Matt Stajan will be back in the lineup to face his former team the Leafs – look for him to step it up.
Pekka Rinne is “really close” to returning, according to the Tennessean. He had a solid practice today and I’m thinking the weekend is a possibility.
Sergei Kostitsyn was back in practice, which is nice as he was getting really hot and now he can continue with that.
My mistake on the Lehtonen info below – I thought I had Mike Heika’s blog to reference and I did not, but have now added it. Apparently, Kari Lehtonen had a great practice and could start tomorrow. Richard Bachman was actually sent to the minors today, further making me look stupid. But when I already look stupid natually, what can they do to me really?
Scott Gomez and Jaroslav Spacek are good to go for tonight’s game. Gomez will be playing with Pacioretty and Gionta.
Semyon Varlamov will get the start tonight. And the Washington Post also reports that Alex Semin is questionable. If Semin doesn’t go, I’d like to see the underrated (but inconsistent) Eric Fehr get a real shot on a top line. See what happens.
To hear the talk around Dallas, I get the impression that Kari Lehtonen (LBI) is still a week or two away. Raycroft will continue to start, but if he has another poor outing, look for Richard Bachman to sneak in a start. I’m pulling for him, I’ve had my eye on him for several years now, much like Corey Crawford. And I like it when my early hunches start to look decent.
Notable cuts from Team Canada’s WJ roster: Calvin Pickard, Joey Hishon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brandon Pirri and Riley Sheahan.
Final WJC roster for Canada:
Goalie: Olivier Roy (EDM); Mark Visentin (PHO)
Defense: Ryan Ellis (NSH); Tyson Barrie (COL); Jared Cowan (OTT); Simon Despres (PIT); Calvin de Haan (NYI); Erik Gudbranson (FLA); Dylan Olsen (CHI)
Forward: Carter Ashton (TB); Casey Cizikas (NYI); Brett Connolly (TB); Sean Couturier (’11); Cody Eakin (WAS); Marcus Foligno (BUF); Curtis Hamilton (EDM); Quinton Howden (FLA); Ryan Johansen (CBJ); Zack Kassian (BUF); Louis Leblanc (MTL); Brayden Schenn (LA); Jaden Schwartz (STL);
Nic Bergfors and Ben Eager will be healthy scratches for the third straight game.
Andreas Nodl has been logging a lot of ice time lately, but it hasn’t done him a whole lot of good. He is pointless in his last four. Perhaps he should go back to getting third-line ice time and no power-play time. He was really doing well when that was the case.
The Flyers ended the Pens 12-game winning streak, but Sidney Crosby’s point streak continues. He had two assists lining up with Evgeni Malkin.
Wish I knew why Jeff Carter has been so mediocre this season. You should be aggressive in trying to acquire him, as he is far far better than a 60-point player (his current pace).
Alex Goligoski has points in four games in a row. He started the season with points in seven in a row, so you know how streaky he can get.
Caps insider Katie Carrera reports that Alexander Semin and Marcus Johansson were not in practice. Semin is “day to day” and Johansson has the flu.