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The Daily Puck: The Football Mentality

Kevin King

Kevin is a suffering Tottenham supporter living in Buffalo, New York, where also suffers from being a Buffalo Bills fan. He covers Major League Soccer and the English Premier League for Rotowire.

Around the League

- All that can be said about Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke has already been said, but non-Penguin fans have to smile a bit at the hypocrisy of the Pens. Days after GM Ray Shero called for an outright ban on blows to the head, the biggest supplier of those cheap shots to the head, Matt Cooke, was at it again. If the Pens want to back up their ridiculous rhetoric they should rid themselves of Cooke completely.

- Not cool to see the NHL teams going into NFL mode and resting their starters for the playoffs. News came down on Monday that the Caps were planning on taking it easy with Alex Ovechkin as the playoffs draw near, starting with not bringing him to Philly for Tuesday's game with the Flyers.

- It's a light slate tonight, but an important one to start a crucial week in most leagues. Remember to keep up-to-date with on goalie starts by checking our goalie grid.

Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) vs. Detroit (Jimmy Howard), 7:30 p.m

Pittsburgh injuries:

Sidney Crosby (C) - Out recovering from concussion, but there is news on Sid....sort of. Coach Dan Bylsma labeled Crosby "week-to-week" after Crosby skated on back-to-back days over the weekend.
Arron Asham (RW) - Questionable to return from his concussion on Monday night after being scratched from the lineup at the last minute on Sunday.
Eric Tangardi (C) - Out as he also battles to return from a concussion. Was cleared to participate in full practices over the weekend.
Mark Letestu (C) - Questionable with upper-body injury that kept him out of the lineup on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Niskanen (D) - Returned to the lineup of Sunday and should be all set to go on Monday night.

Detroit injuries:

Jiri Hudler (LW) - Doubtful to play Monday night due to undisclosed illness.
Johan Franzen (RW) - Doubtful for Monday night as well, battling a groin ailment.
Pavel Datsyuk (C) - Doubtful also for Monday with lower-body injury that kept him out of the lineup on Saturday night. No reason for coach Mike Babcock to take any chances.
Patrick Eaves (RW) - Out after possibly breaking his thumb on a blocked shot in Saturday night's loss to Nashville.
Ruslan Salei (D) - Expected to be ready to return on Monday night after missing time due to personal reasons.
Chris Osgood (G) - Out recovering from hernia, but has resumed skating and wants to return later this week.

Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff) vs. Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 p.m

Calgary injuries:

David Moss (LW) - Out with what appears to be a severe ankle injury, although the Flames have been very quiet about a diagnosis for Moss.

Los Angeles injuries:

Kyle Clifford (LW) - Doubtful with what could be a concussion sustained in a fight in Thursday night's game.
Cam Barker (D) - Out with upper-body injury.

Vancouver injuries:


Ben Smith (RW) Chicago - Recalled from Rockford (AHL)
Erik Gustafsson (D) Philadelphia - Loaned to Adirondack (AHL)
T.J Hensick (C) St. Louis - Assigned to Peoria (AHL)
Tyson Strachan (D) St. Louis - Assigned to Peoria (AHL)


Who's Hot

Blake Geoffrion (RW) Nashville - On Sunday Geoffrion doubled his career goal-scoring output all in one game. His hat-trick against the Sabres was the first of his career after making his NHL debut a month ago.
Matt Duchene (C) Colorado - The Avs are just playing out the string until they hit the golf course in a couple of weeks, but you'd never know that by the way Duchene is playing. He has six points (2 G, 4 A) in the last four games and still has an outside shot at a 70-point season.
Ray Emery (G) Anaheim - Yes, really. Emery has won his last two starts for the Ducks, stopping 61 of the 63 shots he has seen in those two contests. Jonas Hiller should be returning soon, but, fantasy owners, especially in day-to-day leagues, will want to keep an eye out for nights when Emery starts for the Ducks and plug him into the lineup.

Who's Cold

Ryan Miller (G) Buffalo - Miller has lost three of his last four starts. For some reason coach Lindy Ruff continues to run Miller out there, even on back-to-back nights, and Miller showed definite signs of fatigue on Sunday, allowing a couple of softies in an overtime loss to Nashville.
Marek Svatos (RW) Ottawa - Svatos is 0-for-his career as a Senator so far. In 12 games since Joining the Sens the Slovakian winger hasn't popped up on the scoresheet even once. For a guy with a 50-point season in his career it has to be frustrating, but Ottawa is where offense goes to die; the Senators are last in the NHL in goals-scored with 164, 11 less than the next closest team.

Recommended Pickup

Martin Erat (RW) Nashville - Owners have begun to pick up on how hot Erat has been since last week, but he is still available in over half the league's on CBS and Yahoo. Erat netted the game-winner on Sunday night against the Sabres, and now has 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in the last nine games for the Preds.