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Sunday Daily Puck: Stars are Shining

Joe Mahoney

Writes about hockey because he's no longer good enough to play.

Around the Rink

After a season in which they averaged both 3.13 goals for and against, the Dallas Stars have looked a more mature team in 2015-16. While still scoring 3.57 goals per game, the Stars are allowing 2.71 goals per game this season. Though a relatively high number, this slight improvement in defense and continued ability to score has propelled the Stars to the top spot in the Western Conference, with 22 points in 14 games.

The dynamic duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are the two top scorers in the NHL, but John Klingberg, Jason Spezza, and Patrick Sharp are all into double-digits on the season, as well. For every disappointment on the Stars (say, Valeri Nichushkin), there is a surprise performer like defenseman Jason Demers (eight points in 13 games).

It will be worth keeping an eye on the Stars' and their players for the entirety of 2015-16, as if they prove to be a legitimate contender in the West, there will be a multitude of scoring options in their lineup available for pickup in most leagues.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

Stars (Kari Lehtonen) at Red Wings (Jimmy Howard), 3:00 PM
Canucks (Ryan Miller) at Devils (Keith Kinkaid), 5:00 PM
Bruins (Tuukka Rask) at Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 5:00 PM
Oilers (Cam Talbot) at Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:00 PM

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

Injury News for Teams Playing Sunday

Dallas Stars

Patrick Eaves, RW (lower body) - Didn't play Friday
Curtis McKenzie, LW (lower body) - Could return Thursday
Travis Moen, LW (upper body) - Still no timetable
Antoine Roussel, LW (upper body) - Expected to return Tuesday
Patrick Sharp, RW (undisclosed) - Not expected to miss any game action

Detroit Red Wings

Pavel Datsyuk, C (ankle) - Out another week
Landon Ferraro, RW (lower body) - Return date unclear
Johan Franzen, RW (concussion) - Remains out indefinitely
Kyle Quincey, D (ankle) - Lands on IR Sunday
Brad Richards, C (back) - Likely out at least another week

Vancouver Canucks

Brandon Prust, LW (ankle) - Out until December
Luca Sbisa, D (undisclosed) - Injury is more serious than day-to-day
Chris Tanev, D (undisclosed) - Will sit out Sunday's game

New Jersey Devils

Patrik Elias, LW (knee) - Skating, but without timetable for return
Tuomo Ruutu, LW (foot) - Out another 2-to-4 weeks

Boston Bruins

Chris Kelly, C (leg) - Out for 2015-16
David Pastrnak, RW (foot) - Will return Thursday, at the earliest
Dennis Seidenberg, D (back) - Continues to practice, making a mid-November return likely

New York Islanders

Eric Boulton, LW (lower body) - Remains on IR
Thomas Hickey, D (lower body) - Out until the end of November

Edmonton Oilers

Rob Klinkhammer, LW (lower body) - Uncertain return date
Lauri Korpikoski, LW (head) - Remains on IR
Connor McDavid, C (shoulder) - Underwent surgery Friday, out for "months"
Justin Schultz, D (back) - Out for an additional 1-to-3 weeks

Chicago Blackhawks

Ryan Garbutt, RW (undisclosed) - Questionable Sunday
Duncan Keith, D (knee) - Skated Sunday, likely to return in mid-November
Michal Rozsival, D (ankle) - Out at least another week

Hot

Patrick Sharp, RW, DAL - After going goalless in his first eight games with Dallas, Sharp has bagged five goals and tallied two assists in his last six games. A player like Sharp, who has scored more than 30 goals in four different seasons, clearly knows how to put the puck in the net, so it seems that it was just a matter of time before Sharp regained his confidence in front of goal.

Taylor Hall, LW, EDM - While Connor McDavid was grabbing all of the headlines before getting injured, the 2010 NHL Draft's top pick Taylor Hall has been quietly scoring more than a point per game (16 points in 14 games). A huge bulk of his production has come in his last seven games, when he's put up 12 points. Hall also got his long-time linemate Jordan Eberle back from injury Friday, and should continue to light it up with this added chemistry.

Cold

David Krejci, C, BOS - The Czech center begun the season on a nine game point streak, scoring seven goals and 15 points in that span, but now has just one assist in his last four. This recent dip in form has coincided with David Pastrnak's absence through a foot injury, suggesting that Krejci has had a difficult time establishing a rapport with the players filling Pastrnak's slot on Krejci's line.

Recommended Pickup

Leon Draisaitl, C, EDM - Following Connor McDavid's injury, Draisaitl could not have picked a better time to be drawn into the Edmonton lineup. Though only 19 years-old, Draisaitl is not a kid by any means, standing at 6'1" and weighing 214 lbs. In just four games, Draisaitl has put up seven points and averaged 19:12 minutes per night playing as the Oilers' top center. The young German has the ability and the most ideal of opportunities to further establish himself as bonafide top-six forward in the league.

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.