News: Bryce Salvador (lower body) has yet to resume skating since landing on injured reserve Nov. 17, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Bryce Salvador suggested that he's making progress, but he has yet to show anything tangible that would indicate as much. The 38-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Devils and could be headed for retirement once the season concludes.
News: Corey Perry (knee) skated on his own back in Anaheim on Wednesday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Corey Perry isn't traveling with the Ducks on their road trip while he remains more than a few days away from playing, but his return to the ice does offer hope that he's coming close to the end of his recovery timetable. If he demonstrates strong progress over the next few days, he could be activated in time for next Monday's home game against the Sharks. Otherwise, his return wouldn't come until after the Christmas break.
News: Francois Beauchemin (finger) isn't expected to play Thursday against the Canadiens, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Though Francois Beauchemin continues to make progress with his broken finger, he seems intent on making sure he's 100 percent healthy before playing. The Ducks are still optimistic about his chances of being available over the weekend.
News: Eddie Lack will be in the crease Wednesday against the Stars, Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province reports. Analysis: Coach Willie Desjardins said that the team had scheduled Eddie Lack for this turn all along, so his fantasy owners need not read too much into him getting the nod over Ryan Miller in a non-back-to-back scenario. Lack's numbers over 10 appearances this season are rather pedestrian (2.77 GAA, .911 save percentage), but the Stars have received even worse play from their goalies. It wouldn't be surprising if Wednesday's contest turned into a high-scoring affair.
News: Mike Weaver (concussion) was cleared for contact during Wednesday's practice. Analysis: The concussion symptoms seem to have dissipated for Mike Weaver, who has been out since Dec. 6. The Canadiens will still have to activate him from IR before he's able to return to the lineup, which could happen after he logs another practice or two.
News: Derick Brassard (illness) has been confirmed to have a case of the mumps, Steve Zipay of Newsday reports. Analysis: Derick Brassard will remain away from the Rangers until his contagious symptoms have subsided. He's the 15th NHL player confirmed to have acquired the mumps this season, and the second Rangers player after Tanner Glass was diagnosed with the virus in late November.
News: Coach Craig Berube said after Wednesday's practice that there is a "good chance" Vincent Lecavalier will play Thursday against the Panthers, Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia reports. Analysis: Vincent Lecavalier has spent the previous seven games in the press box, but it looks like Berube has finally warmed up to the idea of returning the pricey veteran into the lineup. Berube said Lecavalier would likely play at his natural center spot Thursday, though probably in a bottom-six role, making it difficult for him to deliver much value.
News: Stephen Weiss (shoulder) is expected to return to the Red Wings lineup before Christmas, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: The Red Wings probably won't have a firmer target date for Stephen Weiss' return until he starts practicing with the team, but fortunately, it seems that the team is ruling out an absence of more than a month for the forward. Weiss' two-year stint in Detroit has largely been a tumultuous one due to his repeated setbacks on the health front, but he has been outstanding in the 11 games he's suited up for this season, netting four goals and 10 points.
News: Johan Franzen (illness) is expected to play Friday against the Islanders, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: It doesn't sound like Johan Franzen has experienced any symptoms related to the mumps virus that has been making its way around the league, so with a couple more days to recuperate, he should be ready to play. His availability for Friday's game should be confirmed after the Red Wings hold their morning skate that day.
News: John Curry was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Analysis: With both Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper battling stomach illnesses and uncertain to suit up Wednesday, John Curry will be on hand as an insurance option. It appears Backstrom's illness isn't as severe as Kuemper's, so he's generally expected to make the start, likely leaving Curry to serve as the backup.