There is lots of WJC coverage coming up. Sorry we are late with this. With some holiday schedule conflicts along with untimely illnesses, what we thought we could get done actually didn't get done. But Mr. Angus is on the scene now and will pick up the slack. Look for a WJC column from Angus within the next 12 hours. Had my family not been wiped off the face of the Earth all week last week (daughter and wife were incredibly sick for a few days, and I wasn't exactly in tip-top shape myself), things would have been different. Man, that was one of the toughest weeks I've ever had in my short tenure as a father! But we're all healthy now, and I'm getting caught up.
The Coyotes have recalled Brett MacLean. It's about time! I hope he gets a decent opportunity. Worth watching for.
UPDATE: Toews will be out for two weeks (@TimSassone)
Jonathan Toews left last night's contest with what looked like a shoulder injury.
It looks like Kimmo Timonen is on the shelf with an undisclosed injury. It's time to pick up Matt Carle (or even Meszaros) off the wire, and roll the dice that Timonen is, indeed hurt (the Flyers are not saying.
Joni Pitkanen and Jussi Jokinen will miss tonight's contest with UBI and LBI respectively, according to 620AM in Raleigh. Bryan Rodney and Jon Matsumoto have been recalled.
The Leafs have sent Nazem Kadri back to the Marlies.
Nashville has claimed Marek Svatos off of waivers. Apparently, they didn't see my note this morning ;). Actually, the alternative for them was Chris Mueller, who is not an NHL-caliber player, so they need this move until some of their players return. When their players return, Svatos will probably be placed on waivers again, and I'm sure St. Louis will claim him at that point.
TJ Oshie is targeting late January for his return to the lineup. The broken ankle was supposed to take him out well into February, but he's progressing well.
Steve Downie could practice hard with teammates as early as this weekend and could be back in the lineup a week from now.
Ales Hemsky picked up an assist in his return to the Edmonton lineup last night. Glad to see that Linus Omark remains with the big club, and saw secondary PP time.
EDM line combos: Cogliano with Hemsky and Penner; Gagner with Hall and Eberle; Fraser with Jones and Paajarvi; O'Marra with Omark and Jacques
Mike Comrie has undergone hip surgery and will be out for the rest of the regular season. The Band-Aid Boy has probably burned his last chance at turning around what was once a promising career.
Brian Rolston has been assigned to the AHL and then placed on re-entry waivers, thereby offering him to teams for half price. We'll know shortly if that gets any bites.
My impressions of the Team Canada prospects? Zach Kassian was the best player on the team. That is, until he was given the boot for a phantom head shot. He played a hardnosed, yet skilled game and was Canada's most dangerous player. Sure, Brayden Schenn ended with five points, which is nothing to sneeze at. But had Kassian finished the game I'm sure he would have had two or three. As a power forward, Kassian is looking at three or four years before any kind of impact at the NHL level. For most teams. But for Buffalo, a team that needs guys like him, he could probably make the jump in the fall and after two years of development at the NHL level he could start helping you fantasy squad by 2013.
As I noted above, Schenn tallied five points and showed the "first liner" skills that I was looking for in Game 1. Is this because the Czech team was so bad? We'll know by the end of the tournament. Jaden Schwartz also impressed me. Still waiting for Ryan Johansen to make a statement. And, let's see, Olivier Roy - saw little action and didn't show me that he was a game stealer. Another weak goal. Two games in and I'm hoping they turn to Mark Visentin.
Marty Turco got the start because Corey Crawford was ill, and Turco actually turned in a good performance in the 3-1 loss.
Patrick Kane was back in the lineup, but he was pointless and a minus-2 in about 20 minutes of ice time.
Despite six goals, Evgeni Malkin wasn't in on any of them. Crosby, however, was in on four.
Chris Kunitz has 12 points in his last 10 games.
What worries me about Anthony Stewart, besides his history of getting injured a lot, is this - under 13 minutes of ice time last night. He has yet to be treated like a top sixer this year and has 24 points despite that.
Patrice Cormier was pointless and minus-1 in his NHL debut for the Thrashers.
I'll have analysis up on the Wisniewski trade later today.
Mike Green saw 11:49 of power-play ice time against the Habs last night
Something to keep an eye on - Eric Fehr has taken 17 shots in the last three games and he has three points in that span. I think he's worth a gamble, as he's shown in the past that he can run some pretty good hot streaks.
With this kind of effort, he's bound to break out of his slump: FOURTEEN SHOTS on goal last night for Patric Hornqvist. He needs one to go in off someone's ass, or something fluky like that to open the floodgates.
Pekka Rinne has allowed a respectable seven goals in three games since his return, but has lost all three of them.
Parros vs. Bissonnette