The Caps picked up some speed and checking in Jason Chimera and sent Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina to the Blue Jackets. The deal opens up a spot for Alzner to be on the team full time. The Jackets, meanwhile, will benefit from Clark's stabalizing presence and the depth offered by Jurcina. Good deal all around, though not the crazy deal us fanatics were hoping for. The Caps save $2.4 million in cap space with the deal - prepping for a big trade deadline?
Vinny Prospal underwent knee surgery and will be out 10-20 days. I'm sure the Rangers will recall Parenteau, though I'd like to think that it would be Grachev, since they didn't let him go to the WJC.
Brian Gionta will be back in the MTL lineup tonight. It will be interesting to see if AK's role will be decreased or if they'll keep playing him and he keeps rolling.
Twitter is all abuzz with a potential Caps-Jackets trade. Names like Filatov, Alzner, Jurcina, Torres, Chimera, Morrisson have all surfaced. This is just banter, but it's banter from the likes of McKenzie, Freidman, Portzline, Pagnotta, JP, etc.
David Clarkson was activated from IR by the Devils and he will be in the lineup tonight. He is still a reasonable bet for 45 points and 120 PIM, despite missing 13 games.
Derek Morris was eased back into the Boston lineup last night, seeing just under 18 minutes of ice time and just a minute on the PP. Wideman was still up around 23 minutes. Perhaps Wideman played well enough in Morris' absence to take his role back, but I wouldn't count on that. Look for Wideman to slip back down into his rut over the next couple of games.
Nick Tarnasky got into his first game of the season for Florida and it gave DeBoer the wiggle room to scratch Rusty Olesz, who has the flu. Olesz followed up on a three-point game with three consecutive pointless games.
Some interesting quotes reported by Tarik El Bashir from Brooks Laich, who has one goal in his last 17 games: "To be honest, I'm playing like [crap]," said Laich, who has spent the past three games at center rather than left wing, the position he's played most often over the past two seasons. "I'm just not doing the things I usually do. The chances aren't coming. I'm trying to work through it, but sometimes it goes like this. Personally, my job is to produce goals and points and I haven't done it. It's not good enough to just work hard. I have to be better." Boudreau said he talked to Laich again this morning about relaxing. Laich takes losses and poor performances harder than just about anyone on the team (other than Mike Green).
Michal Neuvirth has won three straight starts and has posted a 1.67 and 0.946 in that span. All three goalies are being considered to start. They really don't need Theodore, it's never been more true than it is now.
Chuck Kobasew's knee injury is not looking promising. Michael Russo says that he will have an MRI today, but look for an extended absence from the lineup.
Petr Sykora can take contact in practice now and he travelled with the team to LA. Sykora has been out for nearly two months with a concussion.
The Pens scratched Tyler Kennedy last night, after he went 12 games without a point.
Goligoski's assist last night was just his second point in eight games since returning from injury.
Letang has just two points in 12 games.
Am I seeing things? Is Tomas Plekanec eighth in the entire league in points with 44?
Erik Johnson has gone eight games without a point.
Give Michael Leighton three wins in a row and he has stopped 95 of 102 shots in that span. This would have been Brian Boucher, were it not for that finger injury. Now Leighton is getting all the W's and he will continue to do so as the Flyers get the mojo back. Pick up Leighton now, if you haven't already.
John Tavares has one point in his last eight games. It's the worst slump of his young career and if you are in a one-year league you may want to make a pitch for him - I can't see his slump lasting for much longer.
Matt Moulson is in the same boat - one point in eight games. When JT turns it around, MM will turn it around.
After going eight games without a point, Scott Hartnell has three in his last two games and seems to have turned the corner.
Dominic Moore has nine points in his last 13 games, which is nearly a 60-point pace. He's showing a bit of that touch he showed in Toronto and until the likes of Stillman and Booth get back into the lineup, I think he'll continue such a pace.
Despite being scratched once, Cody Franson has five points in his last five games. at 22, he's already starting to get the hang of the NHL game and will be one to watch for next season.
I only caught the third period of this one, but I thought Mike Rupp - again - looked real good on a line with Crosby and Malkin. His hands are actually keeping up with them. I think Coach Bylsma will continue to occasionally use him there when they need a goal - stick him with the two guns and then have Staal and Kunitz lead any secondary scoring. Rupp already has a career high in goals and points now, and I think he'll get 20 and 30 this year.
With two goals last night, Alex Steen has seven points in his last five games. He's streaky, but for now he's a decent option as a depth winger.
Ian White has seen over 24 minutes of ice time in each of the last five games as he is starting to get more respect in Toronto. He has four points in that span. I'm starting to think that he'll top 45 this season. His plus-9 leads the team by far.
Midseason Guide - order here - I just realized is set for a Saturday release (January 9). I will do what I can to get that sucker out on Friday afternoon - the 8th. Perhaps as a pre-release and then re-release it January 9 upon completion.
Mason Raymond has 28 points in his last 30 contests after his first career hat trick last night.
Speaking of Raymond - check out his second goal of the night. Kipper didn't even know the puck was on its way towards him! Crazy goal...