Attention fantasy owners: Before you hit the shops with aspirations of snagging a five-dollar iPod or 50-cent waffle-maker, set your lineups. We’ve got morning hockey (Winnipeg Jets vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 11:30 Eastern). Otherwise, here are a few NHL bits and bobs to distract from the physiological aftermath of yesterday’s indulgences ...
The Calgary Flames will have to manage without two of their better players for the foreseeable future. While rookie forward Sean Monahan is listed as week-to-week with a fractured foot, defenseman Dennis Wideman is sidelined for six to eight weeks with a broken hand. Look for T.J. Brodie and Kris Russell to pick up more of the offensive slack on the back end, at least until Mark Giordano (broken ankle) is ready to return (next week, maybe).
Goalie Justin Peters of the Carolina Hurricanes is making a case for himself to be considered top backup to Cam Ward, even once Anton Khudobin (lower body) is healthy. It’s hard to argue with Peters’ .920 save percentage and 2.49 goals-against average.
Mucking about with his forward lines, Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy is promoting winger Cody McLeod to the top trio with Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly. Also, enforcer Patrick Bordeleau is expected to skate on a third line with John Mitchell and Maxime Talbot. Interesting, but these changes don’t smell all that permanent.
Claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres, forward Corey Tropp is expected to make his debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday against the Edmonton Oilers. Tropp will likely skate with fellow fourth-liners Michael Chaput and Jack Skille.
With Mikael Granlund on the injured shelf (suspected concussion), the head coach of the Minnesota Wild is going to give Justin Fontaine a go at center on the second line. Ahead of Friday’s match against the Colorado Avalanche, Fontaine is pencilled in to skate between wingers Jason Pominville and Nino Niederreiter. Zach Parise and his rapidly healing foot is expected to return to compete on the top line with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle.
From where we’re sitting, it appears as though Pavel Datsyuk is suffering from a concussion. On the upside for the Detroit Red Wings, the superstar forward is feeling better. A return next week isn’t out of the question.
The Ottawa Senators’ blue line stinks. So much so, Patrick Wiercioch and Jared Cowen – thought to the Senators’ future on the back end – were both healthy scratches for Thursday’s tilt with the Vancouver Canucks. Anticipate a trade bringing defensive help to Ottawa, sooner rather later.
The New York Islanders are opting to have defenseman Calvin de Haan in their lineup over Matt Donovan – promoting the former and demoting the latter. De Haan is pegged to make his season debut for the Islanders against the Red Wings Friday.
Defenseman Dan Boyle isn’t quite ready to forgive forward Maxim Lapierre for crushing his head in mid-October. This comes up because the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues play each other Friday afternoon. At best, Lapierre can expect to hear it from the San Jose faithful in attendance. At best.
If you’re trying to figure out the upcoming goaltending schedule for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun figures James Reimer will go against the Sabres Friday, and Jonathan Bernier will face the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Sounds about right.
After playing decently against the Senators Thursday, underperforming forward David Booth of the Vancouver Canucks seems to be slowly inching out of John Tortorella’s doghouse. Baby steps, but better than the alternative.
Star defenseman Shea Weber is hurt. The captain of the Nashville Predators is listed as day-to-day after taking a puck to the face during Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Presumably Kevin Klein will join Roman Josi in the Predators' top pairing if Weber is to miss any time.