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The Daily Puck: Devils in the Details

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.

February 9 Daily Puck
by John Toperzer, RotoWire Writer

Around the Rink

All we know is that Sidney Crosby continues with his functional rehab and is spending time with family at a warm-weather locale. Anybody can come out and make assumptions by saying he's done for the season. Yes, Marc Savard is out for the year, but no two concussions or their symptoms are alike. Crosby himself probably doesn't know when and if he's returning.

Pittsburgh's moves or lack of moves at the deadline will serve as a tell as to whether the organization thinks he'll be healthy enough to play again in 2010-11.

Don't look now but Martin Brodeur is 8-1-1 in his last 10 decisions. The Devils might be wise to sit him out a few extra games with a knee sprain in order to secure a better draft spot. New Jersey recently passed Ottawa in points, but are still seven behind Toronto for the fifth fewest overall points.

Nine points separate third place and 14th in the Western Conference standings.

Tampa Bay's Marc-Andre Bergeron's second game didn't go as well as his first. Bergeron netted two assists in his debut but then went pointless with a minus-4 rating Tuesday. He also pushed a Sabres forward into his own goalie, leading to one of Buffalo's seven scores.

Marc-Andre Fleury gave up four goals for the first time in 29 games Tuesday - his uniform number. Crosby is stuck on 66 points, his owner's old number.

Steven Stamkos now leads the NHL with 40 goals and 73 points. I'd say he's looking like the favorite to win the Art Ross Trophy.

Doesn't common sense dictate that it's ok for Yahoo! to designate Evgeni Malkin as an injured reserve player?

Jimmy Howard has the worst goals-against average (2.83) of any goalie with at least 14 wins, a list that includes 24 netminders. The Red Wings need to pick another netminder by the deadline.

Islanders goalie Mikko Koskinen made his NHL debut Tuesday night and allowed two goals on his first two shots. Welcome to the Island.

If newly minted Anaheim property Ray Emery has a hip condition similar to Bo Jackson's, why is he playing? Bo might not know hockey, but if he can't come back from the injury, it's hard envisioning Emery just doing it.

Who's Hot

Tyler Ennis - The rookie has five multi-point efforts in his last nine contests.
Pavel Datsyuk - Scoring a goal and an assist Monday night isn't bad for any player, let along one who hadn't played since Dec. 22.
Michael Grabner - This is one waiver wire pickup benefitting from his time with the Islanders and vice versa. Grabner has scored eight goals and 12 points in his last 11 games.

Who's Not

Henrik Zetterberg - He's potted one goal on 57 shots in the last 13 games. Datsyuk's return should only help him open up space. Zetterberg has tallied 10 assists over his goal-scoring slump, so the news isn't all bad.
Sergei Gonchar - Gonchar's name has come up in trade talks. Perhaps that can jumpstart his performance. He has five points and a plus-2 rating since December - and that's his best line of the season.
Kris Letang - Missing guns like Crosby and Malkin hasn't helped Letang's numbers lately. The All-Star blueliner has just one assist in his last 10 games. Don't look for an offensive uptick until Crosby comes back.      

Recommended Pickup

Devin Setoguchi - He has points in six straight and has likely been disowned in many fantasy leagues. He's a nice low-cost acquisition.

Probable Starting Goalies

Montreal (Carey Price) at Boston (Tim Thomas), 7:00 p.m.
San Jose (Antti Niemi) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7:00 p.m.
Nashville (Pekka Rinne) at Detroit (Jimmy Howard), 7:30 p.m.
Colorado (Craig Anderson) at Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom), 8:00 p.m.
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30 p.m.
Ottawa (Robin Lehner) at Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff), 9:30 p.m.
Chicago (Corey Crawford) at Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk), 9:30 p.m.
Anaheim (Curtis McElhinney) at Vancouver (Corey Schneider), 10:00 p.m.

RotoWire Goalie Grid

Injury Roll Call

Montreal vs. Boston

James Wisniewski - Probable, missed Tuesday's practice with flu but is expected to go Wednesday.
Michael Cammalleri - Out, won't travel to Boston for game Wednesday, out with separated shoulder.

Marc Savard - Out, placed on long-term injured reserve and will miss rest of season with concussion.
Daniel Paille - Out, serving another game of four-game suspension.

San Jose vs. Columbus

San Jose
Torrey Mitchell - Questionable, eligible to come off IR Wednesday with lower body.
Alex Stalock - Out, expected to miss rest of season with knee injury.

Nikita Filatov - Out, expected to resume skating at AHL within the next week.
Ethan Moreau - Out, practicing after rib injury but did not play Tuesday.

Nashville vs. Detroit

Marek Svatos - Out, expected to start skating in the next week after minor knee surgery.

Valtteri Filppula - Out, will miss at least a week with a sprained MCL.
Tomas Holmstrom - Probable, expected to return from hand injury Wednesday.
Chris Osgood - Out, hopes to return from sports hernia before the end of the regular season.

Colorado vs. Minnesota

Colorado - No recent injury reports.

Matt Cullen - Questionable, missed Saturday but was able to complete pre-game skate.
Jared Spurgeon - Questionable, also missed Saturday but expected to play Wednesday.
Marek Zidlicky - Out, returned to practice Tuesday but likely won't return for a while after long layoff.

Phoenix vs. Dallas

Ed Jovanovski - Questionable, day-to-day with upper body, check updates.
Michal Rozsival - Probable, returned to action Feb. 2 and has played in last three games. Finally.
Vernon Fiddler - Questionable, hasn't played since Jan. 15 but is nearing day-to-day status.

Tom Wandell - Probable, expected to return to the lineup Wednesday.
Jamie Benn - Questionable, has already missed a week with no breaking news of an imminent return.

Ottawa vs. Calgary

Matt Carkner - Questionable, traveling with team on road trip, status day-to-day.
Jarkko Ruutu - Questionable, missed Monday's game and is also day-to-day.
Jesse Winchester - Out, will miss Wednesday's game with knee.

Adam Pardy - Questionable, day-to-day after leaving Monday's game early.

Chicago vs. Edmonton

John Scott - Questionable, 6-foot-8 defenseman missed Monday with flu.

Tom Gilbert - Probable, expected to return Wednesday after getting hit in neck by puck.

Anaheim vs. Vancouver

Ryan Getzlaf - Probable, expected to make long-anticipated return Wednesday against Canucks.
Jonas Hiller - Out, eligible to come off injured reserve as soon as Thursday.

Keith Ballard - Out, expected to miss 3-4 weeks with knee sprain.
Roberto Luongo - Out, Schneider expected to start Wednesday as Luongo missed Tuesday practice.
Sami Salo - Questionable, could return Wednesday, activate him before he gets hurt again.


Jonas Hiller - Placed on IR retroactively but is eligible to come off of it as soon as Thursday.
Ray Emery - Assigned to Syracuse of the AHL.
Aaron Voros - Placed on waivers by Anaheim.
Joel Martin - Recalled from AHL Bridgeport.
Jay Beagle - Assigned to AHL Hershey.
Mike McKenna - Recalled from AHL Albany.
Alexandre Bolduc - Assigned to AHL Manitoba.