The Fantasy Hockey Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming week. Every week, we provide you with top matchups, the latest news and give you the scoop on injured players.
Teams with four games: Anaheim, Chicago, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, N.Y. Rangers, Pittsburgh
Teams with three games: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington
Teams with two games: Calgary, Dallas, N.Y. Islanders, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Fantasy Week 14 (Jan. 5-11)
Happy New Year from all of us at CBSSports.com!
We have made it through the halfway mark in the Fantasy Hockey season and before you know it the playoffs will be here.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, Week 14 is next up on the docket.
Editors Note: Projections are for Jan. 5-11 games and all stats are through Thursday
This week's news and notes for each team:
Anaheim Ducks: There is no new development with injured forward Teemu Selanne, who has been out since late December with a leg laceration. He is still not expected back until mid-January and could end up not returning until early February. Keep him reserved through Week 14 ... Anaheim has lost defenseman Kent Huskins 2-3 weeks with a broken right foot. He initially injured himself Dec. 9. He tried to play through the injury before MRI revealed the injury. Brendan Mikkelson took his roster spot ... Rookie Bobby Ryan saw a five-game point streak (two goals, six assists) end Wednesday. He has managed four goals and eight assists in his last 11 games. He is finally meeting the expectations placed on him as the No. 2 pick in 2005 behind Sidney Crosby ... Top-line center Ryan Getzlaf has taken a penalty in six of his last seven games. He is tied for the team lead with 74 penalty minutes and leads the team with 42 points ... Chris Kunitz has one point in his last six games ... Brendan Morrison awoke from an offensive lull to lead the team with six goals in December.
Atlanta Thrashers: Coach John Anderson has made an effort to get Ilya Kovalchuk more scoring chances. He switched up his line Wednesday against the Hurricanes, dropping Marty Reasoner and Chris Thorburn in favor of Erik Christensen and Jason Williams. It seemed to work as Kovalchuk scored Atlanta's opening goal. It was his first score in 10 games ... Defenseman Zach Bogosian made his much-anticipated return to the lineup Wednesday after missing 29 games with a broken leg. He had no points, one shot and two hits in just over 13 minutes of ice time. Bogosian remains a solid long-term Fantasy keeper, but the third pick from June's draft still has minimal appeal in seasonal formats ... Bryan Little had a stellar December with nine goals and 12 points ... Slava Kozlov and Todd White also had memorable Decembers with 14 and 13 points respectively ... Defenseman Ron Hainsey has not scored a goal since lighting the lamp twice Dec. 2. That is a drought of 14 games, and to add injury to insult, Hainsey was minus-10 for December ... Colby Armstrong scored six times last month ... The Thrashers hit the road for three games Week 14. Surprisingly, they are second in the NHL in road GFA (3.16). Consider starting your Atlanta skaters.
Boston Bruins: Despite the Bruins being one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now, coach Claude Julien tweaked his lines a bit and opted to move Milan Lucic to the third line and promote P.J. Axelsson to the top line to play alongside Marc Savard and Phil Kessel ... Savard has two goals and six assists in his last four games ... Kessel has two goals in his last six games and has scored 16 times in the last 21 ... Second-line center David Krejci remains red hot with six goals and 11 assists during a 10-game point streak. He has a point in 19 of 20 games (32 total points) and is plus-19 in that span ... Defenseman Dennis Wideman has seven points (one goal) in his last six games ... Center Patrice Bergeron is still at home resting from a concussion suffered Dec. 20. While it is not as serious as the Grade 3 he suffered in 2007-08 that kept him sidelined most of the season, no return date has been set ... Defenseman Andrew Ference, who has missed 21 games with a fractured leg, also has no return date. But he is still on track to play sometime in January ... Boston is home for three games Week 14. They lead the NHL in home GFA, averaging 4.63 goals. Consider starting your Boston skaters.
