Around the Rink
One thing that unites us all is that hat tricks are awesome.
On Saturday night, just short of his 43rd birthday, Jaromir Jagr scored a hat trick in a win over the Flyers. He became the oldest NHL player to record a hat trick by more than a year over the legendary Gordie Howe. When Jagr left for (what turned out to be) a three-year stint in the KHL, did anyone think that he would come back to play four more seasons after his 39th birthday, recording another 181 points and counting? Jagr has 25 points in 40 games this year, leading a Devils team in scoring that has had a tough time finding the back of the net this year (27th in goals per game).
T.J. Oshie also potted a hat trick and an assist in a big 7-2 Blues win over San Jose. The four-point night will increase Oshie’s production by 25% in what has been a disappointing season. Coming off a breakout 60-point season, Oshie has scored just 21 points in 31 games. His name has also been involved in a number of trade rumors as the Blues look at breaking a logjam among their forward ranks. Whether he moves or not Oshie needs to step up his game in the second half for the Blues to reach their potential.
Now, onto the preview of Sunday’s games.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Boston Bruins (Niklas Svedberg) at Carolina Hurricanes (Anton Khudobin), 1:00 PM
Florida Panthers (Roberto Luongo*) at Washington Capitals (Braden Holtby), 3:00 PM
Tampa Bay Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Ottawa Senators (Robin Lehner), 7:00 PM
Dallas Stars (Anders Lindback) at Chicago Blackhawks (Corey Crawford*), 8:00 PM
Columbus Blue Jackets (Curtis McElhinney) at Colorado Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov), 8:00 PM
Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne) at Anaheim Ducks (Frederik Andersen), 8:00 PM
New York Islanders (Jaroslav Halak) at Edmonton Oilers (Ben Scrivens), 9:30 PM
Injury News For Teams Playing Wednesday
Alexander Semin, LW - Semin (upper body) will not return to the lineup Friday versus the Flyers, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (1/2/2015)
John-Michael Liles, D - Liles (illness) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. (12/30/2014)
Andrej Nestrasil, C - Nestrasil (upper body) took part in Saturday's practice. (1/3/2015)
Jeff Skinner, LW - Skinner (illness) resumed practicing with the team Saturday. (1/3/2015)
Shawn Thornton, LW - Thornton (groin) got in a conditioning skate Friday morning, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. (1/2/2015)
Tomas Kopecky, RW - Kopecky (upper body) remains out of the lineup Friday against the Sabres, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. (1/2/2015)
Tomas Fleischmann, LW - Fleischmann appears in line to miss Friday's game against the Sabres after suffering an injury during the team's morning skate, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. (1/2/2015)
Erik Gudbranson, D - Gudbranson (upper body) is unlikely to play Sunday against the Capitals, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. (1/3/2015)
Aaron Volpatti, LW - Volpatti (neck) is 100 percent healthy and available to play for the Capitals, but the team has yet to active from their non-roster injury list, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. (12/30/2014)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Radko Gudas, D - Gudas (lower body) isn't expected to play Sunday against the Senators, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. (1/3/2015)
Marc Methot, D - Methot (back) will report to AHL Binghamton on Friday to begin a conditioning assignment, Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen reports. (1/2/2015)
Mark Borowiecki, D - Borowiecki (leg) will remain in a walking boot for the next week, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports. (12/31/2014)
Shawn Horcoff, C - Horcoff (illness) was placed on injured reserve Saturday. (1/3/2015)
Kris Versteeg, RW - Versteeg is expected to miss about a month due to his left hand injury, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. (1/3/2015)
Columbus Blue Jackets
Mark Letestu, C - Letestu (groin) may be available for a Jan. 9 game in Toronto, NHL.com's Rob Mixer reports. (12/30/2014)
Cam Atkinson, RW - Atkinson (upper body) was a participant in Friday's practice, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (1/2/2015)
Brian Gibbons, C - Gibbons (knee) skated on his own after Tuesday's practice ended, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (12/30/2014)
Artem Anisimov, C - Anisimov (triceps) has resumed light skating. (12/31/2014)
Matt Cullen, C - Cullen (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, the Tennessean reports. (1/2/2015)
James Neal, RW - Neal (lower body) will sit out Saturday's game against the Kings, Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period reports. (1/3/2015)
Taylor Beck, LW - Beck (illness) was placed on injured reserve Saturday. (1/3/2015)
Patrick Maroon, LW - Maroon left Saturday's practice with an upper-body injury, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. (1/3/2015)
Eric Brewer, D - Brewer (foot) is no longer using crutches, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. (12/31/2014)
New York Islanders
Michael Grabner, RW - Grabner (lower body) is ready to return to the team, according to Newsday. (1/1/2015)
Keith Aulie, D - Aulie has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Calgary's Matt Stajan during Wednesday's game. (1/1/2015)
Tyler Pitlick, RW - Pitlick (spleen) was placed on injured reserve Saturday. (1/3/2015)
Patrick Sharp, LW – The Blackhawks’ handsome left-wing missed a month with a leg injury, but has returned absolutely scorching hot with nine points in eleven games, including in his last three. Remarkably, his teammates stayed near the top of the league table in his absence. Sharp will round out a strong top six group of forwards, and although the 14 games he missed will make his season totals look a bit weak, he should be close to a point-per-game player the rest of the way.
Roman Josi, D – There was a time when Josi could have been considered a sleeper, but that should have ended with his 40-point season last year. Yet somehow he is owned in only two-thirds of Yahoo leagues, despite putting up 22 points and a plus-13 rating in 36 games so far this year. The 24 year-old had already put seven points on his ledger in his past five games, before adding two more Saturday against the Kings. That would be hot for Sidney Crosby, let alone for a defenseman. You know what to do.
Nick Foligno, LW – Foligno was rewarded for his strong start to the season with a six-year contract extension that was immediately the subject of derisive internet commentary. Foligno’s season has been impressive to date, but his shooting percentage is 22%, which is six percentage points higher than what he showed last year and almost twice his career rate. He has two points in his last four games and the question for fantasy owners (which the Blue Jackets have apparently concluded in their minds), is whether you think Foligno is having a breakout season at age 27? You may want to try to sell high on the news of his contract and look for a true top 50 player in return.
Tuukka Rask, G – Rask has struggled (compared to his usual standard) this year. His 91% save percentage is well below the 93% mark he has consistently hit over the past three years. If you include Saturday’s tilt with Ottawa, Rask has allowed three or more goals in six of his last ten starts. His play is just one piece of the puzzle that has the Bruins on the outside of a playoff position, but with the team getting healthy they need Rask to turn things around quickly.
David Perron, LW – Brady discussed Perron in some depth yesterday, so this is a reminder that he will be playing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin for the foreseeable future and is owned in about half of leagues. He has been a disappointment this year, but has three 20-goal seasons on his resume, including 28 goals last year. Perron scored in his first game as a Penguin Saturday (on a great give-and-go set up from Crosby).