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The Daily Puck: East-West Showdown

George Kurtz

George Kurtz writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Goalie Starters

Detroit (Jimmy Howard) at Boston (Tim Thomas), 7:00 p.m. ET
San Jose (Antti Niemi) at New Jersey (Johan Hedberg), 7:00 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh (Brent Johnson) at Islanders (Al Montoya), 7:00 p.m. ET
Colorado (Peter Budaj) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7:00 p.m. ET
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec), 7:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota (Jose Theodore) at St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak), 8:00 p.m. ET
Chicago (Marty Turco) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30 p.m. ET
Anaheim (Curtis McElhinney) at Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff), 9:00 p.m. ET

Injuries for Teams Playing Friday

Day-to-Day (Includes DL players close to returning)
Valtteri Filppula (C) Detroit – (Knee) Out until next week
Antero Niittymaki (G) San Jose -- (Groin) Questionable to play Friday
Martin Brodeur (G) New Jersey – (Knee) Out for Friday
Chris Kunitz (W) Pittsburgh – (Lower body) Out for Friday
Blake Comeau (W) Islanders -- (Concussion) Day to day
Craig Anderson (G) Colorado -- (Personal) Day to day
Rostislav Klesla (D) Columbus -- (Knee) Out for Friday
Tobias Enstrom (D) Atlanta -- (Finger) Questionable to play Friday, probable for Sunday
Marek Zidlicky (D) Minnesota – (Shoulder) Out for another week
Marian Hossa (W) Chicago – (Flu) Questionable to play Friday
Alex Tanguay (W) Calgary – (Neck) Questionable to play Friday

Long Term or IR
Mike Modano (C) Detroit -- (Wrist) Could return later this month or early next month
Brad Stuart (D) Detroit – (Jaw) Could possibly return next week
Chris Osgood (G) Detroit – (Groin) Hoping to return before the playoffs
Marc Savard (C) Boston – (Concussion) Out for the season
Sidney Crosby (C) Pittsburgh -- (Concussion) Feeling better, but still no timetable
Evgeni Malkin (C) Pittsburgh -- (Knee) Out for the season
Mark Streit (D) Islanders – (Shoulder) Shooting, but still 3-4 weeks away from playing
Kevin Poulin (G) Islanders – (Knee) Out for the season
Trent Hunter (W) Islanders – (Knee) Out for the season
Peter Mueller (C) Colorado – (Concussion) Practicing, non-contact, still no timetable for his return
Chris Drury (C) Rangers – (Knee) Surgery on Wednesday will keep him out 4-6 weeks
Jamie Benn (W) Dallas – (Shoulder) Questionable to play Friday
Jonas Hiller (G) Anaheim – (Head) Questionable to play Friday


Jonas Holos (D) Colorado – Recalled from the AHL
John Grahme (G) Colorado –Recalled from the AHL
Johan Harju (W) Tampa Bay– Recalled from the AHL
Aaron Volpatti (W) Vancouver – Re-assigned to the AHL
Victor Oreskovich (W) Vancouver –Recalled from the AHL
John Mitchell (C) Toronto – Cleared waivers, assigned to the AHL
Keith Aulie (D) Toronto – Recalled from the AHL
Mike Fisher (C) Ottawa –Traded to Nashville
Ryan White (W) Montreal – Recalled from the AHL
Brett Sterling (W) Pittsburgh – Recalled from the AHL
Nick Johnson (W) Pittsburgh – Recalled from the AHL
Ryan Craig (W) Pittsburgh – Recalled from the AHL
Joe Vitale (C) Pittsburgh – Recalled from the AHL
Tyson Strachan (D) St. Louis – Placed on Waivers


Mikael Samuelsson (W) Vancouver – For the second week in a row we’re going to feature an underrated Canuck in this spot. Last week it was Ryan Kesler, who is on his way to star status; this week it’s an even more under-the-radar player in Samuelsson. Mikael is not going to put up the big numbers he did last season, but the only thing that should matter to fantasy owners is how he is playing now, and with four goals and 10 points in his last five games, he is playing quite well.

Antti Niemi (G) San Jose – So all it took for Niemi to reacquire the goaltending magic he displayed last season was for Anterro Niittymaki to go down to injury. Since Niemi hasn’t had to worry about whether he would be starting in net, he has won eight of his last nine games and has two shutouts during this streak. There should be little doubt now as to who the starter will be the remainder of the season.


Marian Gaborik (C) NY Rangers– If you take away the two hat tricks and the four-goal game, Gaborik only has six goals this season. What is even more alarming is that the Rangers faithful is getting impatient waiting for Gaborik to break out of this funk and take control of the offense. Rumors have even been circulating that the Rangers would consider trading him if the price is right. While we find that hard to believe, Gaborik has seen his ice time reduced lately and coach John Tortorella has been known to rub players the wrong way with his style of coaching.

Craig Anderson (G) Colorado – As good as Anderson was for the Avs last season is as bad as he has been this season. He has lost six straight games, has a 3.19 GAA and 89.9 SV% on the season, and now comes word that he has left the team due to personal reasons. If you haven’t already, than it is time to move on from Anderson.

Recommended Pickup

Nikolai Kulemin (W) Toronto – At this point in the season, we’re all looking for that under-the-radar player that just might be a gem from here on out. Kulemin could be that player. He already has 21 goals and 41 points this season and has scored in four straight games. Might be worth a look if he’s still on your waiver wire.