News: Darcy Kuemper will be in the crease Thursday against the Sharks. Analysis: Darcy Kuemper played by far his worst game of the season his last time out Monday against the Rangers, allowing five goals in the third period to suffer his second defeat of the season. The uncharacteristically ugly game aside, Kuemper has been one of the league's top netminders over the season's first month, accruing a 1.51 GAA and .934 save percentage over six outings. Those strong numbers should be enough to make him a viable fantasy play against a quality Sharks squad.
News: Vincent Lecavalier (foot) will not be activated from injured reserve Thursday, Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: Vincent Lecavalier is nearly ready to resume playing, but he will not return to action Thursday. The Lightning play Saturday before having four days off, so Lecavalier will be out at least another week unless the Lightning determine he is good to go this weekend.
News: Matt Cooke is dealing with a lower-body injury and will not play Thursday against the Sharks. Analysis: Coach Mike Yeo suggested the injury wasn't serious, so Matt Cooke will retain the day-to-day tag and could be available for Saturday's game against Dallas. Though he's valued mostly for his work as a checker and in stymieing the opposition on the penalty kill, Cooke has been an unexpected source of offensive production in the team's first eight games, recording two goals and four assists.
News: Boone Jenner (hand) is expected to make his season debut next week, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reports. Analysis: The Blue Jackets are in desperate need of help up front with six forwards (including Boone Jenner) sidelined, so they will welcome Jenner's return to the lineup when it comes. An exact date for Jenner's debut has not been determined, but Columbus plays Tuesday, Friday and Saturday next week.
News: Christian Folin (illness) has reported improvement with his condition and could be an option for Saturday's game against the Stars, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Analysis: Christian Folin indicated he's been symptom-free for the last two days, but he'll probably need to get back on the ice for a practice or two before the Wild proceed with activating him. Both Folin and defensive partner Keith Ballard have missed the past five games with the illness.
News: Morgan Rielly (lower body) took part in Thursday's practice, TSN's Mark Masters reports. Analysis: Morgan Rielly's removal from Wednesday's session has been termed a "precautionary" move, so with him able to skate Thursday, it does not appear he is in danger of sitting out Toronto's next game Friday.
News: Zach Bogosian (upper body) is a game-time decision for Thursday's tilt with the Devils, NHL.com's Mike Morreale reports. Analysis: Coach Paul Maurice said the defenseman "looked good" during the Jets' morning skate, but the team will more than likely wait until the pregame skate to decide on his status for the game. Zach Bogosian, who missed his first contest of the season Tuesday due to the injury, has no goals and three assists over eight games.
News: Stephen Weiss (lower body) was recalled from his conditioning stint with AHL Grand Rapids after experiencing a setback Wednesday night, Sportsnet's Damien Cox reports. Analysis: Stephen Weiss would not have been able to play in Grand Rapids' next game Friday, so the Red Wings to decided to put his rehab work on hold. It remains to be seen how much the setback will delay Weiss' return to NHL action.
News: Niklas Svedberg will start Thursday's game against the Sabres, Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe reports. Analysis: Regular goaltender Tuukka Rask will get the night off after giving up four goals in his last start, so Niklas Svedberg will start for the fourth time this season Thursday. He has a very favorable matchup against a Buffalo squad that has lit the lamp just 10 times in 10 games.
News: Corey Crawford (upper body) will be available as the backup to starting goalie Scott Darling for Thursday's game against the Senators, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. Analysis: Corey Crawford declared himself "100 percent" after taking part in Thursday's morning skate, so it would appear coach Joel Quenneville is just taking extra precaution by limiting Crawford to backup duties. Darling fared well against the Senators in his first NHL start on Sunday, likely leading Quenneville to feel comfortable with sticking with the backup netminder for a third straight game. Crawford figures to reclaim the net Saturday in Toronto, and should immediately assume his usual heavy workload for the Blackhawks.