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Friday Daily Puck: Thankful We're Back

Dustin Nelson

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

I love a night where we've got 24 teams in play. It's fun for fantasy and it's fun to watch.

But I'd take having a less saturated Black Friday schedule to have a game or two on Thanksgiving. Maybe we'll get Thanksgiving back next year when bye weeks are reportedly coming to the league in the spring.

Nonetheless, having the day away from the game gives a chance to reflect on what we're thankful for this year. And this year, I'm thankful for all the surprises the first quarter of the season has brought that has made fantasy interesting.

I find it a little dull when you draft into a season-long league and the guys who get drafted first are the best. Carey Price is the best goalie. Erik Karlsson is the best defenseman. Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin are the top forwards. That's boring.

Having John Klingberg be a game-changing late-round defenseman is exciting. Crosby's slow start, Price having injuries sink his fantasy value so far, Jakub Voracek and Claude Grioux's scoring troubles, Marian Gaborik bottoming out, Colton Parayko coming out of nowhere, Max Domi's surprisingly high value, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf's early season struggles, Ryan Suter's rebound... these make fantasy interesting.

Here's what's interesting tonight.

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

Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 1:00 PM
Predators (Pekka Rinne) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 3:30 PM
Jets (Michael Hutchinson) at Wild (Devan Dubnyk), 4:00 PM
Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) at Ducks (Anton Khudobin), 5:00 PM
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Capitals (Braden Holtby), 5:00 PM
Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at Sabres (Chad Johnson), 7:00 PM
Canadiens (Mike Condon) at Devils (Cory Schneider), 7:00 PM
Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 PM
Oilers (Anders Nilsson) at Red Wings (Petr Mrazek), 7:30 PM
Islanders (Jaroslav Halak) at Panthers (Roberto Luongo), 7:30 PM
Canucks (Ryan Miller) at Stars (Antti Niemi), 8:30 PM
Flames (Karri Ramo) at Coyotes (Mike Smith), 9:00 PM

Injury News For Teams Playing Friday

Boston Bruins
Chris Kelly, RW (femur fracture) - will miss the rest of the season
Alexander Khokhlachev, C (hand) - will miss at least another week
Kevan Miller, D (concussion) - is out
David Pastrnak, LW (lower body) - is making progress and off crutches, but won't be back Friday

Nashville Predators
Paul Gaustad, C (upper body) - left Wednesday's game with an injury
Miikka Salomaki, RW - is on IR
Petter Granberg, D (Achilles) - is close to a return after being claimed off waivers

Philadelphia Flyers
Mark Streit, D (pelvis) - is on long-term IR
Ryan White, RW (shoulder) - has skated but doesn't appear to be ready
Sam Gagner, C (upper body) - is expected to miss a week
R.J. Umberger, LW (lower body) - won't play

Winnipeg Jets
Ondrej Pavelec, G (knee) - is expected to be out until January or February

Minnesota Wild
Marco Scandella, D (lower body) - is expected to miss the weekend
Jordan Schroeder, C (illness) - didn't play Wednesday
Justin Fontaine, RW (knee) - is closing in on a return, but isn't likely to play Friday
Tyler Graovac, C (hernia) - is skating, but won't play Friday
Zach Parise, LW (knee) - is hoping to return Friday

Chicago Blackhawks
Teuvo Teravainen, C - didn't play Wednesday against the Sharks

Anaheim Ducks
Frederik Andersen, G (illness) - still hadn't returned on Friday
Jiri Sekac, RW (ankle) - is off crutches, but isn't ready to return
Nate Thompson, C (shoulder) - took contact on Monday, but hasn't been able to return
Simon Despres, D (concussion) - remains out

Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat, LW (lower body) - remains out
Jonathan Drouin, C (undisclosed) - is day-to-day
Cedric Paquette, C (undisclosed) - remains out
Mitchell Stephens, C (foot) - is out indefinitely
Washington Capitals
Jakub Vrana, RW (wrist) - will miss at least another couple months after surgery
Brooks Orpik, D (lower body) - is without a timetable for his return

Carolina Hurricanes
Nathan Gerbe, LW (lower body) - was placed on IR
James Wisniewski, D (ACL) - remains out for another few months
Ryan Murphy, D - skated with the team on Wednesday

