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Monday Daily Puck: OSHIE Regulating NHL Defenses

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

Plenty of pundits and experts have criticized Jordan Staal's play in 2013-14. After all, the $60 million man has but three goals and eight points through 24 games. A closer look reveals that his role on the Hurricanes hasn't exactly put him in position to succeed offensively. Consider that Staal's top linemates -- as defined by time on ice -- are Nathan Gerbe (76.6 percent of same ice time), Patrick Dwyer (60.3), Justin Faulk (47.7), Andrej Sekera (46.4), Ron Hainsey (35.2) and Brett Bellemore (25.1), according to Behind The Net.

Staal has averaged better than a half point per game for his career and has hit the 20-goal mark four times. There's a pretty good chance he ends up with similar numbers at the end of the year. If a player with a strong track record of scoring 20 goals and 40-50 points has value in your fantasy league, then keep an eye out on the former Pittsburgh Penguin. There's still plenty of time (58 games) for Staal to turn it around.

Sometimes T.J. Oshie gets lost amidst the fanfare directed toward the Blues' Alexander Steen in St. Louis. With Andy McDonald and David Perron gone, Oshie has taken on a bigger role this season and his fantasy owners have been rewarded. He's got 20 points in 22 games, though he's only potted four goals. Based on his history, Oshie is a fair bet for 15-20 goals for the season. The question remains whether he can stay healthy. Oshie owners have a decision to make. It wouldn't be crazy for fantasy owners to sell high on Oshie right now, but it also wouldn't be crazy to ride him out -- whatever fits your team the best (I'm sticking with him unless I get a strong offer). A full season could yield poolies 60 points.

This week reveals all 30 NHL teams playing three or four games, making it better to stick with your top players than to search out lesser players with better schedules.

Congratulations to Jaromir Jagr on his impressive achievement, tying Gordie Howe for the most game-winning goals (121) in NHL history. Disclaimer-- I thought Jagr was finally finished after a dismal playoff performance last spring and a slow start to 2013-14.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) v. Boston (Tuukka Rask) 7:00
Columbus (Sergei Bobrovsky) v. Toronto Maple (Jonathan Bernier) 7:00
Winnipeg (Ondrej Pavelec) v. New Jersey (Martin Brodeur) 7:00
New York (Henrik Lundqvist) v. Tampa Bay (Ben Bishop) 7:30
Philadelphia (Steve Mason) v. Florida (Tim Thomas) 7:30
Minnesota (Josh Harding) v. St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak) 8:00
Phoenix (Mike Smith) v. Nashville (Marek Mazanec) 8:00
Chicago (Corey Crawford) v. Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk) 9:30
Los Angeles (Ben Scrivens) v. Vancouver (Eddie Lack) 10:00

Injury News For Teams Playing Monday

Tomas Vokoun, G - Vokoun (pelvis) will be out for 3-6 months.
Chuck Kobasew, RW - Kobasew (lower body) could return to practice within the next few days, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Robert Scuderi, D - Scuderi (ankle) is expected to ramp up his rehab in the next week or so, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Tanner Glass, LW - Glass left Saturday's tilt early with an undisclosed injury after blocking a slap shot by the Habs' P.K. Subban.
Beau Bennett, RW - Bennett (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve Sunday.

Adam McQuaid, D - McQuaid (lower body) will not play Saturday vs. the Hurricanes.
Dennis Seidenberg, D - Seidenberg (lower body) didn't skate during Friday's practice.
Marc Savard, C - The Bruins are expected to place Savard (concussion) on Long-Term Injured Reserve, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports.

Marian Gaborik, RW - Gaborik (knee) was officially placed on injured reserve Friday, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Nathan Horton, RW - Horton (shoulder) skated with a non-contact jersey during Sunday's practice.
James Wisniewski, D - Wisniewski (illness) is doubtful to play Friday vs. the Canucks, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Brandon Dubinsky, C - Dubinsky (foot) will return to Columbus and will miss the remaining two games of the Blue Jackets' road trip, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Dalton Prout, D - Prout (back) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

Toronto Maple
Tyler Bozak, C - Bozak (hamstring) appears unlikely to play Saturday against the Capitals, Mark Masters of TSN reports.
Dave Bolland, C - Bolland has been placed on long-term injured reserve, David Alter of Sportsnet 590 The Fan reports.

