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The Daily Puck: Crosby To Captain Team Canada

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

Congratulations to Sidney Crosby, who was named captain of Team Canada on Sunday. There is a chance he could miss Pittsburgh’s last game prior to the Olympics if the national team asks him to appear in Sochi’s opening ceremonies. Zdeno Chara is expected to miss at least one game for the Bruins.

The thing I’ll remember about the Vancouver-Calgary line fight Saturday is Canucks’ forward, Kellan Lain, lasting all of two seconds in his NHL debut. Lain flew some of his family across the country to watch his first game. In the end, it probably took you longer to read that last sentence than his family members got to watch him skate on the ice – and there wasn’t much skating.

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

Philadelphia Flyers (Steve Mason) at New York Islanders (Kevin Poulin), 1:00 PM
Los Angeles Kings (Jonathan Quick) at Boston Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 3:00 PM
Florida Panthers (Tim Thomas) at Pittsburgh Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00 PM
St. Louis Blues (Jaroslav Halak) at Detroit Red Wings (Jimmy Howard), 7:30 PM
Dallas Stars (Kari Lehtonen) at Nashville Predators (Devan Dubnyk), 8:00 PM
Toronto Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier) at Phoenix Coyotes (Mike Smith), 8:00 PM
Calgary Flames (Karri Ramo) at San Jose Sharks (Antti Niemi), 10:30 PM

Injury News For Teams Playing Monday

Philadelphia Flyers
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." (10/15/2013)
Marc-Andre Bourdon, D - Bourdon (concussion) is expected to join AHL Adirondack next week on a conditioning assignment. (1/19/2014)
Zac Rinaldo, LW - Rinaldo (ankle) was placed on injured reserve Friday morning, CSN Philly's Sarah Baicker reports. (1/10/2014)

New York Islanders
Evgeni Nabokov, G - Nabokov (quad) will not return Monday or Tuesday, according to Newsday. (1/19/2014)
Lubomir Visnovsky, D - Visnovsky (concussion) was back at practice Sunday. (1/19/2014)
Travis Hamonic, D - Hamonic (concussion) is still experiencing symptoms, according to Newsday. (1/19/2014)

Los Angeles Kings
Matt Greene, D - Greene (concussion) will not join the team on its upcoming four-game road trip, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports. (1/14/2014)

Boston Bruins
Adam McQuaid, D - McQuaid (undisclosed) left Sunday's game against the Blackhawks and will not return. (1/19/2014)
Jordan Caron, RW - Caron (back) was a scratch for Saturday's game against the Sharks. (1/12/2014)
Dougie Hamilton, D - Hamilton (concussion) won't travel with the Bruins for the next two games, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports. (1/15/2014)
Marc Savard, C - The Bruins are expected to place Savard (concussion) on Long-Term Injured Reserve, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports. (7/6/2013)
Dennis Seidenberg, D - Seidenberg tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the season, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports. (12/28/2013)
Chris Kelly, C - Kelly (leg) will not play in either of the team's upcoming road contests, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports. (1/15/2014)

Florida Panthers
Dylan Olsen, D - Olsen was placed on injured reserve by the Panthers on Friday with an upper-body injury retroactive to Dec. 31. (1/3/2014)
Alex Petrovic, D - Petrovic (upper body) will not make the upcoming road trip with the Panthers, which means he'll miss at least three games. (1/5/2014)
Jesse Winchester, LW - Winchester (hand) will return to the lineup Monday against the Penguins, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. (1/19/2014)

Pittsburgh Penguins
Joe Vitale, C - Vitale (wrist) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. (1/14/2014)
Beau Bennett, RW - Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Bennett (wrist) is still four weeks away from returning to action. (1/13/2014)
Brian Gibbons, C - Gibbons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. (1/14/2014)
Jayson Megna, LW - Megna (lower body) returned to practice Saturday on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, the Penguins' website reports. (1/18/2014)
Tomas Vokoun, G - Vokoun (pelvis) remains on blood thinners, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. (1/4/2014)
Pascal Dupuis, RW - Dupuis (knee) has a torn ACL and appears likely to miss the rest of the season. (12/27/2013)
Chuck Kobasew, RW - Kobasew (lower body) took part in practice Saturday. (1/18/2014)
Paul Martin, D - Martin (leg) returned to practice Saturday, the Penguins' website reports. (1/18/2014)
James Neal, RW - Neal (upper body) returned to practice Saturday, according to the Penguins' website. (1/18/2014)
Chris Conner, RW - Conner underwent successful hand surgery Saturday. (1/4/2014)
Andrew Ebbett, C - Ebbett has a broken ankle and will be out indefinitely, Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. (12/6/2013)

