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The Daily Puck: Under the Thumb

George Kurtz

George Kurtz writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Goalie Starters

Washington (Brian Holtby) at Montreal (Carey Price) 7:00 PM.
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) 7:00 PM.
Islanders (Al Montoya) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) 7:00 PM.
Boston (Tim Thomas) at Columbus (Steve Mason) 7:00 PM.
Carolina (Cam Ward) at Buffalo (Ryan Miller) 7:30 PM.
Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Ottawa (Craig Anderson) 7:30 PM.
Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky ) at Florida (Tomas Vokoun)  7:30 PM.
Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier) at Nashville (Pekka Rinne) 8:00 PM.
San Jose (Anteri Niitymaki) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen) 8:30 PM.
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) at Calgary (Mikka Kiprusoff) 9:30 PM.

Injuries for Teams Playing Tuesday

Day-to-Day (Includes DL players close to returning)

Nicklas Backstrom (C) Washington - (Thumb) Questionable at best to play Tuesday.
Tom Poti (D) Washington - (Lower body) Skating with the team, doubtful to play Tuesday.
Michael Cammalleri (W) Montreal - (Illness) Doubtful to play Tuesday.
Dustin Byfuglien (D) Atlanta - (Lower body) Left practice early Monday, questionable for Tuesday.
Zdeno Chara (D) Boston - (Illness) Probably to play Tuesday.
Drew Stafford (W) Buffalo  - (Hamstring) Questionable to play Tuesday.
Patrick Kaleta (W) Buffalo - (Knee) Out for Tuesday.
Jochen Hecht (W) Buffalo - (Upper body) Re-aggravated the injury Sunday, questionable to play Tuesday.
Martin Hanzal (W) Phoenix - (Lower body) Questionable to play Tuesday.
Andrew Ebbett (C) Phoenix - (Upper body) Questionable to play Tuesday.
David Moss (C) Calgary - (Ankle) Questionable to play Tuesday.

Long Term or IR

Semyon Varlamov (G) Washington - (Knee) Close to returning, out for Tuesday.
Jamie McBain (D) Carolina - (Shoulder) Out 3-4 weeks.
Sidney Crosby (C) Pittsburgh - (Concussion) Symptoms have subsided, skated Monday, still no timetable for his return however.
Chris Pronger (D) Philadelphia - (Hand) Surgery Friday, out 3-4 weeks.
Evgeny Dadonov (D) Florida - (Finger) Expected to return sometime this week.


Noah Welch (D) Atlanta - Recalled from the AHL.
Joey Hishon (C) Colorado - Signed a multi-year contract.
Chris Osgood (G) Detroit - Activated off the IR.
Joey MacDonald (D) Detroit - Re-assigned to the AHL.
Alexandre Giroux (C) Edmonton - Re-assigned to the AHL.
Teemu Hartikainen (W) Edmonton - Recalled from the AHL.
Mike Duco (W) Florida - Recalled from the AHL.
Tim Kennedy (W) Florida - Re-assigned to the AHL.
Bill Thomas (C) Florida - Re-assigned to the AHL.
Pat Rissmiller (W) Florida - Recalled from the AHL.
Ryan Potulny (C) Ottawa - Re-assigned to the AHL.
Derek Smith (D) Ottawa - Re-assigned to the AHL.
Marco Scandella (D) Minnesota - Re-assigned to the AHL.


Brad Boyes (C) Buffalo - Buffalo took some grief for picking up Boyes at the trade deadline. Many questioned why they would trade for a player who has had declining statistics for a few seasons and is due to make $4 million next season. Well Buffalo seems to be having the last laugh as Boyes has scored four goals and three helpers in his last seven games and is providing Buffalo with the type of secondary offense they need to secure a playoff spot.

Andrew MacDonald (D) Islanders - MacDonald certainly doesn't have the sexy name as one of the top defensemen in the NHL, but he is getting the job done just the same. With Mark Streit out of the lineup MacDonald has taken over the role of top defenseman and has responded with his offensive play of late. He has two goals and five points over the past two weeks and plays with the first power play unit. The Islanders offense has picked it up since the dismissal of coach Scott Gordon, so there is hope for them offensively.


Daniel Cleary (W) Detroit - Cleary was a player on fire for the middle part of the season and picked up a major part of the slack when Pavel Datsyuk was out of the lineup with a hand injury. Lately however he has been extremely cold with only one assist in his last six games.  Part of the problem could be assessed to the entire team being in an offensive slump, but Cleary is also the definition of a player that you start only when he's hot.

Tim Thomas (G) Boston - Thomas was probably the Vezina favorite through most of the season, but has hit a cold spell of late only winning three of his last nine games. What makes matters worse is that there are some in Boston who believe Thomas may be tiring after a long season and Tuukka Rask could steal some starts down the stretch.

Recommended Pickup

Braden Holtby (G) Washington - The Capitals have been looking for consistent goaltending for what seems like quite a few seasons now. Well they may have found it thanks to injuries to Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth. Holtby got his chance and is showing that he may be the man for the job with four straight victories only allowing four goals on 114 shots. Hard to say if he will get the job once Varlamov returns, but Neuvirth has been healthy and is still not starting, and the Caps have been known to ride the hot hand. Holtby currently has that hand.