TSN is reporting that Joni Pitkanen will be out of the Edmonton lineup for the next two weeks. They did not say why, only that he has not skated for a few days. Ladislav Smid is expected to be recalled. But expect Tom Gilbert to finally get some PP time. 

 

Bryan Berard will be out 2-4 weeks with his groin injury. Activate MA Bergeron immediately and watch him take off. 

 

I kinda saw this coming - Chris Clark has been moved back to Ovechkin's line. Needless to say - activate him now.

 

Alexander Semin will  be back in the lineup tomorrow. Tomas Fleischmann has been removed from the top two lines. He wasn't getting any power play time anyway.

 

Mike Knuble has been taken off the top line in Philly in favor of Joffrey Lupul. Knuble will take over Lupul's spot on the second line. Great news for Lupul owners, as he will now play with Briere and Gagne - linemates don't get better than that. 

 

Bruce Garrioch, the king of the trade rumor, is reporting that Ottawa is at the top of the list for Peter Forsberg and that he will only play for either Colorado or the Sens. Although, Detroit, Vancouver and Philadelphia have a shot. Whereever he plays, team doctors will be able to really hone their skills.

 

Sean Avery (separated shoulder) skated on his own for the first time in a while but still is at least two weeks away.

 

The Islanders are awaiting additional tests and will make an announcement today on how long power-play quarterback Bryan Berard will be out with a groin injury.

 

Brent Sutter is unhappy with the play of Elias and Gionta and has publicly challenged them. He even benched Elias for a couple of shifts last contest. Look for them to respond.

 

After giving up three goals on 18 shots, Miikka Kiprusoff was yanked in favor of Curtis McElhinney, who got into his first NHL contest. From that point on, however, McElhinney saw little action - one shot in the final three minutes of the second and one shot in the entire third period (which he let in).

 

Eric Nystrom was recallled and played last night for the Flames. He is not a fantasy factor. 

 

Mike Grier left last night's contest with a groin injury.

 

Jarome Iginla has 10 points in his last five games. Owen Nolan has just one point this season.

 

To better balance the scoring in Anaheim, Chris Kunitz has been removed from Getzlaf and Perry's line and plunked on Andy McDonald's wing.

 

Atlanta will completely rejig their lines for tonight's game, including splitting Hossa and Kozlov for the first time all year. Kovalchuk will play with White and Perrin, Hossa will play with Little and Sterling, Kozlov will play with Holik and Dupuis. This arrangement hurts Kozlov and Haydar and helps Little and Sterling.

 

Another tough one for Manny Fernandez - six goals allowed on 20 shots. Wow. Meanwhile, Tim Thomas leads the league in several categories.

 

Despite reports from the Vancouver Province and Canadian Press that say otherwise, the Bruins have not made a final decision to keep Milan Lucic with the club for more than nine games. General manager Peter Chiarelli said Lucic will play nine games, then the Bruins will decide the 19-year-old's future.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks are in talks to begin televising home games starting as early as November. I told you this would happen when Bill Wirtz passed away.

 

Roberto Luongo has lost three games in a row.

 

Rene Bourque was in practice yesterday and will return to the Chicago lineup tonight. His return has allowed the Toews, Kane and Ruutu line to be reunited.

 

Look for a big game from Ryan Smyth, who returns to Edmonton tonight for the first time.

 

Interested in seeing Columbus' lines for tonight's game? Click here.

 

Fredrik Norrena will start tonight for the Jackets. Fredrik Modin has yet to even skate for the team in practice, his groin injury is still a big problem.

 

From the Detroit Free Press: It likely would take a handful of injuries for Igor Grigorenko to win a job in Detroit. "We've had four or five weeks evaluating him, and certainly he hasn't wowed us," Holland said. "Speed is a real question and a real concern. He's been average." Grigorenko was recalled... basically because he informed the team he would no longer play for Grand Rapids. Things are winding down for Grigs and the NHL. Bail on him now, if you haven't already.

 

Kamil Kreps has been recalled to replace David Booth in the Florida lineup. Booth crashed headfirst into the boards on the weekend and has a sore neck. 

 

The Ottawa Sun is at it again. The leading newspaper for trade rumors has upset the LA Kings organization with talk that Frolov and/or Brown are available in exchange for a goalie. The Kings deny this - and I agree. From what I have seen, the price for a goaltender is rarely a top-notch, proven NHL player. The price is usually a decent prospect and a package of draft picks. Brown and Frolov are going nowhere.

 

Jason Labarbera will get his second consecutive start tonight.

 

Alexander Frolov has been plagued by a groin injury this season, which has limited his points. A rebuilding keeper league team may want to kick some tires with a Frolov owner, just to see how cheap you can get him.

 

Pavol Demitra, who strained his right adductor muscle (a muscle in the hip) Sunday against the Avs, was walking better Monday, though he did not take part in the optional practice. Demitra is listed as day-to-day and will accompany the team on the road trip, though it's not clear if he will play Wednesday.

 

Dominic Moore (abdominal strain) has not yet skated and will not go on the trip.
 

Blues forward Petr Cajanek, not happy with playing in Peoria, is apparently off to Russia. 

 

Andrei Kostitsyn was a healthy scratch for the second straight contest last night. Given how well the Habs played, I doubt he will get back in the lineup next game either.

 

Nashville coach Barry Trotz has rejigged his lines. Gelinas will play with Arnott and Dumont, Fiddler with Bonk and Ortmeyer. Radulov will stay with Legwand and Erat, as that line has been the only one that has looked good lately. 

 

 

 


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