News: Coach Bruce Boudreau said that he expects Clayton Stoner (lower body) to be available when the Ducks resume play the Canucks on Tuesday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Clayton Stoner was a late scratch for the Ducks' final game before the All-Star break this past Wednesday due to the lower-body ailment, which he sustained the previous weekend against the Kings. It appears to be just a minor concern for Stoner, whose availability for the game against the Canucks should be confirmed when he returns to practice Monday.
News: Stephen Johns, who is considered one of the top Blackhawks' top prospects at AHL Rockford, suffered a knee injury on Monday and is expected to miss two-to-three weeks, ESPN Chicago reports. Analysis: The 22-year-old defenseman suffered a head injury Nov. 26 that forced him to miss nearly two months. After his return last week, he skated in only three games before being dealt yet another setback on the health front. He has six assists and is plus-13 in 23 games with Rockford, his first season as a pro after finishing four years at the University of Notre Dame.
News: David Rundblad has been showing some good stuff in the first half as one of the last pair of defensemen on the Blackhawks, Hawks general manager Stan Bowman told ESPN Chicago. Analysis: David Rundblad scored goals in back-to-back games earlier this week and has collected three goals and six assists in 27 games this season. The games skated is the most in his six seasons in the NHL, including stints with Ottawa and Arizona. Bowman gave Rundblad raves so far this season, but it will be interesting once rookie defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk returns from a leg injury which could be as early as mid-February. "I think David has probably grabbed the reins the most of all those guys," Bowman said. "He's (Rundblad) really shown he's kind of emerged as a guy that's getting more comfortable. He's always had the talent. I think as a young defenseman it's trying to gain the game-to-game confidence. He's moved from the left side to the right side. Having not only not played the left side much, that was an adjustment for him, but I thought he got pretty good at it."
News: J.T. Miller will begin the second half of the NHL season on a five game point-scoring drought. Analysis: After logging four points in three games after the new year, J.T. Miller has found himself in a rut. With the 23-year-old Ohio native most likely focused more on play without the puck and occasional centering duties, he's a safe bet to continue the roller coaster ride in traditional production. Although the highly regarded first-round pick (2011) has a decent five goals and 10 points in 23 games this season, standard format owners should only have him on their radar, not their roster.
News: Martin St. Louis logged four points (all assists) in three games leading up to the All-Star break. Analysis: Having not suffered anything more than a three-game slump all season, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent has really kept his foot on on the proverbial gas pedal this season. Despite slumping in the first two months with the team last season, with 14 goals, 36 points through 44 games played, it's safe to say the 15-year veteran has still got the touch.
News: Cam Talbot (2.15 GAA) is 4-4-1 with a .926 save percentage in 11 games played this season. Analysis: He's arguably one of the best handcuff (for owners of Henrik Lundqvist) options in fantasy hockey this season, when he plays. While the organization prepares for a combined 29 games in February and March, only two will be on a back-to-back occurrences next month. However, the team will play four back-to-back occurrences in March, increasing the 27-year-old's chances of the starting nod.
News: Anton Forsberg will be recalled from AHL Springfield at the conclusion of the NHL's All-Star break, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: The Blue Jackets confirmed Friday that No. 1 netminder Sergei Bobrovsky is dealing with a right groin injury that figures to sideline him for "a while," creating a need for the team to bring up an extra goalie. Anton Forsberg previously operated as the team's No. 2 option in goal when Bobrovsky missed a month of action with a left groin injury earlier in the season, but his outstanding play at Springfield could allow him to earn more work during the upcoming stint with the club. Curtis McElhinney currently tops the Jackets' depth chart for now, but he's been far from reliable this season, submitting a 4-6-1 record, 2.98 GAA and .907 save percentage over his 15 games. Should McElhinney's struggles wear on coming out of the break, don't be surprised if coach Todd Richards turns quickly to Forsberg, who has a tidy 2.04 GAA and .927 save percentage for Springfield.
News: Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen confirmed Friday that Sergei Bobrovsky's lower-body injury is related to his right groin area, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. "It's gonna be a while," Kekalainen said of Bobrovsky's recovery timetable. Analysis: Sergei Bobrovsky previously suffered a groin strain on his left side back in December, missing about a month of action due to the injury. It would seem reasonable to expect a similar length of absence this time around, though the Blue Jackets should have a better indication of his eventual return date once he's able to start skating. Regardless, it's a costly blow to the Blue Jackets, who were already on the periphery of the Eastern Conference playoff race. With their top netminder out of commission, look for Curtis McElhinney and expected AHL call-up Anton Forsberg to vie for starting duties in the interim.
News: General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Ryan Murray (knee) could be cleared to return next week, Shawn Mitchell of the COlumbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Ryan Murray resumed practicing almost two weeks ago and would seem to be progressing steadily in his recovery from the knee issue, which has been problematic since he underwent arthroscopic surgery in March. The rearguard was limited to just four games before his knee starting bothering him again, which has kept him out of the lineup since Nov. 1. The Blue Jackets will proceed cautiously with bringing him back in the fold due to the multiple setbacks he's already suffered with his knee, but it does appear likely we'll see him back in action again at some point in February.
News: General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Artem Anisimov (triceps) could be cleared to play next week, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Artem Anisimov has been sidelined since late November with the injury. He's been limited to skating on his own to this point, but Kekalainen's words suggest he could be close to rejoining the team for a full-contact practice. Once that happens, the Blue Jackets will likely have a better inkling of a possible return date for the center.