Zach Bogosian, D - Bogosian (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Paul Postma, D - Postma (leg) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday retroactive to Sunday.
Jacob Trouba, D - Trouba (neck) will be a game-time decision Monday against the Devils, Rick Ralph of reports.
Jim Slater, C - Slater underwent surgery for a sports hernia Thursday and will be out indefinitely, Scott Brown of True North Sports reports.

New Jersey
Ryane Clowe, LW - GM Lou Lamoriello said Clowe (concussion) resumed skating this week, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports.
Anton Volchenkov, D - Volchenkov (leg) has resumed skating, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports.
Bryce Salvador, D - Salvador (foot) still hasn't skated on his own, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports.

New York
Taylor Pyatt, LW - Pyatt skated with the team at practice on Sunday, reports Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record.

Tampa Bay
Ryan Malone, LW - Malone (foot) is questionable for Monday's game against the Rangers, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Brian Lee, D - Lee (knee) is still only doing off-ice workouts.
Steven Stamkos, C - Stamkos has begun rehabilitation work after undergoing a surgical procedure to repair his broken right leg, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports.
Keith Aulie, D - Aulie (upper-body) shed his non-contact jersey and was in regular gear during Sunday's practice, Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Tom Pyatt, RW - Pyatt (collarbone) is expected to return after Thanksgiving, the Tampa Tribune reports.
Radko Gudas, D - Gudas (upper body) is questionable for Monday's game against the Rangers, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Mattias Ohlund, D - Ohlund (knee) was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Chris Pronger, D - Flyers GM Paul Holmgren openly acknowledged Tuesday that Pronger's career is over due to his concussion issues, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "I'll say it; Chris is never going to play again," Holmgren said. "I have no problems saying it."
Marc-Andre Bourdon, D - Bourdon (concussion) has been placed on the non-roster injured reserve list, CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio reports.

Mike Weaver, D - Weaver (illness) is expected to be place on injured reserve on Sunday, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports.
Tomas Kopecky, RW - Kopecky had an x-ray on his wrist injury and is listed as day-to-day, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports.
Jesse Winchester, LW - Winchester had an x-ray on a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports.
Ed Jovanovski, D - Jovanovski will not accompany the Panthers on their five-game road trip beginning Friday, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Michael Rupp, RW - Rupp (knee) was sent to AHL Iowa on Tuesday on a conditioning assignment.
Keith Ballard, D - Ballard (upper body) is with the team in Winnipeg and took part in Friday's practice, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Josh Harding, G - Harding (lower body) underwent an MRI on Sunday which revealed no serious damage, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Torrey Mitchell, C - Mitchell (leg) will miss at least the next two games for the Wild, Jon Rosen of reports.
Mikael Granlund, C - Granlund missed Saturday's game against the Jets with an upper-body injury.

St. Louis
Ryan Reaves, RW - Reaves broke his right hand in a first-period fight Saturday and will be out up to four weeks, according to the Associated Press.
Jordan Leopold, D - Leopold will need surgery to repair a ligament in his hand and is expected to miss at least eight weeks, Lou Korac of reports.

Zbynek Michalek, D - Michalek (lower body) will not play Saturday against Anaheim, according to the Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan.
Lauri Korpikoski, LW - Korpikoski (upper body) will not play Saturday vs. the Ducks, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Martin Hanzal, C - Hanzal (lower body) will travel with the Coyotes on the team's upcoming two-game road trip, FOX Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan reports.

Pekka Rinne, G - The Predators announced that Rinne (hip) has experienced no setbacks in his recovery thus far.
Patric Hornqvist, RW - Hornqvist left Saturday's game with a lower-body injury and will not return.
Filip Forsberg, RW - Forsberg (upper body) will not play Thursday vs. the Maple Leafs, Josh Cooper of The Tennessean reports.

