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: Niklas Svedberg was the first goalie off the ice at Saturday's morning skate, indicating Tuukka Rask will not receive the start later in the evening against the Blue Jackets, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports. Analysis: Coach Claude Julien has leaned heavily on Tuukka Rask in December, so he'll allow the netminder to get a little bit of an extended rest here on the heels of the Bruins' three-day break for Christmas. Svedberg hasn't officially been confirmed as the starter for Saturday's game just yet, but Rask's fantasy owners should prepare to have another option ready in goal in any case.
News: Tom Wilson will return to the lineup when the Capitals visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post reports. Analysis: Tom Wilson was scratched for Washington's previous game and had been benched for long stretches of play in the contests immediately prior. Wilson is expected to return alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the top line, so if he can find his scoring touch again, the former Plymouth Whaler will be worth owning across fantasy formats. Needless to say, he may be on a short leash with Trotz after posting only four assists in 10 games during the month of December. Lucky for Wilson, no one has outplayed him for the coveted spot alongside Washington's superstars, so the door remains open for the former 16th overall pick.
News: Niklas Svedberg is expected to be in the crease for Saturday's match with the Blue Jackets, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports. Analysis: Niklas Svedberg stopped 21 of 24 shots in a shootout victory over the Blue Jackets last month, so it appears coach Claude Julien will stick with him in the rematch in the hope of similar results. The Blue Jackets aren't exactly a fearsome matchup to begin with, but he'll catch even more of a break with their top netminder, Sergei Bobrovsky, unavailable with an illness. The unimpressive Curtis McElhinney will instead get the nod for Columbus, creating a strong opportunity for the Bruins to provide plenty of goal support for Svedberg.
News: Martin Havlat (illness) will not play Saturday against the Rangers, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Martin Havlat received a bit of good news when his tests for the mumps virus came back negative, but he's still not quite back to 100 percent after battling a nasty flu. He was at least able to skate Saturday morning, which bodes well for his chances of being available for the Devils' next game Monday versus Pittsburgh.
News: Tim Sestito was recalled from AHL Albany on Saturday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: The Devils will be without yet another forward (Michael Ryder) on account of the mumps, so Tim Sestito will join the play in Saturday's contest as a member of the fourth line. Fortunately for the Devils, Patrik Elias (mumps) and Martin Havlat (flu) look to be nearing the finish line in their recovery from illness, which could make Sestito's stay with the parent club a relatively short one.
News: Scott Clemmensen was diagnosed with the mumps Saturday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: The Devils have been one of the NHL hit hard by the mumps this season, but until Scott Clemmensen's diagnosis, the organization's AHL affiliate in Albany hasn't had any players come down with the virus. However, because the mumps can lay dormant for a number of weeks before taking effect, it's likely Clemmensen acquired the virus during his stint with the parent club early in December. In any event, he'll be isolated from the AHL squad until further notice to prevent further spreading of the disease.
News: Michael Ryder was diagnosed with the mumps Saturday, NHL.com's Shawn Roarke reports. Analysis: Michael Ryder will be isolated from the team until his symptoms subside. The virus appears to be spreading rapidly through the team, as Adam Larsson, Patrik Elias, Scott Clemmenson, and Travis Zajac have all dealt with or currently have the mumps. Most players who have succumbed to the mumps have missed about a week of action, so expect a similar timetable to be in store for Ryder.
News: Robin Lehner was absent from Saturday's morning skate due to an illness but is still expected to back up Craig Anderson in the Senators' game later in the evening against the Red Wings, Brent Wallace of TSN reports. Analysis: Ottawa hasn't recalled a goalie from the minors on an emergency basis, so there doesn't seem to be anything to be concerned about regarding Robin Lehner's illness. With Anderson playing well in each of his last three starts, Lehner likely wasn't a serious candidate to get the nod Saturday even if he had been fully healthy during the morning skate.