Buffalo Sabres
Mike Weber, D (knee) - still has no return date
Tyler Ennis, LW (upper body) - didn't play Wednesday
Robin Lehner, G (ankle) - is still in a walking boot
Mark Pysyk, D (lower body) - missed Wednesday's game
Cody McCormick, C (illness) - is still out

Montreal Canadiens
Alexander Semin, LW (undisclosed) - left Wednesday's game with an injury
Carey Price, G (leg) - will miss at least a week of play
Torrey Mitchell, C (lower body) - should miss a week of play
Zack Kassian, RW (suspension) - still hasn't played this season and isn't likely to be back in the lineup soon
Michael Bournival, C (concussion) - has skated, but isn't taking contact yet
Brendan Gallagher, RW (hand) - had surgery this week and will miss many weeks

New Jersey Devils
David Schlemko, D (lower body) - expects to play Friday
Tuomo Ruutu, LW (foot) - remains out

Pittsburgh Penguins
Olli Maatta, D (upper body) - is expected to start skating again soon
Bryan Rust, RW (arm) - resumed skating last week

Columbus Blue Jackets
Fedor Tyutin, D (nose) - remains out
Rene Bourque, LW (undisclosed) - is out
David Clarkson, RW (lower body) - has been on IR all month
Jared Boll, RW (foot) - is out since blocking a shot a couple weeks back
Cody Goloubef, D (jaw) - is expected to miss six weeks

Edmonton Oilers
Justin Schultz, D (back) - is expected back on Friday
Rob Klinkhammer, LW (lower body) - has been on Ir since late October
Nail Yakupov, RW (ankle) - will miss 2-to-4 weeks
Connor McDavid, C (shoulder) - could be back as soon as late January

Detroit Red Wings
Kyle Quincey, D (ankle) will miss quite a bit of time
Johan Franzen, RW (concussion) - is on LTIR

New York Islanders
Eric Boulton, LW (lower body) - remains out
Thomas Hickey, D (leg) - could return as soon as Saturday
Kirill Petrov, RW (foot) - has been out since the start of the month

Florida Panthers
Dmitry Kulikov, D (lower body) - went on IR on Wednesday

Vancouver Canucks
Ben Hutton, D (undisclosed) - will miss at least another week
Brandon Sutter, C (abdomen) - remains out

Dallas Stars
Jason Demers, D (lower body) - is day-to-day and could be back soon
Kari Lehtonen, G (upper body) - was placed on IR Thursday
Travis Moen, LW (upper body) - is off IR, but still considered day-to-day

Calgary Flames
Lance Bouma, C (leg) - should miss another couple months still

Arizona Coyotes
Joe Vitale, C (fractured orbital bone) - is still out
Shane Doan, RW (lower body) - did not play Wednesday
Steve Downie, RW (upper body) - was placed on IR at the start of the week

Hot
Patrick Marleau, LW, SJS Marleau became the first Shark to cross 1,000 points. In recent games, he hasn't just hit that impressive milestone, he's been on fire. He has two points in each of his last three games. He's also posted four goals and four assists with 19 shots over the last six games. Maybe trade rumors get his game going.

Erik Karlsson, D, OTT With an eight-game point streak, the longest of his career, Karlsson is doing everything he does well. He's got five goals and seven assists over that stretch with a plus-4 rating, four penalty minutes, 19 shots, six power play points and a minimum of 24:37 of playing time.

Cold
Jason Pominville, RW, MIN You can't get much colder than Pominville is. He's on the longest scoring slump of his career, going without a single goal through the season's first 20 games. He's taken 45 shots, but just can't get it done. Watching him grip his stick and miss some golden opportunities is getting painful.

Jarome Iginla, RW, COL Iginla has been struggling to put points on the board, with points in just a single game over the last six games. He also has a minus-3 rating in that span. He'll rebound, particularly with Colorado's offense moving along alright and containing a lot of fire power, but it's be slim pickings lately.

Recommended Pickup
Anders Lee, LW, NYI The 25-year-old is finding his stride with a three-game point streak and five points in his last five games. He's on a line -- Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen -- that is going to score in streaks. It's working right now and may not forever, but Lee has value right now.

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.