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: Anthony Stolarz suffered an apparent head injury while playing for AHL Lehigh Valley on Friday night, LancasterOnline.com reports. Analysis: Anthony Stolarz saw his shutout streak against Friday's opponent (AHL Hershey) end at 120 minutes and 56 seconds earlier in the contest, and then suffered an injury on another Hershey goal late in the contest. The Flyers appear to be labeling Stolarz's injury as a day-to-day concern for now, but it's certainly not an ideal situation for the organization's top goalie prospect. Stolarz has posted a 2.32 GAA and .933 save percentage over 13 appearances with Lehigh Valley this season, his first as a professional.
News: Darcy Kuemper looks set to start Saturday's game against Winnipeg, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Darcy Kuemper will try to break a recent slump as he has a 3.69 GAA and .864 save mark in five December games.
News: Ben Bishop (groin) was on the ice for Saturday's morning skate, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: The Lightning's decision to send Andrei Vasilevskiy back to AHL Syracuse during the Christmas break would seem to suggest that Ben Bishop is on his way for a return to action Saturday against the Hurricanes. Expect coach Jon Cooper to provide confirmation on Bishop's availability to start shortly after the team completes its morning session.
News: Jason Garrison (undisclosed) was on the ice for the Bolts' morning session and appears on track to play Saturday versus the Hurricanes, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: Jason Garrison was held out of Tuesday's match against the Penguins with the injury, but the team never seemed to believe a long-term absence was in store for the blueliner. His presence on the ice Saturday morning indicates as much, and it looks like he'll be good to go after he took part in pairing work with Anton Stralman. Garrison has enjoyed a productive first season in Tampa Bay, as he's notched 17 points and a plus-12 rating over 35 contests.
News: Brandon Sutter (illness) appeared to be a full participant in Saturday's morning skate and looks like he'll draw back into the lineup later in the evening against the Capitals, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Analysis: Brandon Sutter had been isolated from the team since Monday, after coming down with an illness the Penguins feared could be related to the mumps. It was revealed Friday that Sutter tested negative for the virus, and with the center seemingly no longer feeling any ill effects, he'll be plugged back in on the team's second line next to Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist.
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.