Around the Rink
Trade activity has picked up since the turn of the new year, with nine trades being completed since January 3. Surprisingly, most of these deals have been "hockey trades," meaning trades that strengthen both teams on the ice, rather than clearing cap or roster space.
However, one has to wonder about the intentions of the Coyotes, the Canadiens, and the NHL in regards to Friday's deal that saw John Scott moved to Montreal. It has been reported that both the Coyotes and the NHL made requests to Scott to turn down his All-Star nomination, but that the player refused to do so. The Coyotes are claiming that the trade was made strictly for hockey purposes, but that seems hard to believe. Sure, the Coyotes would've had to pay Scott's entire salary ($575,000) even if he was sent to the AHL, but they will also pay Steve Downie's entire salary ($1.75 million) if he clears waivers and is sent down.
It seems as though the Coyotes did want Jarred Tinordi for hockey purposes, but at the same time they found themselves a willing partner to keep Scott out of the All-Star game (Montreal promptly sent Scott to AHL St. John's, making him ineligible to play). The one thing that's certain in this situation is that the NHL has screwed up again, and will have to implement another new All-Star format next year.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Hurricanes (Eddie Lack) vs. Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury), 3:00 PM
Canucks (Ryan Miller) vs. Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 4:00 PM
Panthers (Roberto Luongo) vs. Lightning (Ben Bishop), 5:00 PM
Rangers (Antti Raanta) vs. Capitals (Philipp Grubauer), 5:00 PM
Canadiens (Ben Scrivens) vs. Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 7:00 PM
Flyers (Michal Neuvirth) vs. Red Wings (Petr Mrazek),7:30 PM
Kings (Jhonas Enroth) vs. Ducks (John Gibson), 9:00 PM
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News for Teams Playing Sunday
Brett Pesce, D (lower body) - doubtful Sunday
James Wisniewski, D (knee) - likely out for the season
Beau Bennett, RW (upper body) - not expected to play Sunday
Nick Bonino, C (hand) - out for a month
Kris Letang, D (wrist) - game-time decision Sunday
Derek Dorsett, RW (illness) - status for unclear for Sunday
Dan Hamhuis, D (face) - will miss another month
Jannik Hansen, RW (upper body) - Sunday's status uncertain
Luca Sbisa, D (hand) - doubtful Sunday
Brandon Sutter, C (abdomen) - nearing a return
New York Islanders
Eric Boulton, LW (undisclosed) - remains on IR
Johnny Boychuk, D (upper body) - will miss the next two-to-four weeks
Travis Hamonic, D (lower body) - out one-to-two more weeks
Dave Bolland, C (lower body) - out through the All-Star break
Aaron Ekblad, D (concussion) - practiced Saturday
Tampa Bay Lightning
Mattias Ohlund, D (knee) - on long-term injured reserve
Joel Vermin, RW (hand) - could return at the beginning of February
New York Rangers
Jay Beagle, C (hand) - expected to miss the next month
John Carlson, D (lower body) - status unclear for Sunday
Brooks Orpik, D (lower body) - doubtful Sunday
Tom Gilbert, D (lower body) - remains on IR
Carey Price, G (leg) - won't return until February
Erik Gustafsson, D (lower body) - status unclear for Sunday
Marcus Kruger, C (wrist) - out until April
Detroit Red Wings
Johan Franzen, RW (concussion) - out indefinitely
Drew Miller, LW (lower body) - expected to miss a month
Los Angeles Kings
Kyle Clifford, LW (upper body) - hasn't been cleared for contact
Matt Greene, D (shoulder) - out for the rest of the season
Simon Despres, D (concussion) - on conditioning assignment with AHL San Diego
Cam Fowler, D (knee) - out another one-to-three weeks
Anze Kopitar, C, LAK - While the ink dries on his fresh eight year, $80 million extension, Kopitar will be looking to keep up his recent run of form. The Slovenian had a poor start to the season by his standards, scoring at just a 50-point pace through the first 33 games of the season. In the 10 games since, Kopitar has recorded 16 points and failed to score in only one of those contests.
Vladislav Namestnikov, C, TBL - The 23-year old is in the midst of his first full season with Tampa Bay, and is beginning to show why he was a first-round pick in 2011. Namestnikov registered his first career hat trick Friday against Pittsburgh, which also extended his point-streak to four games, scoring eight points in that span. Namestnikov's play has landed him on the Lightnings' top line, centering Ondrej Palat and Steven Stamkos.
Rick Nash, LW, NYR - The 2004 Rocket Richard Trophy-winner snapped a three-game pointless streak with an assist in Philadelphia on Friday, but hasn't scored a goal in his last six. Like most players, when Nash is struggling to score, he's failing to put shots on goal. However, during his current goal drought he's averaging four shots on goal per game. Depending on how you interpret this stat, Nash is either bound to break his duck any time now, or he's just "snake bitten."
Carl Hagelin, LW, PIT - After being traded from Anaheim on Saturday, both Hagelin and Emerson Etem have been traded again since they were exchanged for each other in the offseason. Rarely does a trade involving two roster players work out so poorly for both teams, but Hagelin had a tough time fitting into the Ducks' heavy style of play. However, a new start in Pittsburgh should revitalize Hagelin, especially if he skates on a line with Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin (as he is projected to do Sunday). Expect Hagelin to come out flying as he makes his team debut Sunday.