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The Daily Puck: Detroit's Big Tease

John Toperzer

John has written for since 2003 and serves as the beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s worked for the Pirates for 17 years, written for the Penguins’ Web site as the first game-day editor, and rooted for the Steelers dating back to the Immaculate Reception.

Around the Rink

Pittsburgh can win the Atlantic Division with a win Sunday and a Philly loss Saturday. The Flyers are 5-0-0 against their opponent, the Islanders, but are winless in the last five (0-4-1).

Congratulations to Joe Thornton on his 1,000th career NHL point, which came on a goal Friday night. I can still remember the day he was drafted at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. I think Sergei Samsonov went second (w/o looking things up). The Pens took Robert Dome, a truly forgettable selection.

I thought Teemu Selanne was an aberration when he scored 76 goals for Winnipeg back in 1992-93. Well, the 76 goals were, but Selanne has proven to be anything but. I finally gave up on him in fantasy after last season – big mistake. He has 31 goals and 80 points in 72 games. His situation helps him out, too.

Patrik Hornqvist scored two goals to give him 21 for the year. Thirty would have been nice. At least he still took plenty of shots (259) in a valuable Yahoo! league category.

Who's Hot

Mikko Koivu – Three assists Friday gives him his customary 60-point season.

Cam Ward – He's 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts, leading the way for the Hurricanes.

Who's Not

Jiri Hudler – Only two goals and four points in 14 games since February. He teased fantasy owners in his return to the NHL but has collected only 36 points in 72 games.

Recommended Pickup

Brandon Yip – Disappointing 2010-11 but has three goals in his last two games.

Nathan Gerbe – He's crafting out a spot in the NHL with eight goals and 11 points in his last 11 games.

Probable Starting Goalies

New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 12:30 p.m.
Ottawa (Craig Anderson) at Boston (Tim Thomas), 1 p.m.
Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson) at Carolina (Cam Ward), 7 p.m.
Buffalo (Ryan Miller) at Columbus (Steve Mason), 7 p.m.
Montreal (Carey Price) at Toronto (James Reimer), 7 p.m.
Islanders (Rick DiPietro) at Philadelphia (Brian Boucher), 7 p.m.
Washington (Semyon Varlamov) at Florida (Tomas Vokoun), 7 p.m.
Nashville (Pekka Rinne) at St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak), 8 p.m.
Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) at Calgary (Miikka Kiprusoff), 10 p.m.
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 10:30 p.m.
Anaheim (Ray Emery) at Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier), 10:30 p.m.

RotoWire Goalie Grid

Injury Roll Call

New Jersey

Anton Volchenkov – Questionable, may play Saturday after lower body.
Dainius Zubrus – Questionable, suffered stinger Wednesday, status unknown.
Zach Parise – Out, ruled out for final weekend of season.


Chris Drury – Questionable, not expected to play Saturday with knee injury.
Ryan Callahan – Out, will miss indefinite, long-term time period with ankle.


Daniel Alfredsson – Out, back will keep him out, should he come back in 2011-12?
Sergei Gonchar – Out, concussion has ended his disappointing season.
Erik Karlsson – Out, leg laceration will keep him out final weekend.
Marek Svatos – Out, another concussed player to miss the last weekend.


Marc Savard – Out, still suffering from concussion symptoms and memory loss.

Tampa Bay

Victor Hedman – Questionable, probably won't play with no playoff implications.
Randy Jones – Out, will be back for Round 1 of playoffs.


Jay Harrison – Questionable, missed Friday with upper-body injury.


Jochen Hecht – Out, will miss weekend with upper body.
Ryan Miller – Probable, upper body played well vs. Philly on Friday night.
Patrick Kaleta – Out, ruled out with knee injury.


Rick Nash – Out, not expected to play the last weekend with back.
Kris Russell – Out, expected to miss four weeks with fractured tibia.


Jeff Halpern – Questionable, missed Thursday with lower body, unlikely Saturday.


Tim Brent – Out, torn muscle in forearm will keep him out Saturday.


Jack Hillen – Questionable, not expected to go because of shoulder injury.
Frans Nielsen – Out, missing last game with concussion.


Chris Pronger – Questionable, day-to-day with hand injury, missed Friday.
Jodi Shelley – Questionable, cleared to play following eye injury, didn't go Friday.


Alexander Semin – Questionable, missed Wednesday, no word about Saturday.
Mike Green – Out, will not play in regular season finale Saturday.


Steve Bernier – Questionable, missed Friday w/shoulder unlikely to play Saturday.
Ryan Carter – Out, dealing with concussion symptoms.
Darcy Hordichuk – Questionable, missed Friday with groin, unlikely Saturday.
Tomas Vokoun – Probable, expected to start Saturday against Washington.
Stephen Weiss – Out, will miss Saturday with groin injury.


Martin Erat – Questionable, could be game-time decision, missed Friday.

St. Louis



Dan Hamhuis – Questionable, looking to play Saturday after concussion.
Raffi Torres – Out, will miss Saturday as part of a suspension.


Brendan Morrison – Out, will get knee operated on in near future.


Martin Hanzal – Probable, returned from lower body Friday after 12-game absence.

San Jose

Ryan Clowe – Questionable, likely out again since Sharks have clinched division.
Devin Setoguchi – Questionable, missed Friday and could be game-time decision.


Ray Emery – Questionable, missed Friday with lower body, another game-time.
Todd Marchant – Questionable, also missed Friday with flu.

Los Angeles