Buffalo Sabres: Coach Lindy Ruff has not been pleased recently with the play of his centers, particularly calling out Jochen Hecht and Derek Roy. He dropped Hecht down to the fourth line because of his poor play and he didn't respond in a win Thursday against the Maple Leafs. Roy, on the other hand, scored twice and added an assist ... Drew Stafford had a breakout December with 11 points (five goals) in 14 games ... Thomas Vanek scored seven times in December, but scored just once over the final seven games.
|1.||Rene Bourque, RW, CGY||18|
|2.||Jonathan Quick, G, LA||17|
|2.||Blake Wheeler, RW, BOS||16|
|4.||Bryan Little, C, ATL||15|
|5.||Bobby Ryan, RW, ANA||13|
|6.||Alexander Edler, D, VAN||12|
|7.||Ryan Whitney, D, PIT||11|
|8.||Travis Zajac, C, NJ||11|
|9.||Rick DiPietro, G, NYI||10|
|10.||John-Michael Liles, D, COL||9|
Calgary Flames: Curtis Glencross returned to action Wednesday against the Oilers after missing six games with a leg injury. He skated on the third line with Matthew Lombardi and David Moss ... Defenseman Robyn Regehr dodged a serious injury after Sam Gagner took his feet out in the third period. Regehr missed most of the frame before returning late ... Both Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri both had two goals and three assists in their New Year's Eve win against Edmonton. It was the first time both of their careers they managed five points in one game. Iginla has managed four points 14 times in his career ... Rene Bourque led Calgary with eight goals in December ... Forward Craig Conroy has two goals and seven assists in his last nine games ... Daymond Langkow and Todd Bertuzzi both had 10 points last month ... David Moss scored six times in 13 December outings, while Dion Phaneuf failed to score over that stretch. He was 0-for-40 on shot attempts.
Carolina Hurricanes: Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, who has battled a few injuries this season, has cleared waivers and will remain with the Hurricanes. Apparently he is not happy with the situation, but coach Paul Maurice says Kaberle is handling the situation well ... Defenseman Joe Corvo has scored six goals this season, with the last five coming at home. Carolina has won each of those home games Corvo has scored ... Sergei Samsonov had a two-goal outburst Wednesday against the Thrashers. It was his third multi-goal game with Carolina since joining them last season. Samsonov had 11 points (five goals) last month ... Defenseman Niclas Wallin re-injured his ankle in practice and is back to being day-to-day after he was so close to returning. He has been out since early December ... Forward Ray Whitney led the team with 15 points in December while Eric Staal was on his heels with 14 ... Rod Brind'Amour had his first double-digit output with 10 points in December. He had six points in October, then eight points in November. At this rate, he is due 12 points in January ... Carolina has three games Week 14 against top 11 defenses -- Boston, New Jersey and Florida. Consider benching your Carolina skaters.
Chicago Blackhawks: Adam Burish is back from a broken toe that kept him sidelined 14 games. Make sure to get him active in leagues that reward heavily for PIM ... Forward Patrick Kane dodged a serious ankle injury in Tuesday's game against the Red Wings and was able to finish out the contest. He played again in Thursday's rematch with Detroit, but failed to get a point in either game ... Defenseman Brent Sopel is on long-term injured reserve with an undisclosed injury and we aren't expecting to see him back until late January. He has marginal Fantasy appeal when healthy ... Andrew Ladd was the unexpected point leader (15) for Chicago in December. He also had a plus-10 rating, which was second to Duncan Keith's plus-13 mark ... Jonathan Toews had 12 points last month and has 23 points in his last 25 games ... Dustin Byfuglien had his best month by far with 10 points in 12 December games. He had all of six points in his first 19 appearances ... Chicago hits the road for three of their four games Week 14. They rank third in road GFA (3.11), so consider starting your Chicago skaters.