St. Louis Blues
Maxim Lapierre, C - Lapierre (lower body) will travel with the team on its upcoming four-game road trip, but remains without a timetable for a return, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. (1/19/2014)

Detroit Red Wings
Johan Franzen, C - Franzen (concussion) will not play in Saturday's game, Ansar Khan of MLive reports. (1/18/2014)
Jonathan Ericsson, D - Ericsson (ribs) doesn't expect to return until next week,'s Ansar Khan reports. (1/16/2014)
Joakim Andersson, C - Andersson (lower body) has been ruled out for Saturday's game vs. the Kings,'s Ansar Khan reports. (1/18/2014)
Darren Helm, C - Helm (groin) was placed back on injured reserve Tuesday, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. (1/15/2014)
Jonas Gustavsson, G - Gustavsson (groin) expects to return from injured reserve Saturday, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. (1/16/2014)
Daniel Alfredsson, RW - Alfredsson will miss his fourth straight game Saturday vs. the Kings,'s Ansar Khan reports. (1/18/2014)
Stephen Weiss, C - Weiss has chosen to undergo surgery for a sports hernia and will be out until late-February,'s Ansar Khan reports. (12/21/2013)
Pavel Datsyuk, C - Datsyuk (groin) has been told not to practice for the next few days to allow for better recovery,'s Ansar Khan reports. (1/18/2014)

Dallas Stars
Stephane Robidas, D - Robidas (leg) began skating on his own Wednesday,'s Mark Stepneski reports. (1/15/2014)

Nashville Predators
Pekka Rinne, G - Rinne (hip) was cleared Friday to begin weight-bearing exercises. (1/10/2014)
Kevin Klein, D - Klein is currently out with an unspecified illness, the Tennessean reports. (1/19/2014)

Toronto Maple Leafs
Dave Bolland, C - Bolland (ankle) is feeling a little "broken down" mentally at this stage of his rehabilitation, reports the Toronto Star. He says there are "good days and bad days. It's a slow rehab. It's difficult being patient." (1/18/2014)
David Clarkson, RW - The Leafs have placed Clarkson (elbow) on IR, reports. (1/17/2014)
Trevor Smith, LW - Smith (hand) was on the ice before Sunday's morning skate, TSN's Mark Masters reports. (1/14/2014)
Frazer McLaren, LW - The Leafs have placed McLaren (shoulder) on IR, reports. (1/17/2014)

Calgary Flames
Michael Cammalleri, C - Cammalleri is out with a concussion and will not travel with the Flames for their two-game road trip beginning Monday in Raleigh, Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald reports. (1/13/2014)
Curtis Glencross, LW - Glencross has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and will miss eight weeks, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 The Fan reports. (12/23/2013)
Kris Russell, D - Russell (knee) will return to the lineup for Monday's matchup against the Sharks, the Calgary Herald reports. (1/19/2014)
Michael Ferland, LW - Ferland underwent knee surgery Saturday and is expected to miss the rest of the season, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 The Fan reports. (1/18/2014)
Patrick Sieloff, D - After missing the first half of the season with a staph infection, Sieloff has been cleared for off-ice activities, the Calgary Sun reports. (1/17/2014)

San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl, C - A former NHL trainer familiar with Hertl's type of knee injury told CSN Bay Area that a best-case scenario for Hertl's return would be approximately 12 weeks, but he'll likely miss 6-9 months. (1/1/2014)
Adam Burish, RW - Burish will undergo back surgery in the coming days and is out indefinitely, CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz reports. (10/16/2013)
Logan Couture, C - Couture skated Friday for the first time since undergoing surgery on his hand last week, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports. (1/17/2014)
Scott Hannan, D - Hannan (concussion) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports. (1/16/2014)
Raffi Torres, LW - Torres, who has been sidelined since a preseason collision with Anaheim's Emerson Etem, is still undergoing rehab from right ACL surgery. He has been skating regularly and feels he's currently able to perform around "60 percent," according to CSN Bay Area. (12/29/2013)


Mark Streit: The defenseman has four points in his last four games. That might not sound like much, but he totaled four points in his first 15 contests with Philadelphia. The Flyers have rebounded from a slow start and so has Streit.

