Sidney Crosby will miss at least the next week (three games) with his sore ankle.

 

Mats Sundin has been downgraded from probable to questionable for Saturday. 

 

The Blues' signed goaltending prospect Ben Bishop to an amateur contract with Peoria. Bishop will forego his final year at the University of Maine. He is 6-7, and the team is very high on him. I would not be surprised if he was the backup next season, as Schwarz, Riksman and Toivonen tumble down the depth chart. Bishop shoots into the Top 50 on my goalie list with this news.

 

The Montreal Gazette is reporting that Alexei Yashin is hoping to return to the NHL next year. The 34-year-old is having a strong season in the RSL with 43 points in 56 contests (Alexei Morozov has 63 in 57). I have heard that Team Russia is not inviting him to play for them at the Worlds, so I can't imagine him flourishing in the NHL next year. Even if he returns, his upside is 65 at the very most.

 

Ryan Smyth did not return to action last night after all, but is almost certain to be back on Saturday.

 

Ruslan Salei was back in the Avs lineup.

 

David Jones, ranked 165 on my Fantasy Prospects list, has four points in his last two games, saw 15 minutes of ice time and was on the top power play. His minutes were similar to Paul Stastny's and he saw more PP time than Stastny. A ninth round pick in 2003, Jones has 70 point upside and this latest development shoots him into my Top 100 prospects in the next update. He will also crack the Top 300 on the main list.

 

Patrik Elias took a shot off his kneecap in OT last night and was limping after the game. It sounds like it is just a deep bruise and he should be able to play Saturday.

 

Fredrik Modin will be back in the Columbus lineup tonight.

 

Keith Tkachuk is hoping to play tonight. He will be a game time decision.

 

Ben Eager and Brent Sopel are targeting a Sunday return to action.

 

Mattias Ohlund had knee surgery yesterday to remove bone chips. He will be out for the rest of the regular season, but should be back for the playoffs.

 

Jeff Halpern left last night's contest with a strained back. He has 10 points in nine games for his new team in TB.

 

Erik Ersberg stopped 37 of 38 shots as the Kings continue with their strong goaltending of late. It looks like he and Cloutier will take turns until the season is complete.

 

Zubov update: he will remain off the ice for one more week before being allowed to skate.

 

Patrice Bergeron is skating hard and feeling fine, but will undergo some tests soon to determine when he can start taking contact.

 

Darren Helm, ranked 243 on my fantasy prospects list, played his first NHL game yesterday. He played just seven minutes. He is ranked as low as he is because his upside is minimal - perhaps 55 points.

 

The Tribune is speculating that Benoit Pouliot will be recalled today, after Steve Kelly injured his leg last night. Pouliot has tumbled to 40th on my fantasy prospects list and needs to step up next season and post stronger AHL numbers if he wants to hang onto a top 50 spot.

 

Daniel Alfredsson was a surprise return to the Ottawa lineup last night. He played 18:55.

 

Dan Hamhuis missed yesterday's contest with a leg injury.

 

Georges Laraque has been suspended 3 games for his elbow on Buffalo's Nathan Paetsch. Paetsch is out indefinitely with a concussion.

 

Detroit forward Kris Draper will be sidelined for the next several days with a small tear in his groin.

 

The much ballyhooed "Chris Pronger Stomp". I say deliberate, you be the judge:
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrklYVfGuJg]
 


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