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The Daily Puck: Concussed Crosby Still Out

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.

Around the Rink

*First game starts at 1 p.m. Eastern

Detroit backup goalie Joey MacDonald may have more value now than at any time in his career, for as much as that's worth. With Chris Osgood and Jimmy Howard out, MacDonald figures to start for the next bit of time. Howard may only miss a week, so it would probably be unwise to invest too much in MacDonald. However, if he plays well in Howard's absence then he could see a few more starts leading up and into the All-Star break. These are the kind of mid-season pickups that win Yahoo! leagues.

-- Shane O'Brien was simply dubbing Steven Weiss a knight Friday night.

-- Chris Pronger skated and worked out with teammates Friday for the first time since breaking his foot. He's still not ready to return. The Flyers haven't seemed to miss him too much.

-- Sidney Crosby's week to recover from a concussion has come and gone. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Penguins keep him out until after the All-Star break, though I am not a mystic.

-- Chris Stewart returned for the Avalanche on Friday. Stewart is averaging better than a point per game (25 in 24). Remember to activate him.

-- Is it time to buy low on the New Jersey Devils? Just about every Devils player has been on one waiver list or another. They have two straight wins, beating Tampa Bay two times. Goalie Martin Brodeur, Travis Zajac, etc. might be worthwhile on a matchup basis.

Who's Hot

Zdeno Chara – He has only 21 points in 43 games, but the tall one has strung together a four-game point streak that includes two goals and six points.

Patrice Bergeron – Six goals and 10 points in his last five.

Bobby Ryan – He's scored six times and assisted on a seventh in his last three games with Ryan Getzlaf out.

Jamie McBain – The Carolina defender has six assists in his last seven games. Again, with young blueliners their streaks come and go. Use him while he's hot in single-season leagues. Keeper leagues hold onto him, of course.

Who's Not

Antero Niittymaki & Antti Neimi – Niemi hasn't been playing as poorly as Niittymaki recently, but the Sharks' goaltending tandem hasn't done them any favors in 2010-11. San Jose is 12th in the Western Conference and has lost eight of 10 games.

Recommended Pickup

Anton Babchuk – It isn't without reservation recommending a Calgary blueliner, but Babchuk is likely available in many leagues and he has 13 points (3, 10) in 27 games since coming over from Carolina.

Probable Starting Goalies

Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Boston (Tim Thomas), 1 p.m.
New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) at Florida (Scott Clemmensen), 7 p.m.
Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) at Toronto (J.S. Giguere), 7 p.m.
Buffalo (Ryan Miller) at Islanders (Rick DiPietro), 7 p.m.
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Montreal (Carey Price), 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson) at Carolina (Cam Ward), 7 p.m.
Columbus (Steve Mason) at Detroit (Joey MacDonald), 7 p.m.
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 8p.m.
Anaheim (Jonas Hiller) at Phoenix (Ilya Byrzgalov), 8 p.m.
Chicago (Corey Crawford) at Nashville (Pekka Rinne), 8 p.m.
Edmonton (David Dubnyk) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier), 10 p.m.
St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 10:30 p.m.

Rotowire Goalie Grid

Injury Roll Call

Pittsburgh vs. Boston

Brent Lovejoy – Questionable, battling illness, has often served as scratch when healthy.
Sidney Crosby – Out, didn't skate Friday and won't do so until he's symptom free.

Andrew Ference – Questionable, not expected to play with an upper-body injury.
Milan Lucic – Questionable, skating but prospects look doubtful once again for Saturday.
Mark Stuart – Out, getting closer to a return after breaking hand.

New Jersey vs. Florida

New Jersey
Mattias Tedenby – Questionable, missed Friday with undisclosed injury.
Dainuis Zubrus – Probable, played Friday and picked up assist and finished plus-2.
Anton Volchenkov – Out, looking to get back into the lineup Monday.

Chris Higgins – Questionable, didn't play Thursday due to hamstring injury.

Calgary vs. Toronto

Robyn Regehr – Questionable, missed Friday's game with leg injury.
Steve Staios – Questionable, didn't play Friday but traveling with Flames.
Tom Kostopoulos – Out, in the middle of a six-game suspension.

Kris Versteeg – Questionable, missed Thursday with undisclosed injury, status unknown.
Mike Brown – Out, serving suspension Saturday.

Buffalo vs. Islanders

Patrick Kaleta – Questionable, missed sixth straight game Thursday and doubtful for Saturday.

Rick DiPietro – Probable, expected to make start Saturday against Sabres.
Frans Nielsen – Out, suffered a setback with his groin injury and won't play.
Kyle Okposo – Out, practicing with team but return is still weeks away.
Mark Streit – Out, not expected to return this year after hoping for a February return.

Rangers vs. Montreal

Derek Boogaard – Out, latest news has him perhaps not returning this season.
Ryan Callahan – Out, won't return from hand injury until after All-Star break.

Michael Cammalleri – Probable, expected to return from illness Saturday.
Max Pacioretty – Questionable, missed Friday's practice and likely won't go Saturday.

Tampa Bay vs. Carolina

Tampa Bay
Steve Downie – Questionable, was able to play Saturday and picked up fighting major.
Mike Smith – Out, could return to action next week from knee injury.

Jiri Tlusty – Questionable, could return from upper body injury any day, check updates.

Columbus vs. Detroit

Ethan Moreau – Out, expected to miss three more weeks with rib injury.

Jimmy Howard – Questionable, left Friday with a bruised knee, look for him to sit the next week.
Tomas Holmstrom – Out, broke hand Friday and is out indefinitely.

Atlanta vs. Dallas

Fredrik Modin – Questionable, missed Friday's game with a mid-body injury.
Jim Slater – Questionable, also missed Friday due to concussion.
Ben Eager – Out, serving concussion, eligible to come back Jan. 20.

Matt Niskanen – Out, will miss Saturday with hand laceration.

Anaheim vs. Phoenix

No recently reported news.

Ed Jovanovski – Questionable, left Thursday's game with lower body, check updates.
Michael Rozsival – Out, will not make his debut Saturday due to oblique injury.

Chicago vs. Nashville

Nick Boynton – Questionable, missed Wednesday with the flu.

Martin Erat – Questionable, expected to return either Saturday or Sunday from upper body.
Matthew Lombardi – Out, feeling better but has no timetable for return.
Steve Sullivan – Questionable, latest news had Sullivan hopeful of returning by Jan. 16.
Shane O'Brien – Out, serving out part of two-game suspension.

Edmonton vs. Los Angeles

Gilbert Brule – Out, not expected back until Jan. 18 at the earliest from ankle injury.
Shawn Horcoff – Out, could return from knee injury as soon as Jan. 20.

Los Angeles
No recently reported news.

St. Louis vs. San Jose

St. Louis
Carlo Colaiacovo – Questionable, swelling in face after taking puck Wednesday will likely sideline him.

San Jose
Logan Couture – Questionable, missed Thursday, wouldn't be surprising to see him miss Saturday, too.
Torrey Mitchell – Out, added to IR on Thursday with undisclosed injury.


Evander Kane – Activated by Atlanta from IR.
Tim Stapleton – Sent to AHL Chicago by Thrashers.
James Reimer – Assigned to AHL Toronto by Maple Leafs.
Ian Cole – Recalled by St. Louis from AHL Peoria.
Patrick O'Sullivan – Assigned to AHL Houston by Wild.
Zac Dalpe – Assigned to AHL Charlotte by Carolina.
Tyler Sloan – Assigned by Washington to AHL Hershey for conditioning stint.
Matt Bartkowski – Recalled by Boston from AHL Providence on emergency basis.