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Friday Daily Puck: Return Of Mr. Universe

Andrew Fiorentino

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

Around the Rink

Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm all full of turkey and sleepiness, but Ilya Bryzgalov's stunning 33-save shutout in his first Oilers start is keeping me up at night. The Oil have needed someone to stabilize their nets, with Devan Dubnyk struggling horrendously all year long, and perhaps Bryz is it; look back on his pre-Philadelphia numbers and remember how good he used to be, especially those last two years with Phoenix. Edmonton's defense (or lack thereof) is going to cause him some trouble, but he has a chance to take this job and run with it. Hey, he just might.

Let's move right on to your Black Friday fantasy news.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

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

Winnipeg (Ondrej Pavelec) at Philadelphia (Steve Mason), 12:30
New York (Henrik Lundqvist) at Boston (Tuukka Rask), 1:00
Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Tampa Bay (Ben Bishop), 4:00
Detroit Red (Jimmy Howard) at New York (Kevin Poulin), 4:00
Calgary (Reto Berra) at Anaheim (Jonas Hiller), 4:00
St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak) at San Jose (Antti Niemi), 4:00
Montreal (Peter Budaj) at Washington (Braden Holtby), 5:00
Colorado (Jean-Sebastien Giguere) at Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom), 6:00
New Jersey (Cory Schneider) at Carolina (Cam Ward), 7:00
Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk) at Columbus (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00
Toronto Maple (Jonathan Bernier) at Buffalo (Ryan Miller), 7:30
Chicago (Corey Crawford) at Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30

Injury News for Teams Playing Friday

Zach Bogosian, D (lower body) – On IR; could return soon, but no timetable

Matt Read, RW (lower body) – Couldn't go Wednesday against the Lightning

Derek Dorsett, RW (wrist) – Missed Wednesday's game

Dennis Seidenberg, D (lower body) – Could return Friday against the Rangers

Robert Scuderi, D (ankle) – Ramping up his rehab
Beau Bennett, RW (hand/wrist) – Out 8-10 weeks
Chuck Kobasew, RW (lower body) – Returned to practice Thursday
Paul Martin, D (leg) – Has fractured tibia; will out for 4-6 weeks
Tanner Glass, LW (hand) – Out 3-4 weeks

Steven Stamkos, C (leg) – Walking without crutches already!
Tom Pyatt, RW (collarbone) – Expects to be cleared to play by next Tuesday
Ryan Malone, LW (foot) – Placed on injured reserve Wednesday
Pierre-Cedric Labrie, LW (upper body) – Missed Wednesday's game
Radko Gudas, D (upper body) – Could be back as soon as Friday
Ben Bishop, G (hand) – Hurt himself in morning skate Wednesday and sat out

Red Wings
Todd Bertuzzi, RW - Bertuzzi (shoulder) skated with the Red Wings on Thursday morning, the Detroit News' Ted Kulfan reports. (11/28/2013)
Danny DeKeyser, D - DeKeyser (shoulder) expects to return in 3-6 weeks, reports. (11/26/2013)
Pavel Datsyuk, C - General manager Ken Holland said he doesn't expect Datsyuk (concussion) to play any time before Dec. 4, the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James reports. (11/27/2013)

Brian Strait, D (upper body) – Still no timetable
Evgeni Nabokov, (groin) – On IR and out about three weeks yet
Lubomir Visnovsky, D (concussion) – Doing rehab work; neurologist visit on tap

Patrick Sieloff, D (illness) – Home recovering from a staph infection
Sean Monahan, C (foot) – Placed on IR and week-to-week with a hairline fracture
Curtis Glencross, LW (knee) – Still out about another three weeks
Shane O'Brien, D (illness) – Missed Wednesday's game
Mark Giordano, D (ankle) – Back on ice Tuesday for first time since injury
Dennis Wideman, D (hand) – Out 6-8 weeks with fracture
T.J. Galiardi, LW (back) – Placed on IR Wednesday

Luca Sbisa, D (hand) – Out 5-7 weeks yet
Jakob Silfverberg, LW (hand) – Out until late December at least
Viktor Fasth, G (lower body) – Out another 2-3 weeks
Saku Koivu, C (concussion) – Has received clearance to participate in contact drills
Sheldon Souray, D (wrist) – Apparently skating, but no timetable
Bryan Allen, D (lower body) – Will not play Friday
Francois Beauchemin, D (upper body) -- Placed on injured reserve Saturday

Jordan Leopold, D (hand) – Still out at least six more weeks
Ryan Reaves, RW (hand) – Out at least six weeks

Adam Burish (back) and Raffi Torres (knee) remain out long-term

Rene Bourque, LW (lower body) – Expected to miss Friday's game

John Erskine, D (upper body) – Seems to be getting closer, but no definitive return date