Brian Strait: Whenever I get the chance go straight from one Streit to another Strait, I’m going to take that shot. Strait netted one goal and assisted on a second when Philly beat the Islanders, 6-4, on Saturday.

Kris Letang: Since returning from an elbow infection, the defenseman has scored three goals and an assist in five games. He has issues at his own end of the rink, but from a fantasy perspective, he can help just about any fantasy team. Keep an eye on whether Pittsburgh keeps Letang on the top power-play or moves Paul Martin back into the role. Letang has been known to pout when he doesn’t get his way.

Cody Franson: The blueliner racked up eight hits Saturday. Franson totaled 124 hits and 59 blocked shots in 45 games last year. He’s up those numbers to 184 hits and 77 blocks in 48 games in 2013-14. For those in pools with those categories, take notice.

Keith Yandle: Last week, I necessarily had Yandle on the cold list. They say things usually happen in three’s: Yandle registered three consecutive minus-3 ratings before turning things around. In his last three contests, the snubbed would-be Olympian has tallied four assists, including three on the power play.

Antti Niemi: We’ll put him on the hot list for January with a 4-2 record, 2.17 GAA and .921 save percentage. His performance has been pretty much up and down. In October, Niemi went 9-1-2 with a 1.72 GAA and .924 save percentage; November, 2.76 GAA and .911 save percentage; December, 2.87 GAA and .903 save percentage. Not the kind of consistency fantasy owners are likely looking for from a supposed elite team’s backstop.

Jonathan Quick: I’d say Quick is back. He’s got a 4-1-2 January mark with a 1.40 GAA and .946 save percentage. Monday marks the Kings’ third straight road game, this time in Boston. Los Angeles plays four times in Week 17, but three games come on the road. Quick’s peripherals should be fine, but the wins might be harder to come by.

Patrice Bergeron: The 2013 postseason hero has found his game with two goals and five points in his last three. He nearly has as many short-handed points (2) as he does on the power play (3), but he’s getting to his game right now.

Jimmy Howard: Howard’s reputation has taken a knock in 2013-14, but his recent play has outperformed that rep. Howard has allowed four goals on 121 shots in the last three games for a .967 save percentage.


Tomas Fleischmann: Remember when Fleischmann had 61 points in 82 games for the Panthers in 2011-12? It looked like he could succeed even in a bad situation. Well, that hasn’t been the case. After picking up 35 points in 48 contests last year, the forward has slumped to 21 points through 47 games. He has but two assists in his last 12 games with a minus-5 rating. Perhaps he turns out to be a buy-low candidate as he bumps his numbers up closer to their career norms. Perhaps not.

Sean Monahan: The future star has four points since November, a span of 18 games. I wonder how many current Flames players will be on the roster with Monahan in a year or two.

Joe Pavelski: A hat trick Saturday and 16 points in his last 14 games. I always get scared when Pavelski gets too hot, like it means a cold stretch is on the way. Fantasy owners might remember what he did after scoring 12 points in his seven contests last year.

Brian Elliott: The St. Louis netminder has lost his last two starts. That doesn’t sound like much until one considers he’s 13-3-2. Elliott faces Detroit on Monday. He holds a 3-6-1 career mark against the Red Wings.

Ray Whitney: Has Father Time finally caught up to the 41-year-old forward? Whitney has 18 points in 41 games after collecting 29 points in 32 contests last season. He could be on the move at the trade deadline, but how great will the interest be?

Devan Dubnyk: Dubnyk surrendered five goals on 29 shots in his Nashville debut Saturday. Things can only get better right? Dubnyk should fare better with the Predators. The Olympic break should give him some time to relax and regain his composure after a blitzkrieg in Edmonton.

Recommended Pickup

Jayson Megna: Megna will line up with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz on Monday. If he does well, then there's a chance he could stick for the immediate future. He's likely available in a large majority of leagues and could provide a surprising return.

Follow me @JohnToperzer

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.