Around the Rink
Fan voting for sporting all-star games can yield some strange results. The NHL is no stranger to that, what with the whole Rory Fitzpatrick brouhaha of a few years ago. Now, another puzzler is emerging based on the results released recently. Who has the most votes for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game? Why, Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons of course.
Yes, that’s right. A young center for the NHL’s worst team has almost 400,000 votes, almost double that of the second leading voter, some guy named Sidney Crosby. Obviously, something is awry. This doesn’t happen organically. Girgensons is a fine young player with a funny name, but he would not be getting into the NHL All-Star Game on merit. He has said that perhaps it is because of voters from his native Latvia, but Latvia isn’t China, and Girgensons isn’t Yao Ming. Maybe this will change going forward. Or maybe Girgensons will be selected for the All-Star Game. It’ll be a big day for Latvia if it does happen.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Canadiens (Carey Price) at Wild (Darcy Kuemper*) 7:00
Blues (Jake Allen*) at Blackhawks (Antti Raanta*) 8:00
Oilers (Viktor Fasth) at Jets (Ondrej Pavelec) 9:00
Flyers (Ray Emery) at Ducks (Frederik Andersen) 10:30
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News For Teams Playing Wednesday
Michael Bournival, C (shoulder) – Won’t play Wednesday.
Matt Cooke, LW (hip) – Hoping to practice Wednesday, won’t play.
Ryan Suter, D (illness) – Expects to play.
Jay Bouwmeester, D (lower-body) – Game-time decision for Wednesday.
Brian Elliott, G (knee) – Skated Tuesday, return date unknown.
Steve Ott, C (groin) – Practiced Monday, return date unknown.
Corey Crawford, G (lower-body) – Won’t play Wednesday.
Patrick Sharp, LW (leg) – Won’t play Wednesday.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, D (knee) – Return date unknown after surgery.
Matt Hendricks, LW (knee) – Day-to-day, unknown if he will play.
Benoit Pouliot, LW (foot) – On injured reserve.
Tobias Enstrom, D (lower-body) – Moved to injured reserve.
Ryan White, RW (chest) – Out until late December at least.
Francois Beauchemin, D (finger) – Out 4-6 weeks.
Eric Brewer, D (foot) – Day-to-day.
Mark Fistric, D (back) – Has been practicing, return date unknown.
John Gibson, G (groin) – Out at least a couple more weeks.
Dany Heatley, LW (groin) – On injured reserve.
Jason LaBarbera, G (upper-body) – Day-to-day.
Ben Lovejoy, D (finger) – Out a few more weeks.
Clayton Stoner, D (illness) – Practiced Tuesday.
Jiri Hudler, LW, CGY – Ol’ Happy Hudler has been on a tear recently. His two assists against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday moved his point scoring streak to five games, and he has 10 points in those contests. He’s also a plus-5 in his last three games, and two of his recent goals were with the extra man as well. There are a lot of pleasant surprises in Calgary this season, and Hudler is one of them.
Mike Santorelli, C, TOR – Santorelli has been doing his best Adam Oates impression recently. His three assists on Tuesday give him seven helpers in his last four games. Now, he doesn’t have any goals in that time, and he only has three goals on the season. However, fantasy teams need assists too, and he also has a nice plus/minus going so far. If fantasy owners out there are looking for some help, perhaps Santorelli is the guy to give you an assist with that. Classic joke.
Mark Streit, D PHI – Streit has been one of the more prolific point scoring defensemen in recent NHL history, but he’s not been living up to those old standards the last week or so. He has zero points in his last five games, and he is also a minus-4 in that time. He does have 13 points on the season, so it’s not like he’s simply fallen off the table, but right now he’s not helping anybody.
Andrej Sekera, D, CAR – Last year, Sekera was a pleasant surprise. This year, he’s been an unpleasant disappointment. He has eight points on the season, all assists, and none of them have come in his last five games. Sekera is also a minus-5 in those contests, and the Hurricanes just aren’t all that good of a team, which doesn’t help. There were those who murmured that Sekera was a fluke last year. Those murmurs are starting to look true.
Brad Richards, C, CHI – The transition to Chicago started a bit slow for Richards. However, his play has picked up a bit recently. In his last two games, he has four points, is a plus-4, and has five shots on goal in both games. The longer he is around, and the longer he plays well, he’ll start getting more playing time and more time playing with the abundance of talent the Blackhawks have. He did have 20 goals and 51 points last season with the Rangers, so there is still talent here. He has six goals and 16 points so far, so don’t count this veteran out.