last 20 games.
Anton Volchenkov - Picked up his first point of the season on New Year's Day. He's not a prolific scorer, but one point in 27 games probably isn't what the Devils had in mind when they inked him to a $25.5 million contract last summer.

Recommended Pickups

Andrew MacDonald - Now we know who the power-play replacement for Wisniewski is going to be. MacDonald has nine assists in his last eight games, including seven on the power play. If you need points on the blue line, MacDonald might be your guy. Caveats about all Islanders players still apply.
Tyler Kennedy - Life is about opportunity and Kennedy is skating on the newly formed line with Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. Let's see how he does.
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Signed Tuesday by Tampa Bay, he can provide power-play points though he might be rusty after not playing yet in 2010-11.

Projected Starting Goalies

Carolina (Cam Ward) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00 p.m.
Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson) at Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00 p.m.
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at Florida (Tomas Vokoun), 7:30 p.m.
Dallas (Kari Lehtonen) at Chicago (Corey Crawford), 8:30 p.m.
Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) at Vancouver (Roberto Luongo), 10:00 p.m.
Nashville (Pekka Rinne) at Anaheim (Jonas Hiller), 10:00 p.m.

RotoWire Goalie Grid

Injury Roll Call

Carolina vs. Rangers

Jussi Jokinen - Probable, coach expects him to suit up Wednesday night despite lower-body injury.
Joni Pitkanen - Questionable, missed Monday with upper-body, could play Wednesday, check updates.
Jiri Tlusty - Out, could return within the next week but won't play Wednesday.

Derek Boogaard - Out, not timetable for return for the fighter who's missed last eight games.
Ruslan Fedotenko - Questionable, not likely to play after suffering deep hand bruise Sunday.
Vaclav Prospal - Out, still wearing non-contact jersey with an exact return date unknown. 

Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay
Steve Downie - Probable, saw 11 minutes of action Tuesday night in his first action since Dec. 2.

Eric Godard - Out, missing time with a broken nose.

Atlanta vs. Florida

Jim Slater - Questionable, missed Sunday's game with a concussion.

Radek Dvorak - Probable, returned to action and has recorded an assist in three games.
Rostislav Olesz - Probable, also came back on Dec. 30 and has played in team's last three games.

Dallas vs. Chicago

Dallas - No reported injuries.

Fernando Pisani - Probable, recently returned to action and recorded four hits against LA on Tuesday.

Calgary vs. Vancouver

Steve Staios - Out, not close to returning from rib injury that's kept him out since Dec. 5.

Cody Hodgson - Out, about two weeks away from returning with facial injury.
Jordan Schroeder - Out, week away from returning to AHL Manitoba with ankle injury.

Nashville vs. Anaheim

Martin Erat - Out, skating with team, but out since Dec. 23 with upper-body injury.
Steve Sullivan - Out, not yet skating with team because of lower-body injury.
Cal O'Reilly - Out, broken right leg suffered Jan. 2 figures to keep him out for a good while. 

Jason Blake - Questionable, sustained shoulder injury Sunday, may miss a couple games.
Ryan Getzlaf - Out, multiple sinus fractures keeping him out indefinitely.


Dan Sexton - Recalled by Anaheim from AHL Syracuse.
Mikael Backlund - Recalled by Calgary from AHL Abbotsford.
Kevin Poulin - Recalled by Islanders from AHL Bridgeport.
Erik Gustafsson - Assigned to AHL Adirondack by Philadelphia.