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The Daily Puck: On a Goal-Bender

Andrew Fiorentino

Managing hockey editor, talent wrangler, football columnist, FSWA's 2015 fantasy hockey writer of the year. Twitter: @akfiorentino

The Daily Puck
Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire Writer

Around the Rink

With the NFL locked out, it's up to other sports to provide us with football scores, and that's precisely what the Blues and Red Wings did Wednesday night, as St. Louis poured double-digit goals onto poor, unfortunate Joey McDonald and Thomas McCollum. The final score: 10-3, which seems like a believable result for a Rams-Lions game.

Vezina-winning goalie hurt? No problem. Just slide your 22-year-old goalie prospect into the lineup and let him shut out the New York Rangers in a game with massive playoff implications. That's precisely what Jhonas Enroth did Wednesday, stopping all 23 shots he saw for the first shutout of his career - and, I suspect, not the last.

The Rangers had a chance to give themselves some cushion in seventh place, but the loss drops them back to eighth with five to play. Both they and Buffalo are three points up on the ‘Canes, who did them both a favor (perhaps) by beating Montreal.

On the topic of Ryan Miller, he took a shot to the collarbone on Tuesday, but no one but the Sabres knows what exactly the deal is. Officially: upper body, day-to-day.

The Corey Perry Ridiculous Insanity Tour continued last night as well, as Perry pumped another two goals and an assist in like it was nothing. (Well, one kind of was nothing - an empty-netter. But who's counting.) Perry's averaging a point and a half per game through the month of March - including 15 goals in 14 games. It's hard to find a better line in the NHL than Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan.

Projected Goalie Starters

For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.

Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Islanders (Al Montoya), 7:00 ET
Columbus (Steve Mason) at Washington (Michael Neuvirth), 7:00 ET
Atlanta (Ondrej Pavelec) at Philadelphia (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 ET
Toronto (James Reimer) at Boston (Tim Thomas), 7:00 ET
Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson), 7:30 ET
Ottawa (Craig Anderson) at Florida (Scott Clemmensen), 7:30 ET
Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk) at Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom), 8:00 ET
Nashville (Pekka Rinne) at Colorado (Brian Elliott), 9:00 ET
Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick) at Vancouver (Roberto Luongo), 10:00 ET
Dallas (Kari Lehtonen) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 10:30 ET

Recent Injury News for Teams Playing Thursday

Nothing new
Bruno Gervais, D (lower body) - Didn't go Wednesday and probably won't play Thursday
Milan Jurcina, D (hip) - Didn't play Wednesday and seems unlikely for Thursday
Andrew MacDonald, D (hip) - Out for the year
Grant Clitsome, D (knee) - Might be out for the year
Ethan Moreau, LW (foot) - Also might be out for the year
Anton Stralman, D (lower body) - Could go Thursday
Mike Green, D (head) - Hoping to practice Friday
Dennis Wideman, D (lower body) - Week-to-week
Patrice Cormier, C (upper body) - Out for the year
Freddy Meyer, D (upper body) - Out for the year
Jim Slater, C (concussion) - Out for the year
Radek Dvorak, RW (upper body) - didn't play Thursday
Kimmo Timonen, D (lower body) - Day-to-day; possible for Thursday
Chris Pronger, D (hand) - Still a ways to go
Nothing new
Shawn Thornton, RW (face) - Won't play Thursday
Sidney Crosby, C (concussion) - Not expected back in the regular season
Eric Tangradi, C (concussion) - Still out
Dustin Jeffrey, C (knee) - Undergoing surgery next week
Tampa Bay
Randy Jones, D (ankle) - Ahead of schedule
Mattias Ritola, C (lower body) - Has missed four straight
Daniel Alfredsson, RW (back) - Skating with the team again
Tomas Vokoun, G (back) - Didn't go Tuesday and won't go Thursday
Shawn Matthias, C (ankle) - Has missed three straight with aggravated injury
Alexander Sulzer, D (groin/hip) - Didn't play Tuesday; may not go Thursday

Gilbert Brule, C (concussion) - Practicing and may return this weekend
Kurtis Foster, D (undisclosed) - Has missed three straight; no updates
Cam Barker, D (back) - Nearing a return to action, but not Thursday

Cal O'Reilly, C (leg) - Still not ready
Steve Sullivan, LW (groin) - Still not ready
Francis Bouillon, D (concussion) - Possibly out for the year

Ryan Wilson, D (knee) - Skated on his own Wednesday, but still a bit away
Los Angeles
Anze Kopitar, C (ankle) - Surgery successful
Tanner Glass, RW (ribs) - Still out
Mikael Samuelsson, RW (leg) - Possible for Thursday return
Dan Hamhuis, D (concussion) - Feeling better, but still will be held out a bit
Andrew Alberts, D (wrist) - Expected to practice Thursday; probably won't play
Alexander Edler, D (back) - Expected back at practice Thursday, but also probably won't play
Manny Maholtra, C (eye) - Won't know how eye responds to surgery for 6-8 weeks
Karlis Skrastins, D (thigh) - Has missed three straight, but possible for Thursday

San Jose
Kyle Wellwood, C (face) - Needed stitches after taking a puck to the lip, but will probably go Thursday
Kent Huskins, D (upper body) - Won't go Thursday
Scott Nichol, C (upper body) - Won't go Thursday


Matt Duchene, C, COL - The Avs may have taken a turn for the terrible - the horribly, horribly terrible - but Duchene is one of the most exciting young players in hockey, despite his cool start to the no-longer-new calendar year. He's racked up 11 points in his last eight games; in the 15 games prior to that, he had just five points. This is the real Duchene - next year, 80-plus. Book it.

Jarome Iginla, RW, CGY - Iginla's gone on a goal-scoring bender in March, potting 12 markers in 14 games and adding seven assists to round out the line. Unsurprisingly, the biggest improvement for him has been on the power play - he's got five goals and three assists this month with the man advantage, and four of those eight PP points have come in the last three games.

Jeff Skinner, C, CAR - Three-point games with the playoffs on the line will get you on this list. Skinner was scuffling for a little while, but he's warmed back up of late, collecting eight points in his last six games.

Steven Stamkos, C, TAM - I'm sure many Stamkos owners will never forgive him for getting them bounced from the fantasy playoffs with another of his patented disappearing acts (no points, minus-5 over five games; ugly). He did pot a goal and an assist his last time out, but that's not enough to save him from the cold list. Corey Perry has passed him for the league lead in goals, too.
Dany Heatley, RW, SAN - Heatley has a pair of two-goal games in March, and those account for all his goals for the month. Two goals and an assist over his last six games won't help the Sharks too much as they battle for the second seed in the West.
Drew Doughty, D, LAA - Aside from his huge month of December, Doughty has been pretty average this year, and he's on another really cold streak of late, managing just an assist over his last seven games. He's been held shotless twice in that period.

Recommended Pickup

Michal Neuvirth, G, WAS - I didn't think he needed any endorsement, but for some reason Neuvirth is sitting around on the wire in more than a third of Yahoo leagues. I know he's been hurt or ill a few times, but this is a young goalie on a team that's really committed to defensive responsibility. Oh, and he's got a 24-11-5 record and 2.46 GAA. Those numbers play in all formats.