Colorado Avalanche: With Paul Stastny (forearm) and Joe Sakic (back, fingers) expected to be out several weeks, Colorado is counting on Tyler Arnason and T.J. Hensick to pick up the slack at center ... The injuries have also forced Ian Laperriere to move from wing to center. Laperriere is not expected to contribute as much offensively as Arnason and Hensick, but be solid defensively, kill penalties and win faceoffs ... Chris Stewart has been a pleasant surprise since his Dec. 5 recall from the AHL. Stewart, the 18th overall pick in 2006, has been asked to play on his off wing because of injuries. He's collected three goals and two assists in 12 games ... Ryan Smyth had one of his best months with Colorado since signing on in 2007-08. He managed five goals and nine assists. Ironically, those were the same totals from December the previous year ... Defenseman John-Michael Liles got involved in the offense last month with 10 points in 14 games. He had a stretch of three games from Dec. 23-29 where he had at least one goal and one assist in each outing.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus took a huge blow in late December when rookie Derick Brassard injured his shoulder in a fight. He was only expected to miss a month before a MRI revealed a separated shoulder that needed season-ending surgery. Brassard had 25 points and was a top candidate for the Calder Trophy ... While Columbus lost one Calder candidate, they have gained another in rookie goalie Steve Mason. He pitched a third straight shutout Wednesday against the Ducks and is tied with Vancouver's Roberto Luongo for the league lead. Not bad for a kid that began the season in the minors. Not only is Mason a top Calder nominee, he has to be in the mix for the Vezina Trophy (top goalie) as he leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.69) and save percentage (.938) ... Jason Chimera is close to playing after missing the last few weeks with a groin injury ... Rick Nash was the only Blue Jacket to break 10 points in December with 12. The closest was Kris Russell and Kristian Huselius -- both with seven ... Fedor Tyutin failed to score last month and was 0-for-30 on shot attempts. He hasn't scored since Nov. 28 ... Prospect Nikita Filatov had three goals and an assist for Team Russia in an 8-1 win over Team Slovakia at the World Junior Championships. The 2008 first-round pick has six points (five goals) in four games.
Dallas Stars: Fabian Brunnstrom has been put on IR with a lower-body injury, but is eligible to come off Jan. 3. Still, the Stars have made no mention of a possible return date ... Brad Richards has a point in six of his last seven games. He has two three-assist games in that span and 13 total points (four goals) ... Center Mike Ribeiro also has a point in six of seven games. He has 10 points (two goals) in that span ... Richards and Ribeiro were the only Stars to break 10 points in December. Loui Eriksson and Matt Niskanen both finished with nine ... Eriksson led the team with nine goals last month. James Neal was second with six.
|1.||Blackhawks||@PHO, @COL, @NSH, NSH|
|2.||Red Wings||CLB, DAL, BUF|
|3.||Panthers||@TOR, CAR, ATL|
|4.||Bruins||MIN, OTT, CAR|
|5.||Penguins||@NYR, ATL, @NSH, @COL|
Detroit Red Wings: Goalie Chris Osgood hasn't played in a game since Dec. 15 because of a nagging groin injury. He has been able to practice and backup Ty Conklin, but since Conklin has done well in net, it has afforded Detroit the opportunity to rest Osgood, who remains a risky start heading into Week 14 ... Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom returned to the lineup Thursday against the Blackhawks after missing two games with an ankle injury. Get him active for Week 14 ... Pavel Datsyuk scored a goal Thursday to extend his point streak to nine games (eight goals, nine assists). He has scored in three straight games and six of seven. His recent surge has allowed him to take the team lead in scoring with 42 points ... Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa lead the team with 17 goals ... Surprisingly, both Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg were held to just eight points last month ... Defenseman Brian Rafalski got back on track in December with 11 points after netting just five in November. Rafalski seems motivated to keep the good times rolling as he opened January with a goal and two assists against Chicago ... Tomas Holmstrom has four goals and six assists in his last nine games ... Detroit has three home games Week 14. They rank third in home GFA, averaging 4.0 goals. Consider starting your Detroit skaters.
Edmonton Oilers: Top scorer Ales Hemsky continues to recover from a sore nose, but is still only listed as day-to-day. He was replaced on the top line Wednesday against the Flames by Liam Reddox, who scored a goal playing alongside Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner ... Forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot is also day-to-day with a concussion, but it comes at a bad time after he scored five times in December. Gilbert Brule was recalled from the minors to take his roster spot ... Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky had a strong finish to December with one goal and seven assists in his final six games. He has really struggled to be a top-notch offensive defenseman since the start of last season. Perhaps is finally ready to turn the corner ... Erik Cole might finally be settling in offensively as well with five points (two goals) in his last three games. He had all of nine points in his first 33 outings ... Horcoff has 22 points in his last 27 games and looks 100 percent since returning from February shoulder surgery ... The Oilers are home for four games Week 14, but the Rexall Place hasn't been overly kind to them. Edmonton is averaging just 2.47 goals per game at home (25th).