Alex Tanguay, LW (knee) -- Needs another two weeks off before returning to ice
Paul Stastny, C (back) – Didn't practice Thursday after Wednesday scratch
Ryan Wilson, D (back) -- About two weeks away from returning to practice

Mikael Granlund, C (head) – Placed on IR Thursday
Zach Parise, LW (foot) – Questionable for Friday's game

Anton Volchenkov, D - Volchenkov (leg) – Missed seventh straight game Wednesday
Bryce Salvador, D (foot) – Resumed skating on his own Wednesday
Ryane Clowe, LW (concussion) – Resumed skating this week
Stephen Gionta, LW (ankle) – Placed on injured reserve Wednesday
Adam Larsson, D (lower body) – Didn't go Wednesday

Anton Khudobin, G (ankle) – Should only be days away from a return
Kevin Westgarth, RW (suspension) – Banned for two games
Tim Gleason, D (lower body) – Out about a week
Alexander Semin, LW (concussion) – Could return to the ice early next week

Philip Larsen, D (undisclosed) – Uncertain about current road trip; unclear whether he's with team

Blue Jackets
Nikita Nikitin, D (lower body) –Skated with the team Thursday morning
Marian Gaborik, RW (knee) – Still out 2-4 weeks
Nathan Horton, RW (shoulder) – Placed on long-term IR last week
Derek MacKenzie, C (back) – Placed on IR retroactive to Nov. 22
Brandon Dubinsky, C (foot) – Skated with the team Thursday morning
Jared Boll, RW (foot) – Didn't go Wednesday

Maple Leafs
Joffrey Lupul, LW (groin) – Placed on injured reserve Thursday

Cody McCormick, C (upper body) – Back on the ice for Wednesday's morning skate

Nikolai Khabibulin, G (groin) – On IR with no timetable
Bryan Bickell, LW (lower body) – Out a matter of weeks yet
Mike Kostka, D (foot) – Skating, but still not ready

Tyler Seguin, C (muscle soreness) – Sounds questionable for Friday, but optimistic
Aaron Rome, D (undisclosed) – Got hurt in practice recently; unlikely for Friday


Johan Franzen, LW, DET – Ever since missing time in early November with an apparently serious illness, Franzen's been red-hot. He's recorded points in six of eight games since returning from that four-game absence, totaling an impressive four goals and seven assists in that span. And, of course, he continues to skate heavily on the power play, where he's recorded half of his 16 points this year.

Jaroslav Halak, G, STL – A mediocre save percentage has been the knock on Halak this season, but his track record – last year's disaster aside – says he's better than that. And indeed, he has been lately. Halak's seen four of the last five starts for St. Louis, and in that span he's allowed just four goals on 103 shots – that's a .961 save rate. Although Brian Elliott has also bounced back this year, Halak continues to see the vast majority of the work in goal for the Blues.

Duncan Keith, D, CHI – Keith's got a nice little five-game point streak going, and if you look back further, you'll find that he's been on the score sheet in 13 of his last 15 contests, a stretch of fine play that's made him one of the NHL's top offensive blueliners this year. Though he only has one goal on the season, he's taken 73 shots on net – more are bound to go in as time goes on.


Michael Del Zotto, D, NYR – The Rangers clearly intend to trade Del Zotto, and it doesn't seem they want to play him while he's being shopped. The 23-year-old has great upside as a guy who's only two years removed from 41 points and a plus-20 rating from the blue line, but has been a disaster this year, going minus-6 with only four points in 19 games. He's been scratched four times in the Rangers' last seven contests and is unplayable in fantasy right now – but a change of scenery might make all the difference.

Michael Ryder, RW, NJ – Always a consistent point producer thoughout his career – not incredibly flashy, but he's a three-time 30-goal scorer – Ryder's arrival in New Jersey has been a disaster. With just eight points and a minus-9 in 21 games this year, he's been a disaster for fantasy owners (most of whom avoided the risk), and things have been worse recently. He's gone without a point in eight of the last nine games.

Frans Nielsen, C, NYI – With Nielsen's body of work on the season, it's hard to count him out over a little cold stretch. That said, we never expected him to be so incredibly good so suddenly, and so this recent slump has come as a bit of a shocker. He's managed just one point (a goal) in his last six games and is minus-5 in that span. Don't give up so fast, but if you own him, maybe see what someone's willing to trade.

Recommended Pickup
Robin Lehner, G, OTT – For a guy with his elite upside and tasty opportunity, Lehner is currently criminally under-owned. Owner of a .937 season save mark and a .929 in his 37-game-old career, the young Swede should be near-universally rostered, as Craig Anderson is doing a great job coughing up his No. 1 role. Anderson's given up goals in four straight, which should be enough to open things up for Lehner. Go get him before he takes the job and runs with it. It'll be too late then.

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.