Tuesday Daily Puck: Is The Magician Losing His Prestige?

Tuesday Daily Puck: Is The Magician Losing His Prestige?

This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.

Around the Rink

Okay, so maybe this is anecdotal, but it's an anecdote I seem to see again and again and again in the NHL, somehow to a greater degree than other sports: You can fairly reliably count on guys scoring goals against their old teams, especially in their first game against them since being traded or signing that new contract or being plucked off waivers or what have you.

So I wasn't really surprised to see Ryan Callahan score two goals as part of the Lightning rolling up my Rangers on Monday night. In fact, I pretty much came into the game expecting him to score two goals, since he hadn't done it all year. He did not disappoint.

But hey, at least Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle got held off the board in their own first games against the Rangers since departing.

"Wait," you're saying, finger jabbing toward the Page Down button to eviscerate me for my totally anecdotal, not at all stat-based conclusion. Well, I say to you: No, you wait. Because for one, Boyle and Stralman didn't have the kind of ties to the Rangers organization that Callahan did, having been the team's captain for years. But more importantly, because Martin St. Louis, playing in his first game against the Lightning since Jan. 8, 2000, when he was a member of the Calgary Flames (did you even remember that he played for them? I'd totally forgotten), scored the Rangers' only goal as they got downed 5-1. And that means my anecdotal conclusion is 100 percent half true. At least today.

Let's move along.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

Blues (Brian Elliott) at Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 7:00 PM
Lightning (Evgeni Nabokov) at Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 7:00 PM
Red Wings (Jimmy Howard) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 PM
Sharks (Antti Niemi) at Sabres (Michal Neuvirth), 7:30 PM
Predators (Pekka Rinne) at Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:30 PM
Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:30 PM
Devils (Cory Schneider) at Jets (Ondrej Pavelec), 8:00 PM
Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at Stars (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30 PM
Ducks (Frederik Andersen) at Flames (Jonas Hiller), 9:00 PM
Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Coyotes (Mike Smith), 9:00 PM
Panthers (Roberto Luongo) at Kings (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 PM

For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.

Injury News For Teams Playing Tuesday

Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara, D (knee) – Still without a timetable
David Krejci, C (lower body) – Practiced Monday; possible for Tuesday
Brad Marchand, LW (undisclosed) – Probable for Tuesday's game
David Warsofsky, D (groin) – Out 'til about Thanksgiving
Kevan Miller, D (upper body) – Cleared to play; game-time call Tuesday

Tampa Bay Lightning
Victor Hedman, D (hand) – Remains out, potentially into December
Brett Connolly, RW (lower body) – Skating and participating in drills, but return unkown

New York Islanders
Eric Boulton, LW (undisclosed) – Doesn't even seem like he's really hurt, but on IR
Matt Carkner, D (back) – Out for the year
Michael Grabner, RW (hernia) – Practiced fully Monday
Cal Clutterbuck, RW (lower body) – Also a full practice participant Monday

Detroit Red Wings
Jonas Gustavsson, G (shoulder) – Out into the new year
Stephen Weiss, C (groin) – Will play AHL rehab game this weekend, then return
Pavel Datsyuk, C (groin) – Questionable for Tuesday's game

Columbus Blue Jackets
Nathan Horton, RW (back) – Could need career-ending surgery
Fedor Tyutin, D (knee) – Out 4-6 weeks with sprain
Brandon Dubinsky, C (abdomen) – Has had a setback; week-to-week
Jack Skille, RW (head) – Practiced with the team Monday
Mark Letestu, C (groin) – Also had a setback; no timeline
Matt Calvert, LW (upper body) – Practiced Monday
Ryan Johansen, C (undisclosed) – Questionable for Tuesday
Ryan Murray, D (knee) – Won't need surgery

San Jose Sharks
Alex Stalock, G (knee) – Out 2-4 weeks following minor surgery

Buffalo Sabres
Josh Gorges, D (knee) – Will be out multiple weeks

Nashville Predators
Viktor Stalberg, LW (knee) – Remains out indefinitely
Mike Fisher, C (Achilles) – Lingering on IR all season to this point

Toronto Maple Leafs
Brandon Kozun, RW (ankle) – Skated before practice last week; no word since
Joffrey Lupul, LW (hand) – Didn't practice Monday
David Booth, LW (foot) – Practiced fully Monday, but may not be ready Tuesday
Carter Ashton, RW (suspension) – 14 games to go

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pascal Dupuis, RW (undisclosed) – Will not play Tuesday
Olli Maatta, D (neck) – Game-time call Tuesday

Montreal Canadiens
Michael Bournival, C (shoulder) – Skated before practice Saturday

New Jersey Devils
Bryce Salvador, D (lower body) – Placed on IR
Ryane Clowe, LW (head) – Out indefinitely with possible concussion
Jon Merrill, D (arm) – Will not play in Tuesday's game
Adam Henrique, C (lower body) – Could go Tuesday

Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, C (lower body) – Left Sunday's game; Tuesday status unknown

Carolina Hurricanes
Alexander Semin, LW (upper body) – Didn't play Saturday or Sunday
Jay Harrison, D (lower body) – Could play Tuesday
Jordan Staal, C (broken leg) – Out into 2015

