The Stars have fired GM Doug Armstrong. This puts Tippett on the hotseat, which may down the road lead to a change in the team's defense-first philosophy. Stay tuned. 

 

The Mercury News reports Sharks LW Milan Michalek left Monday's game against Phoenix because of an elbow strain after only one shift. He was hit along the boards by Phoenix's Shane Doan and did not return. His status is not known. Guess in my "buy low" scenario outlined below he is even lower than I thought.

 

Eric Perrin has 10 points in his last nine games. He has an offensive background and his surprising production could continue given the lack of depth up front in Atlanta. A dark horse.

 

Johan Hedberg will get the start tonight. 

 

Tom Preissing was a healthy scratch last night for the Kings. With Stuart, Johnson, Visnovsky and Blake ahead of him on the PP depth chart, it's time to bail on him.

 

Mike Smith had some dental work done and will not dress for tomorrow's contest. Marty Turco will get the nod yet again.

 

The struggling Lee Stempniak (eight points) was placed on a line with Doug Weight and David Perron in practice.

 

Joe Thornton's big game last night (three points) rubbed off on the slumping Marleau (two points) and Cheechoo (one point). The Shark forwards did not wake up until December last year, so perhaps this is what is happening again.

 

Milan Michalek has now gone six games without a point. If you remember from my fantasy guide, he tends to go through prolonged slumps and so he is a 'buy low' candidate.

 

Martin Erat picked up four points last night and showing that last season was not a fluke.

 

Chris Mason stopped 29 of 30 shots and added an assist, making him 3-0-1 with a .945 SV% of late. Now don't the panicking poolies who bailed on him and grabbed Dan Ellis look stupid?

 

David Vyborny finally scored his first goal of the season last night.

 

With Columbus not playing in back-to-back games until after Christmas, Ken Hitchcock has gone on record as saying that Pascal Leclaire will get the lion's share of the starts - it would not surprise me if he played all of them until then.

 

Sergei Zubov has nine points in his last six games and that hot streak will likely continue for another week or two yet - he tends to have those.

 

Daymond Langkow was back in practice yesterday, despite being diagnosed with a concussion. The Calgary Herald is indicating that he could play tonight, but that would surprise me.

 

Brent Burns has five assists in his last five games for the Wild.

 

Marian Gaborik is questionable for tonight's contest (again).

 

Todd Bertuzzi update: still feeling dizziness, do not expect back this month.

 

The Ducks have suspended rearguard Maxim Kondratiev for not reporting to the AHL. He is considering a contract from an RSL team.

 

SPECTOR is reporting that David Aebischer has received a contract off from Yaroslav of the RSL.

 

The world is righting itself again - as I noted above, Mason is back winning again...but also Roberto Luongo is 2-0-0, 1.48 and .942 in his last two games, and Evgeni Nabokov has been even better than that! Meanwhile, Dan Ellis and Pascal Leclaire have lost their last two starts.

 

In related news, thanks to Mason starting to roll, as well as Jose Theodore, my Expert League team has jumped up to fourth place.

 

Erik Cole was carried off the ice last night on a stretcher after being hit from behind and slammed head first into Tomas Vokoun's goalpads. A CT scan was negative, but he is experiencing pain in his upper back and shoulder region. No further word beyond that.

 

Carey Price will get the start tonight against the Leafs.

 

Fernando Pisani skated with teammates yesterday and plans to return to the lineup this season. He has gained back much of the weight that he lost in the summer.

 

Georges Laraque's brutal giveaway last night will likely see him a healthy scratch next game. Colby Armstrong will likely draw back in.

 

Pittsburgh line combos: Crosby, with Sykora and Malone (who impresses me less and less with every game), Malkin with Staal and Recchi, Christensen with Roberts and Hall, Talbot with Ruutu and Laraque.

 

Bill Guerin missed last night's contest with that facial injury I told you about yesterday. Sean Bergenheim was back in the lineup and played 11:05 with no PP time.

 

MA Bergeron was a minus-2 last night, which will keep him on thin ice with coach Ted Nolan.

 

Vesa Toskala has an illness and the Leafs recalled Scott Clemmensen. It is likely that Raycroft will get the start tonight anyway.
 


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