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: Robert Bortuzzo (upper body) will be a game-time decision for Saturday's game against the Capitals. Analysis: The defenseman, who hasn't played since Dec. 13, has averaged nearly four hits per game (44 hits in 12 contests). Robert Bortuzzo has also collected five points (2G, 3A) in 12 tilts, but he offers more of a physical presence than an offensive threat.
News: Dainius Zubrus (leg laceration) will play Saturday against the Rangers, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Dainius Zubrus will finally return to the Devils' lineup after missing New Jersey's last eight games with the injury. Zubrus has tallied four points through 28 games this season.
News: Cody McCormick (lower body) will be activated from injured reserve to play Saturday against the Islanders, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Cody McCormick had missed the club's previous six games with the lower-body injury, but it looks like the holiday break provided enough time for the forward to nurse himself back to full health. He's set to center a checking line with Johan Larsson and Patrick Kaleta in his return to action.
News: Tyson Strachan (lower body) said after Saturday's practice that he is "pretty close" to a return to the Buffalo lineup, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Tyson Strachan was able to take part in the Sabres' gameday skate, but coach Ted Nolan didn't feel comfortable reinserting him into the lineup for the match later in the evening against the Islanders. Fortunately, the Sabres will welcome Mike Weber (knee) back into the lineup, which won't force the team to recall an extra defenseman while Strachan and Tyler Myers (lower body) remain out for another contest.
News: Mike Weber (knee) has been activated from injured reserve and will play Saturday against the Islanders, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Mike Weber missed the previous six games after undergoing a minor procedure on his left knee, but was fortunate not to miss more time thanks to a few favorable breaks in the Sabres' schedule. He appears on track to join Andre Benoit on the second pairing.
News: Patrik Elias (illness) could resume skating in a couple of days, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: The fact that Patrik Elias is already in line to get back on the ice so soon after being diagnosed with the mumps is certainly promising. While the capacity in which Elias will be able to practice in a couple of days is uncertain at this time, it seems likely that the veteran winger could return to the Devils lineup as soon as Wednesday against the Red Wings. The team should continue to update his status in the coming days.
News: Brian Gionta (head) will remain out of the lineup Saturday against the Islanders, John Vogl of the Buffalo News reports. Analysis: The Sabres said a concussion had been ruled for Brian Gionta after he exited last weekend's game against the Bruins with a head injury, but it's difficult to take that diagnosis at face value since the forward has yet to resume skating. No matter what the exact nature of Gionta's injury might be, he'll be forced out of his second straight contest and won't have a clear timetable for a return until he resumes skating.
News: Tyler Myers (lower body) wasn't on the ice for Saturday's morning skate and looks to be out for the tilt later in the evening with the Islanders, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Prior to the three-day holiday break, coach Ted Nolan hadn't ruled out Tyler Myers from returning to action Saturday, but after reassessing his condition when the team reunited for morning skate, the medical staff evidently determined he wasn't fit to play. Myers will retain a week-to-week designation for now, with no upgrade to his status coming until he resumes skating.