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Saturday Daily Puck: Staalin' Out

Dustin Nelson

Dustin Nelson is a writer based out of NYC. His fantasy team is full of loafers.

You get a goal! And you get a goal! And you get a goal!



Between the six games last night there were a total of 43 goals, with two teams scoring seven each. Of those 12 teams only three scored fewer than three goals. There were a lot of goals to spread around your fantasy zen garden.

Unless you have a Hurricane on your squad. Only Carolina was held without a goal.

And that's where I'm headed. We're seven games into the season and the 'Canes have been held to a single goal or shutout five times. Through the last three games they have one regulation goal.

The Hurricanes have been terrible and it's not getting a whole lot of play because Columbus has been far worse and that it's early enough in the season that you've got some weird teams at the bottom of the pile statistically.

For instance, the Hurricanes are tied for the third fewest goals scored with the Buffalo Sabres. The two teams below them? Ducks and Penguins. Easy to see how the storyline about Carolina gets buried when you look at that stat because WHAT IS HAPPENING IN PITTSBURGH AND ANAHEM?!

But the Ducks and the Penguins are going to recover. I don't believe that the Hurricanes are going anywhere. I think it's going to be a very long season in Raleigh.

Where I'm going: Though there were some decent underlying numbers last year and you've got some top talent there like Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk, I'm not touching anyone from Carolina on my roster if it's avoidable. When you're getting held to one goal or less in five of seven games, there's just not enough production to go around and I don't think it's going to change.

It doesn't help either that with an incredibly thin lineup, they'll be without James Wisniewski for most of the year. Until some of these guys start getting traded, their value is severely depressed by the logo on their sweater.

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

Ducks (Frederik Andersen) at Wild (Devan Dubnyk), 6:00 PM
Devils (Cory Schneider) at Sabres (Chad Johnson), 7:00 PM
Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier) at Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:00 PM
Coyotes (Mike Smith) at Senators (Craig Anderson), 7:00 PM
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 7:00 PM
Islanders (Thomas Greiss) at Blues (Brian Elliott), 8:00 PM
Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Predators (Pekka Rinne), 8:00 PM
Panthers (Roberto Luongo) at Stars (Kari Lehtonen), 8:00 PM
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:30 PM
Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov), 9:00 PM
Red Wings (Petr Mrazek) at Canucks (Ryan Miller), 10:00 PM
Hurricanes (Eddie Lack) at Sharks (Martin Jones), 10:30 PM
Injury News For Teams Playing Saturday

Anaheim Ducks
Nate Thompson, C (shoulder) - is on injured reserve
Simon Despres, D (upper body) - remains on IR

Minnesota Wild
Tyler Graovac, C (lower body)- skated on his own Wednesday morning

New Jersey Devils
Patrik Elias, LW (knee) - is skating on his own and making progress in his rehab, but still has no timetable for a return
Tuomo Ruutu, LW (foot) - did not play in the team's last game

Buffalo Sabres
Zach Bogosian, D (upper body) - still hasn't returned to practice
Robin Lehner, G (ankle) - remains out
Cody McCormick, C (illness) - is without a timetable for his return

Toronto Maple Leafs
Stephane Robidas, D (groin) is likely to be on IR for a while
Jake Gardiner, D (undisclosed) - was placed on IR Friday
Tyler Bozak, C (lower body) - was placed on IR Friday

Montreal Canadiens
Zack Kassian, RW (suspension) - remains away from the team
Michael Bournival, C (concussion) - skated following Monday's practice session and took shots on goalie Mike Condon

Arizona Coyotes
Antoine Vermette, C (lower body) - is day to day after being injured in Thursday's game
Joe Vitale, C (broken orbital bone) - is out for at least a month
Dylan Reese, D (Achilles) - is out indefinitely

Ottawa Senators
Mike Hoffman, LW (lower body) - is considered day-to-day
Clarke MacArthur, LW (concussion) - remains out
Marc Methot, D (concussion) - has skated
Chris Phillips, D (back) - is not yet ready to return

New York Rangers
A big apple a day...