Brad Mills, C - Mills (lower body) was waived by the Blackhawks on Friday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.
Marian Hossa, RW - Hossa will miss Saturday's game vs. the Canucks due to a family matter.
Nikolai Khabibulin, G - Khabibulin (groin) was placed on injured reserve Sunday, ESPN Chicago reports.
Bryan Bickell, LW - Bickell (lower body) will miss the next few weeks, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville announced Thursday morning on WGN-AM Radio in Chicago.
Mike Kostka, D - Kostka (foot) skated again Thursday, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Philip Larsen, D - Larsen (undisclosed) is questionable for Tuesday's game against Columbus, the Edmonton Journal reports.
Tyler Pitlick, C - Pitlick exited Saturday's game with a left knee injury.
Richard Bachman, G - Bachman left Saturday's game with what looked like a groin injury.

Los Angeles
Jeff Carter, C - Carter (foot) returned to practice Friday, Jon Rosen of reports.
Matt Greene, D - Greene (upper body) is headed for long-term IR, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Jonathan Quick, G - Quick (groin) will remain out for at least another month and likely won't be back until around Christmas at the earliest, reports.
Trevor Lewis, C - Lewis (lower body) has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 21, Helene Elliott of the LA Times reports.
Jordan Nolan, RW - Nolan is dealing with an undisclosed injury, Jon Rosen of reports.

Jordan Schroeder, C - Schroeder (ankle) had successful surgery on his broken ankle in early November and is expected to return in eight-to-nine weeks, News 1130 reports.


Cam Ward: Ward missed three weeks-plus with a lower-body injury, but the goalie stopped 35 of 36 shots against the Sens on Sunday for his first win since Oct. 19. Combine that with 35 saves in an overtime loss in Boston on Saturday and it's pretty clear who the top goaltender is in Carolina. Move over Justin Peters.

Jonas Gustavsson: This is probably the closest thing to a reach, but he is 5-0-1 as Jimmy Howard's backup. Chances are Howard finds his game, but crazier things have happened. Look around the league and backups have come out of the wood work: Reto Berra, Marek Mazanec, and Ben Scrivens. Poolies in deep or daily leagues may want to consider the Monster.

Justin Schultz: Yahoo! lists him at 50 percent owned; that's obviously a low number. Schultz has three points in two games since returning from a groin injury, an injury which likely contributed to his low ownership. He's a plus-minus liability, but offensive defensemen like Schultz don't come around every day. The Edmonton blueliner has 36 points in 64 career contests.


Dougie Hamilton: The defenseman is pointless in his last eight games and has six points in 21 contests. Hamilton has all the potential in the world and is a must-have in keeper leagues, but he's not getting the job done right now.

Michael Cammalleri: He has points in only one of his last five games and is a minus-7 in that span. If the Flames deal him to a team with a better offense, then Cammalleri's stock sees an immediate bump.

Teemu Selanne: The Finnish Flash doesn't have a point in his last 10 games. His shots are down, too, giving credence to the possibility that this might just be the end for the legendary NHLer.

Brian Gionta: He has two assists in his last 10 games, one more than his brother Stephen on the Devils. Enough said.

Recommended Pickups

Nikita Kucherov: The winger is likely not available in deep keeper leagues with minor league rosters, but for everyone else, Kucherov is worth a look. One of Tampa Bay's top offensive prospects, Kucherov is a natural goal scorer with 13 goals and 24 points in 17 games as an AHL rookie. There are no guarantees with a 20-year-old, let alone one from Maikop, Russian, so here's another pickup in shallower leagues.

Scottie Upshall: He's plays for Florida and is two-percent owned in Yahoo! leagues. That's the downside. He's notorious for putting small streaks together, however, and has six points (2G, 4A) with 16 hits and nine PIM over the last two weeks. Add to that a three-game home slate in Week 9 and he could help a team or two. It would be a mistake to look at him as anything more than a short-term pickup.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.