Dallas Stars
Valeri Nichushkin, LW (hip) – Out four months after surgery
Patrick Eaves, RW (lower body) – Held out by minor injury over weekend

Anaheim Ducks
Francois Beauchemin, D (illness) – Aiming to return to the ice Thursday
Dany Heatley, LW (groin) – Hit IR on Friday
Tim Jackman, RW (illness) – Didn't go Sunday, but seems likely for Tuesday
Ben Lovejoy, D (finger) – Out another 3-5 weeks
Devante Smith-Pelly, RW (upper body) – Skating; first eligible to return Thursday
John Gibson, G (groin) – No tear, but still out 'til late December
William Karlsson, C (illness) – Has the flu; questionable for Tuesday

Calgary Flames
Michael Ferland, LW (concussion) – Could return Tuesday if conditioning is up to par
Mason Raymond, LW (upper body) – Skating, but still week-to-week
David Jones, RW (upper body) – Did not practice Monday
Mikael Backlund, C (abdomen) – Week-to-week
Joe Colborne, C (wrist) – Skating, but still not practicing

Washington Capitals
John Erskine, D (neck) – Remains out into December after neck surgery
Brooks Laich, C (shoulder) – Practiced with the team Monday
Dmitry Orlov, D (wrist) – Also practiced Monday
Aaron Volpatti, LW (neck) – Another one back at practice Monday
Liam O'Brien, C (lower body) – Yep, another who practiced Monday

Arizona Coyotes
David Moss, RW (upper body) – Practicing without contact

Florida Panthers
Sean Bergenheim, LW (lower body) – Has missed seven straight; return unknown
Dave Bolland, C (groin) – Traveling with the team
Dmitry Kulikov, D (knee) – Practiced with the team Monday
Brandon Pirri, C (concussion) – Skating, but not back at practice

Los Angeles Kings
Alec Martinez, D (finger) – Only expected to miss one week
Slava Voynov, D (suspension) – Remains in limbo until at least Dec. 1 court date


Jake Muzzin, D, LA – Muzzin's season can very neatly be broken into three parts. He sat out the first six games with an undisclosed injury. Then he quietly went scoreless with a minus-4 rating over the next seven. And then came Part 3 – an out-of-nowhere five-game stretch in which the 25-year-old blueliner has racked up a goal and six assists. He's seen his minutes ramp up to top-pairing status, and though he's not known for his offense – just 24 points last year – Muzzin is only in his third full NHL season and has a point-per-game junior campaign back in 2009-10 to his credit. So while this hot streak won't last, it wouldn't be surprising to see Muzzin end up with a whole new set of career-high stats by the time this campaign is over.

Devan Dubnyk, G, ARI – As he's widely available, this could be one for the recommended pickup section as well, but for now, let's just call Dubnyk hot. He followed up last week's road shutout of the Canucks with a 33-save road win over Edmonton, and that's enough to get a goalie controversy brewing in Arizona (I still can't get used to not calling it Phoenix). Mike Smith has been simply awful, as he owns a 4-9 record, .889 save percentage and 3.43 GAA, so the Coyotes have some incentive to roll with the hot hand in Dubnyk. If Smith doesn't turn in a good performance against the Capitals on Tuesday, it wouldn't be surprising to see him ride the bench a lot more in the near future, with Dubnyk snapping up those opportunities.


Pavel Datsyuk, C, DET – It's painful to put Datsyuk's name under the 'Cold' banner, but unfortunately, that's just what he is. Injuries have kept The Magician down lately, with a groin ailment the latest to put his status in question. He played through it over the weekend, but may have aggravated it and clearly was not himself – Datsyuk now has just a lonely assist over his last four games, with a two-game absence in the middle there. At this point in his career, he unfortunately can't be counted on to play more than about 50 games in a season. They'll generally be much more productive games than these last few, but even that's going to fade, perhaps sooner than later, as his injury woes catch up to him.

Torey Krug, D, BOS – Krug has yet to get back in the swing of things in four scoreless games following a four-game absence due to a broken finger, and it's worth wondering whether that finger is still hindering his shooting ability. He's got just six shots in those four games, well off the pace of the 29 shots he fired over 11 games to start the year. Krug will round into form in time, but if you've got other quality options, it may be a good idea to let him heal up and warm up on your bench.

Recommended Pickup
Nino Niederreiter, RW, MIN – When you've got the kind of talent that El Nino brings to bear, it doesn't take too many signs of life to put you on the fantasy radar. So while the Swiss winger has only a fairly modest 10 points in 17 games this year, he's definitely got our attention – eight of those points have been goals, and four of those have come in the last three games. He's been seeing his average ice time rise lately and has played heavily on the power play, where he's delivered three goals this year. Let's not forget that before the Isles jerked him around and damaged his development, Niederreiter was the No. 5 overall pick in 2010. He can still grow into the star status that pick portended, but don't expect a massive breakout right now – not while he's still stuck behind the Wild's top four wingers. Still, he should easily clear 20 goals for the first time this year.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Andrew Fiorentino
Managing hockey editor, talent wrangler, football columnist, FSWA's 2015 fantasy hockey writer of the year. Twitter: @akfiorentino
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