News: Taylor Hall has tallied just one point in the Oilers' last seven games. Analysis: Taylor Hall hasn't seen his shot attempts take a dramatic dip during the scoring drought, but if he's not finding the back of the net with regularity, the Oilers are in a serious trouble. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that with Hall slumping, the Oilers haven't mustered more than two goals in any match during that seven-game stretch. The burden of carrying the Oilers for the past five seasons clearly seems to be weighing down Hall, whose name has been starting to show up in trade rumors more frequently of late.
News: Reilly Smith netted a goal in Tuesday's shootout loss to the Predators. Analysis: After a meager start to the season, Reilly Smith has really clicked since joining Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the top trio, tallying four goals and two assists over the last five games. Smith's recent surge in production could make it tough on coach Claude Julien to break up the trio once David Krejci (groin) returns, which could happen as soon as Wednesday's game against the Wild.
News: Chris Thorburn scored his second goal of the season in Tuesday's victory over the Sabres. Analysis: As his two points in 31 games would suggest, Chris Thorburn isn't someone the Jets are looking to for offense most nights. Instead, he'll carry most of his value as a grinder on the checking line and a leader in the locker room.
News: Carl Hagelin tallied his seventh goal of the season in Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the Oilers. Analysis: Carl Hagelin has notched goals in back-to-back contests, giving him 13 points in 29 contests this season. However, he's currently skating on the third line with Kevin Hayes and Lee Stempniak, a role that won't afford him much more than 15 minutes per night. He's a solid depth scorer for the Rangers, but fantasy owners can likely do better.
News: Josh Harding has yet to return to practice with Iowa teammates since being hospitalized for dehydration after playing two periods for AHL Iowa on Dec. 6, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The dehydration episode was related to his multiple sclerosis. Analysis: There's no timetable for his return and it sounds like this could be a significant setback to his multiple sclerosis issues.
News: Kari Lehtonen was the first goalie off the ice at the Stars' gameday skate and is slated to start Wednesday against the Canucks, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Kari Lehtonen has alternated wins in losses in his previous four December starts, continuing a trend of rather inconsistent play this season. He'll catch a bit of a break in matching up against Canucks backup goalie Eddie Lack on Tuesday, but it's still difficult to trust him at this point. The last time Lehtonen played Vancouver, he came away with a 6-3 victory during which he faced 46 shots. It wouldn't be shocking if another barnburner broke out again Wednesday.
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: Oscar Klefbom (foot) is expected miss his third straight game Thursday against the Sharks, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports. Analysis: Oscar Klefbom was able to practice Wednesday, but the Oilers want to proceed cautiously with ushering him back into the lineup. Instead, Klefbom will likely be eyeing a return to action Sunday versus the Stars.
News: Boyd Gordon (back) is set to return to the lineup Thursday against the Sharks, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports. Analysis: Boyd Gordon took part in rushes with the fourth line at Wednesday's practice and should be formally activated from IR on Thursday morning. He missed just over a week with the back issue. The Oilers will be glad to welcome their top face-off artist back to the lineup, but he won't be able to provide the offensive lift the Oilers desperately need right now.
News: Ian White signed a professional tryout contract with AHL Milwaukee on Wednesday. Analysis: After spending 2013-14 in the KHL, Ian White returned to North America this season, skating for AHL Providence before his release. The 30-year-old has over 500 career NHL games under his belt, so he could be a good organizational depth option for the Predators in the event that injuries strike their blue line.