News: Curtis McElhinney will be between the pipes for Thursday's game against the Panthers. Analysis: Curtis McElhinney didn't perform particularly well in his first outing following Sergei Bobrovsky's placement on IR due to a groin injury, stopping just 25 of 28 shots in Tuesday's win over the Capitals. While the win was nice, fantasy owners shouldn't count on stellar numbers from McElhinney during his run as the Jackets' primary netminder. He fared poorly when Bobrovsky missed most of December due to a groin issue, and owns a meager 2.98 GAA and .906 save percentage over 16 outings on the season.
News: Mike Smith will be in the net for Thursday's game against the Maple Leafs, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Mike Smith has shown signs of improvement of late, but it still hasn't been enough for him to break his losing streak, which is now at six games. The sagging Leafs, losers of seven straight in their own right, could provide a soft landing spot for Smith, who needs the confidence boost perhaps more than any goalie out there. Smith's 7-20-4 record, 3.49 GAA, and .889 save percentage over 32 games this season rarely makes him playable at this point.
News: Mark Stuart (lower body) was activated from injured reserve Thursday. Analysis: Mark Stuart missed only two games due to the lower-body ailment. Now that the minor injury is behind him, Stuart is expected to join Jacob Trouba on the Jets' third pairing, giving the team its optimal arrangement on the blue line. Trouba will assume more of a puck-moving role of the two players, while Stuart figures to bring superior hit and block totals.
News: T.J. Galiardi was placed on waivers Thursday. Analysis: T.J. Galiardi had previously been placed on waivers in November, but he ended up sticking with the Jets rather than reporting to AHL St. John's. Injuries had necessitated his placement in the lineup, but the subsequent returns of Evander Kane and Mathieu Perreault have since relegated him back to healthy scratch duty. With just one point in 26 games this season, Galiardi should clear waivers Friday without too much fanfare.
News: Petr Mrazek will stay in the crease for Thursday's game against the Lightning, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: Petr Mrazek barely eeked out a win Tuesday against the Panthers, allowing four goals but making 37 saves in the victory. He's yielded four goals in his last two turns while facing a barrage of shots, and had been pulled in his previous start before that against the Sabres after surrendering three goals on seven shots. While his standing as the Red Wings' No. 1 goalie won't be challenged while Jimmy Howard (groin) and Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) remain on injured reserve, Mrazek isn't looking like an especially dependable option right now. If other alternatives exist, it may be prudent to keep him on the bench Thursday against a powerful Bolts attack.
News: Despite being taken off IR and being called a game-time decision, it appears that Brett Ritchie will not be ready for Thursday's game, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. Analysis: The good news is that he's close enough for the team to take him off IR. Expect him to suit up in on Saturday against the Jets.
News: Patrick Kane netted a goal and a power-play assist in Wednesday's loss to the Kings. Analysis: Patrick Kane wasted no time leaving his imprint on the game Wednesday, ringing home his 23rd goal of the season less than two minutes into the first period. The 26-year-old has notched 53 points in 48 games, putting him on track to potentially best his previous season-best of 88 points, which he accomplished in 2009-10.
News: The Stars are likely to make Jordie Benn a healthy scratch on Thursday, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. Analysis: Aside from a January 18 game against Chicago, Jordie Benn's ice time has been cut significantly recently and this isn't the first time the team has scratched him this season. There may be more reliable options for your team on the wire.
News: Patrick Sharp notched a power-play goal and an assist in Wednesday's loss to the Kings. Analysis: Both of Patrick Sharp's tallies came in the first period, giving him his second multi-point outing in three games. Last season's 78-point campaign will probably go down as the high point for his career, but the 33-year-old Sharp still scores with enough frequency to warrant a roster spot in any format.
News: The Sharks recalled Danil Tarasov from Worcester on Thursday. Analysis: Danil Tarasov leads AHL Worcester in points this season with 25. The recall is likely connected to Tyler Kennedy's injury that cropped up before Wednesday's practice. However, it appears that Tarasov won't draw into the lineup on Thursday, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.