Around the Rink
As you’ll see below, these last few days have been a rough go for some stars of the league, young and old – injuries to Henrik Sedin (undisclosed) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand) have struck major blows to the Canucks and Oilers, while Mike Hoffman (undisclosed) left Monday’s game with an ailment of his own.
While you might be tempted to think of the RNH injury as a blessing in disguise – one that could let the Oilers get the No. 1 pick once again – how many times do they need to pick first before they can actually field a reasonable NHL squad? The impending return of Connor McDavid will throw a wrench in the works of Edmonton’s quest for last place, though – McDavid didn’t come to the NHL to watch his team tank in his rookie season.
The Oil have a good chance to take another loss Tuesday, as they face a Lightning team that’s been heating up lately. Tampa’s starting to look like the 2014-15 version of itself recently, with a five-game winning streak that’s featured great play in goal and consistent offensive production (three-plus goals in every game, with efforts of four and five mixed in). Those in daily formats will want to take note of that advantageous matchup.
One more that looks tasty for Tuesday: The Leafs, losers of five straight, get a tough road draw in Philadelphia, where the Flyers have been tough to beat. The Broad Street Bullies are over their early offensive struggles and playing like the sort of confident, borderline-playoff team I expected them to be coming into the year. They’re not without their holes, but the Leafs are all holes.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Flames (Jonas Hiller) at Devils (Cory Schneider), 7:00 PM
Canucks (Ryan Miller) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00 PM
Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 7:00 PM
Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 PM
Bruins (Tuukka Rask) at Canadiens (Mike Condon), 7:30 PM
Oilers (Anders Nilsson) at Lightning (Ben Bishop), 7:30 PM
Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) at Predators (Pekka Rinne), 8:00 PM
Stars (Antti Niemi) at Kings (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 PM
For updates on projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News for Teams Playing Tuesday
Jiri Hudler, RW (groin) – Couldn’t go over weekend; Tuesday uncertain
Lance Bouma, C (leg) – Week-to-week with laceration
New Jersey Devils
Jacob Josefson, C (lower body) – Returned to practice Monday
Kyle Palmieri, RW (undisclosed) – Skipped practice Monday, but will play Tuesday
Jon Merrill, D (upper body) – Won’t go Tuesday
Bobby Farnham, LW (suspension) – Two more games on ban
Jiri Tlusty, LW (upper body) – Has missed four straight; timeline unclear
Patrik Elias, LW (knee) – No timetable yet following surgery
Michael Cammalleri, LW (upper body) – Back at practice Monday
Brandon Sutter, C (abdomen) – Expected to return at some point on current road trip
Henrik Sedin, C (undisclosed) – Likely out through All-Star break
Dan Hamhuis, D (face) – Still three weeks away
New York Rangers
Kevin Klein, D (thumb) – Didn’t go Sunday; Tuesday status unclear
Toronto Maple Leafs
Stephane Robidas, D (knee) – No timeline
James van Riemsdyk, LW (foot) – Out 6-to-8 weeks
Nick Spaling, C (upper body) – Returned to practice Monday
Brooks Orpik, D (lower body) – Not practicing yet; skating beforehand
John Carlson, D (lower body) – Traveling with team
Braden Holtby, G (dehydration) – Left Sunday’s game; should be fine moving forward
Jay Beagle, C (hand) – Skating, but not practicing
Columbus Blue Jackets
Paul Bittner, LW (hip) – Out indefinitely
Matt Calvert, LW (knee) – Out ‘til end of month
David Savard, D (oblique) – Out four weeks
David Clarkson, RW (upper body) – Lingering on IR again with no timeline
Curtis McElhinney, G (ankle) – No timeline
Nick Foligno, LW (upper body) – Out indefinitely
Chris Kelly, RW (leg) – Remains out long-term, perhaps all year
David Krejci, C (upper body) – Returned to practice Monday
David Pastrnak, LW (upper body) – Has missed three straight; remains day-to-day
Adam McQuaid, D - McQuaid's (upper body) return to action does not appear imminent, CSN New England reports. (1/13/2016)
Carey Price, G (leg) – Skating, but return still not imminent
Tom Gilbert, D (lower body) – Expected back in about two weeks
Connor McDavid, C (collarbone) – Return expected after All-Star break
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C (hand) – Injured Monday; looks long-term
Oscar Klefbom, D (finger) – May also have leg issue
Lauri Korpikoski, LW (foot) – Won’t play Tuesday
Andrew Ference, D (undisclosed) – Lingering on IR with no timeline
Tampa Bay Lightning
Joel Vermin, RW (hand) – Out about another 2-to-4 weeks
Brian Boyle, C (undisclosed) – Couldn’t go Sunday; Tuesday status unclear
Marcus Kruger, C (wrist) – Remains out at least into April
Gabriel Bourque, LW (upper body) – Participated in practice Monday
Colin Wilson, LW (lower body) – Skated before practice Monday
Jordie Benn, D (lower body) – Landed on IR Monday
Devin Shore, C (shoulder) – Out for the year
Los Angeles Kings
Matt Greene, D (shoulder) – Done for the season
Kyle Clifford, LW (upper body) – Still not skating, but making progress
Sean Couturier, C, PHI – The fantasy world’s been catching onto Couturier’s offensive emergence slowly, so he’s still out there for the taking in a lot of leagues. He didn’t make it into the ‘Recommended Pickup’ section, but fantasy owners should recognize that the 2011 No. 8 overall pick has ripped off six goals, 13 points and a plus-12 rating over the Flyers’ last 13 games. His power-play time is on the rise, and so are his confidence and playmaking – I personally witnessed Couturier make a gorgeous pass through traffic to set up Brayden Schenn’s game-opening goal against the Rangers on Saturday. If you’re not on board, be aware that this train will leave the station without you.
Marian Hossa, RW, CHI – This has been the year that age has finally caught up to Hossa, who’s currently on his slowest scoring pace since his rookie year, way back in 1998-99. But three multi-point games in his last five have things looking up – Hossa’s racked up three goals, four assists and a plus-7 rating in that span. His production has largely coincided with the reheating of linemate Jonathan Toews, who’s been racking up the points recently, and it won’t be surprising if Hossa’s fortunes continue to be tied to those of his star center. At least he’s still clinging to that top-line role, though.
Pekka Rinne, G, NAS – Goiung into this year, no one would have excluded Rinne from a list of the NHL’s elite goalies, but it’s also awfully hard to ignore that the 33-year-old is having a pretty rough season. He’s lost 21 of his 37 starts (seven of those in overtime) and has just a .902 save mark for the season. Recent times have been particularly harsh – in his last eight starts, Rinne is 2-5-1 with a 3.43 GAA and .866 save percentage. This isn’t his first poor stretch of the year, and this whole season’s game log is dotted with subpar performances. Even generally mediocre backup Carter Hutton has better numbers, including a shutout in the Preds’ last game. Hutton could start eating into Rinne’s starts before long.
Bo Horvat, C, VAN – With Henrik Sedin (undisclosed) expected to sit through the All-Star break, even more opportunity’s knocking for Horvat, who saw his ice time spike to 21:48 in Sunday’s game after Sedin left with injury. Although he snapped his six-game point streak, Horvat’s still put up nine points in his last seven contests, so a second-line role hasn’t been unkind to him. While Jared McCann also merits a pickup because he slots in as the top-line center in Sedin’s absence, Horvat’s the one absorbing the extra power-play minutes, and a move from the second unit to the first is no small cookies. The 20-year-old is truly starting to come into his own as an NHL player.