News: Head coach Paul Maurice has stressed that the Jets' goalie rotation between Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson will continue after the NHL's three-day holiday break, Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press reports. Analysis: Ondrej Pavelec will continue to split starts with Hutchinson for the time being. However, Pavelec has struggled as of late, losing three of his last four games while giving up at least three goals in each of those losses. Meanwhile, Hutchinson has gone 8-2-2 this season while posting a league-leading 1.67 GAA as well as a league-leading .944 save percentage. If Pavelec continues to struggle, and Hutchinson continues to dominate, Pavelec may find himself on Winnipeg's bench more often than he finds himself starting in net moving forward.
News: Head coach Paul Maurice has made it clear that the Jets' goalie rotation between Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec will continue after the NHL's three-day holiday break, Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press reports. Analysis: Michael Hutchinson's fantasy owners don't have to worry about Pavelec getting the majority of starts in net for the Jets moving forward, as Maurice has clearly indicated that Hutchinson and Pavelec have both performed well enough this season to warrant an even split in playing time. In fact, Maurice may ultimately be forced to give Hutchinson the majority of starts in net in the second half of the season, as he bests Pavelec in both major goaltending statistical categories. Hutchinson boasts a 1.67 GAA and a .944 save percentage, while Pavelec has posted slightly less impressive figures, with a 2.34 GAA and a .913 save percentage. If Pavelec struggles in a few key games down the stretch, Hutchinson may suddenly find himself as the primary goaltender for the Jets. Hutchinson has been phenomenal this season, and fantasy owners lucky enough to own him can plug him into their lineups with confidence each and every time he starts.
News: Paul Martin (undisclosed) was on the ice for Saturday's morning skate, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Analysis: Paul Martin was placed on injured reserve under mysterious circumstances a week earlier, missing the team's previous three games as a result. Since the Penguins declined to provide a timetable for his return from the injury, there's no guarantee that his presence on the ice for morning skate will result in his return to the lineup Saturday versus the Capitals. Expect coach Mike Johnston to provide a clearer update on his status for the game once the team completes their morning session.
News: Kevin Poulin was recalled from AHL Bridgeport on Saturday, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. Analysis: The Islanders placed Jaroslav Halak on injured reserve Saturday, which will lock Kevin Poulin into a backup role with the big club behind Chad Johnson.
News: Chad Johnson will likely start Saturday for the Islanders versus the Sabres, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. Analysis: The Isles placed Jaroslav Halak on injured reserve Saturday, leaving Chad Johnson to presumably take over as the team's lead goalie until further notice. The move from Boston to Long Island has proven unkind for Johnson thus far, as he owns a horrid 3.54 GAA and .867 save percentage over 11 outings thus far. While Saturday's matchup against the Sabres would seemingly appear to be a favorable one, Johnson probably won't be much more than a low-end starting option while he retains a starting job.
News: Jaroslav Halak was placed on injured reserve Saturday due to a lower-body injury, Newsday's Arthur Staple reports. Analysis: It turns out the Isles weren't being so truthful when they said Jaroslav Halak had just been missing practice for maintenance purposes. There is no word yet on how long Halak will be out, but it doesn't appear his injury is considered serious. In any event, Chad Johnson will serve as the Isles' primary netminder until Halak is ready to return.
News: Stephen Weiss (head) is set to return to action Saturday versus the Senators, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. Analysis: Stephen Weiss was forced to leave the Red Wings' final game before the holiday break Tuesday after taking an elbow to the head, but his availability for Saturday doesn't seem to be in jeopardy after he was cleared of any concussion symptoms. It amounts to a stroke of good fortune for Weiss, who could benefit from some positive news on the health front more than just about anyone in the league. He's missed 114 of a possible 165 regular-season games (69 percent) due to injuries over the last three seasons.
News: Sean Collins was recalled from AHL Springfield on Friday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Sean Collins appears primed to serve as an extra forward for the Blue Jackets, as was primarily the case prior to his reassignment back to Springfield earlier this week. As soon as the Blue Jackets activate one of their injured forwards from injured reserve, Collins will more than likely head back to the minors.
News: Jimmy Howard (groin) is expected to return to the net for Saturday's game against the Senators, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. Analysis: The groin injury forced Jimmy Howard out of the Red Wings' most recent two contests and resulted in his placement on injured reserve, but it appears the three-day holiday break in the NHL schedule afforded him enough recovery time from the injury. The Red Wings will reevaluate his status Saturday morning, but it sounds like he'll be formally activated from IR if he makes it through the team's gameday skate without incident.
News: Martin Havlat's test results for the mumps have come back negative, but he will be unavailable for Saturday's game against the Rangers, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Martin Havlat is still dealing with a virus that will keep him out of Saturday's game at a minimum, making his next eligible return date Monday against the Penguins. The Devils will go into Saturday with a maximum of 12 healthy forwards, though it's possible the team will add someone before the game.