My article on Milan Lucic is up on THN now. 

 

Michel Ouellet left last night's contest with a shoulder injury. He had three points in his last four games prior to the injury. 

 

Pittsburgh prospect Angelo Esposito was among Team Canada's cuts yesterday. Join the discussion and get the latest WJC updates here

 

Erik Christensen was a healthy scratch last night. 

 

Johan Holmqvist was pulled from his second straight start, giving up four goals on just six shots. Denis wasn't much better giving up five goals on 26 shots, but at least Denis won his last start. Marc Denis may be sneaking back into the No.1 picture...

 

Manny Legace was back in the lineup and gave up just one goal on 25 shots.

 

Still with goaltenders, Carey Price stopped 29 of 30 shots for a win over the red-hot Flyers. That's the game the youngster needed, but it looks as though Huet will return for Saturday's game. Price has faced 30 or more shots in four of the five games he has started since Huet went down.

 

Randy Carlyle says "it's a secret" when asked if Niedermayer will make his season debut tonight. It will be today or Sunday though, most experts think.

 

Bryan Berard was a healthy scratch.

 

Bill Guerin has been slowly waking up from his slumber, with three goals and an assist in his last five games. Look for 35 to 40 more points the rest of the way, finishing with 50-55.

 

Two more assists for 22-year-old Robert Nilsson and suddenly he has 14 points in 25 games and looks like a decent fantasy option. He has an eight-game point streak going (two goals and seven assists).

 

Brian McGratton left last night's game with a shoulder injury after a fight with Georges Laraque.

 

Marco Sturm was back in the lineup yesterday.

 

Jordan Leopold played just nine minutes in his return to the lineup. He didn't see any power play time.

 

With the return of Ian Laperriere, the Avs scratched rookie TJ Hensick. He will likely be sent back down soon. But look out for next year. Calder candidate.

 

Jeff Tambellini was sent down to Bridgeport.

 

Martin Rucinsky was back in the St.Louis lineup last night.

 

Martin Erat (neck) will likely not play Saturday either. He missed last night's contest.

 

The Wild have been hit with the flu bug, with such players as Gaborik, Schultz, Sheppard, Voros and Belanger getting hit. None of them made it through practice yesterday, so tonight's game may not be their greatest.

 

Alexander Frolov will likely return on Saturday. Jason Labarbera will not.

 

Chicago forward Jason Williams (groin) will be out for at least another week. He's not even skating right now.

 

Alexei Zhitnik has just two points and is a minus-13 this season. How he went from a hero late last season (and a prolific producer in Atlanta) to being an absolute dog this year is beyond me. I had him down for his best year in a decade in the pool guide. Well, when you're right 52% of the time...

 

There are serious rumors that Columbus and Boston have been talking trade a lot lately. Not sure what the topic is, but it is well known that the Bruins are interested in Rostislav Klesla.

 

Scott Walker has been suspended for one game for his head butt on Mike Fisher Wednesday.

 

Eric Staal has just three goals and is a minus-6 in his last 15 games. He is aware of the hard times and plans to be more aggressive. He has not been the first star in a game this year.

 

The Panthers have signed junior standout Shaun Matthias to a three-year entry level deal. I wouldn't expect him in the league next year, and he will be brought in slowly. Power forwards don't hit their stride until they are at least 25. But he'll be a great fantasy player.

 

Michal Handzus has five points in his last five games and is finally playing the way poolies expected him to.

 

Patrick Kane will play in his hometown Buffalo for the first time tomorrow, so expect a big game.

 

Ryan Kesler missed yesterday's game with the flu.

 

Matt Carle was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

 

As I noted yesterday afternoon, Michael Nylander will be back in the lineup. It turns out that it was his shoulder that kept him out. The NHL is looking into Washington's conduct and may fine the team for their lack of disclosure.

 

Chris Mason allowed two goals on 32 shots and took the loss. Curtis Sanford allowed three goals on 12 shots, got the hook and took the loss. You know, when it comes to making decisions on my goaltenders in the expert league... I'm just going to do the opposite of what I feel is right (see yesterday's ramblings for my decision to dress Sanford over Mason). Anything to do with Mason or Marty Turco - you should probably do the opposite of what I say too. I can't get anything right with those two and they're costing me the expert league.

 

A DobberHockey feature that some of you may not know about is the updated line combos found here . With several people working on these every few days, you won't find a better source...

 


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