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: The Stars have recalled Cameron Gaunce from AHL Texas. Analysis: The defenseman has three points in 29 games for the Texas Stars of the AHL. This will be Cameron Gaunce's first stint in the NHL this season. He played nine games with the Stars last year.
News: Jonathan Drouin will miss Saturday's game against the Hurricanes due to an illness, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: Jonathan Drouin was sent back home after showing up at the team's morning skate with the illness, and given the league-wide concern about the mumps, it's probably a wise move by the Lightning. No members of the team have been diagnosed with the virus thus far, so it's believed Drouin's illness may just be the result of the flu. Regardless, he'll be given the night off, with Cedric Paquette set to assume his spot on the Steven Stamkos line.
News: Jason Zucker will miss Saturday's game against Winnipeg due to the flu, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Analysis: At least it doesn't sound like a long-term ailment at this point.
News: Scott Hartnell (broken finger) was activated from injured reserve and will play Saturday against the Bruins. Analysis: Just as the Blue Jackets initially forecasted, Scott Hartnell missed two weeks due to the injury, allowing the forward to hit his targeted return date of Dec. 27. After ranking among the league leaderboard in assists through October, Hartnell had slumped mightily prior to his injury. He'll reclaim a spot on the second line with Ryan Johansen in his return, but it may not necessarily ignite his production right away.
News: Beau Bennett (knee, mumps) took part in Pittsburgh's game-day skate Saturday. Analysis: It's unlikely he'll play Saturday against Washington, if only because he didn't skate on one of the team's four lines during practice. The good news is that Beau Bennett is past the mumps and appears close to rejoining the Pens' starting lineup.
News: Tom McCollum was reassigned to AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: With Jimmy Howard (groin) formally activated from IR and presumably ready to play Saturday against the Senators, Tom McCollum's services were no longer required. He served as the backup to Petr Mrazek during Howard's two-game absence.
News: Jimmy Howard (groin) was activated from injured reserve Saturday, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: Jimmy Howard's activation almost surely indicates he'll get the start in net Saturday against the Senators, which would mark his first appearance since Dec. 19. The Red Wings should confirm Howard as the starter following their pregame skate, assuming coach Mike Babcock doesn't have him serve as the backup to Petr Mrazek as a precaution. To make room for Howard's return, Thomas McCollum was returned to AHL Grand Rapids.
News: Zachary Fucale stopped all 12 shots faced in Team Canada's 8-0 win over Slovakia at the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship tournament. Analysis: Zachary Fucale was untested in Team Canada's opening game played at the Bell Centre.