Philadelphia Flyers
Michal Neuvirth, G (upper body) - is considered day to day
Brayden Schenn, C (upper body) - returned to practice on Friday
Sean Couturier, C (upper body) - will miss Saturday's game at leats

New York Islanders
Eric Boulton, LW (lower body) - is on IR

St. Louis Blues
Paul Stastny, C (foot) - will miss at least a month
Patrik Berglund, C (shoulder) - is on long-term IR
Kevin Shattenkirk, D (lower body) - could return soon, but is out for Saturday
Jaden Schwartz, LW (ankle) - will miss at least 12 weeks after breaking his ankle in practice on Friday
Robby Fabbri, C (concussion) - is close to a return, but won't play Saturday

Pittsburgh Penguins
Eric Fehr, RW (elbow) - is without a timetable
Nick Bonino, C -(undisclosed) - is out with an "undisclosed" injury after taking a Jason Demers elbow to the face
Beau Bennett, RW (undisclosed) - skated prior to practice Wednesday

Florida Panthers
Aleksander Barkov, C (upper body) - will not play Saturday

Dallas Stars
Curtis McKenzie, LW (lower body) - is expected to be sidelined for the next 2-to-3 weeks
Patrick Eaves, RW (lower body) - remains out
Travis Moen, LW (upper body) - was placed on injured reserve Wednesday
Jason Demers, D (suspension) - will sit the first game of a two-game suspension for elbowing Nick Bonino
Brett Ritchie, RW (wrist) - rhas skated and is getting closer

Tampa Bay Lightning
Andrei Vasilevskiy, G (neck) - has been taken off blood thinners and is expected to return to practice early next week
Brian Boyle, C (illness) - was a game-time decision on Friday and did not play

Chicago Blackhawks
Duncan Keith, D (knee) - was placed on long-term injured reserve Wednesday
Michal Rozsival, D - Rozsival participated in Chicago's Saturday morning skate last week

Colorado Avalanche
Jesse Winchester, LW (concussion) - is on IR
Tyson Barrie, D (suspension) - is still serving his suspension

Detroit Red Wings
Brad Richards, C (back) - is day-to-day
Pavel Datsyuk, C (ankle) - remains onIR
Mike Green, D (undisclosed) - left Friday's game with an injury
Johan Franzen, RW (concussion) - is not expected back soon

Vancouver Canucks
Jacob Markstrom, G (lower body) - returned to the ice Tuesday
Chris Higgins, LW (foot) - skated on his own Tuesday

Carolina Hurricanes
James Wisniewski, D (ACL) - will miss six months
Riley Nash, C (shoulder) - remains sidelined
Joakim Nordstrom, C (lower body) - has been out for most of the week

San Jose Sharks
Joonas Donskoi, RW (lower body) - took part in practice Friday
Ben Smith, RW (upper body) - returned to practice Friday
Logan Couture, C (foot) - was placed on injured reserve Monday
Raffi Torres, LW (suspension) - is still serving his 41-game suspension
Paul Martin, D (lower body) - endured a full practice Friday and now plans to play Saturday against the Hurricanes

Hot
Victor Hedman, D, TBL Hedman is having a stellar start to the season. He has put up nine assists and a plus-7 rating in his first seven games. After scoring 10 goals in 59 games last year, crossing 10 for the second year in a row, expect the goals to start coming soon. Hedman is poised to have a good year.

Mark Giordano, D, CGY I don't buy that Calgary is as good as the standings said they were last year. However, a big piece of their success was Giordano and unlike some over-performing members of his team *cough*Hudler*cough* Giordano's production is real and sustainable. He had a rough start to the season, but he's put in three goals and an assist over the last two games, as well as a plus-2 rating, nine shots and two penalty minutes.

Cold
Justin Schultz, D, EDM With Edmonton finally having some offensive consistency, even if the wins aren't coming quite as frequently as they hoped, it seems like a great time for a defenseman with an offensive pedigree to step up and prove himself worthy of a $3.9 million contract and the six garbage trucks full of hype parked behind Rexall Place looking for the delivery entrance. That's not happening for Schultz, who has just a single assist, a minus-5 rating and an average of two shots per game. I'm not buying in on Schultz until after I see the production come. I'm fine being late to the party, if the party ever happens.

Drew Doughty, D, LAK I'm generally a defender of Doughty in fantasy, in that I think he's good for what he is. But what I think he is doesn't align with how he's often viewed by others, particularly during drafts. He's a top tier defenseman. He is a second tier fantasy defenseman, whose value is inflated by name recognition and assuming that he's defensive skill means fantasy points. (He should certainly be owned in every league, but I think he's drafted way too high.) But, with just two assists and a minus-1 rating, he's underperforming even by my lower standards for his baseline.

Recommended Pickup
Vladislav Namestnikov, C, TBL Namestnikov broke out last season as a key piece of the depth puzzle in Tampa. With players dropping like flies to injuries -- Logan Couture, Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz -- Namestnikov is a Name (stnikov) to watch. The 22-year-old isn't going to light the barn on fire, but he can provide waiver wire value, particularly in deep league. He currently has three goals and an assist through eight games.

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.