Florida Panthers: After a fourth-straight loss Wednesday, coach Peter DeBoer is opening his goalie competition and looking for Tomas Vokoun to take back the job that Craig Anderson stole from him earlier this season. However, Vokoun was yanked Wednesday against the Islanders and Anderson is expected to start Saturday in Pittsburgh. With a strong performance, he could be the Panthers' goalie of choice heading into Week 14 ... DeBoer shook up his forward rotation Wednesday by benching Richard Zednik and playing Shawn Matthias. DeBoer has called out Zednik, Nathan Horton and Cory Stillman to pick up the production ... Rookie forward Michael Frolik was the only Panthers player to break 10 points in December. He had four goals and seven assists in 14 games. Stephen Weiss was closest with seven points ... David Booth returned to the lineup Dec. 18 after missing a few weeks with a shoulder injury. He has posted six points (three goals) in seven games since returning to the ice ... All three of Florida's Week 14 opponents -- Atlanta, Toronto and Carolina -- rank in the bottom 12 in defense. This might be a time to start your Florida skaters.
Los Angeles Kings: With Erik Ersberg about to return from a groin injury that has kept him out since mid-December, the Kings cleaned house earlier this week and traded goalie Jason LaBarbera to the Canucks. He became expendable when Jonathan Quick came up from the minors and shined in Ersberg's absence. Ersberg and Quick will now battle it out for the right to be the Kings' top goalie ... Rookie defenseman Drew Doughty, the No. 2 pick in June's draft, continues to be a workhorse for L.A. He has logged 20-plus minutes in 34 of his first 37 games. While he is logging plenty of PT, Doughty's offensive game has suffered recently. He had no goals, four assists and a minus-9 rating in 15 December games ... Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown both had five goals and six assists last month to lead the team in scoring. Alexander Frolov had a team-high eight goals while converting 23.5 percent of his shots ... Defenseman Kyle Quincey, on the other hand, couldn't find the back of the net as he went 0-for-35 on shot attempts in December.
Minnesota Wild: Star forward Marian Gaborik is back on the shelf with a hip injury. He is expected to undergo surgery and miss the next 10 weeks. It's unlikely he will be traded and might not be back until early March. This is a devastating blow to Fantasy owners since Gaborik is a high-end option when healthy ... Owen Nolan scored in his first game back Wednesday from a leg injury that kept him sidelined 10 games ... Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron replaced Nolan on IR with a lower-body injury of his own. He is not a recommended start Week 14 ... Mikko Koivu was the only Minnesota player to break 10 points in December. He had three goals and 10 assists ... Pierre-Marc Bouchard was second with eight points and he had a team high four goals ... Defenseman Brent Burns ended a seven-game point drought with one goal and two assists Wednesday against San Jose. He has been a disappointment this season with 14 points and a minus-8 rating in 32 games ... Minnesota hits the road for three games Week 14. The Wild rank 29th in road GFA (2.06). Consider benching your Minnesota skaters.
Montreal Canadiens: Montreal got the bad news Thursday that forward Alex Tanguay will be out six weeks with a shoulder injury suffered Tuesday against the Lightning. He won't need surgery, but isn't expected back until mid-February. It's a tough break for the Canadiens, who were already down Tanguay's linemate Saku Koivu, who is out two more weeks with a foot/ankle injury ... George Laraque still can't shake a nagging groin injury that has plagued him all season and no return date is in sight ... Alexei Kovalev has scored four times in his last seven games after not scoring for a 19-game period. He led all Montreal players with 12 points in December ... Robert Lang has just one point in five games, but still managed to finish December with 11 points and five goals ... Defenseman Andrei Markov had his second double-digit month with 10 points ... Matt D'Agostini led the team with six goals last month, but scored just twice in the last nine games after scoring in four straight from Dec. 2-9.
Nashville Predators: Top-line center Jason Arnott scored his team-leading 14th goal Monday against the Avalanche, ending an 11-game drought without a score ... Forward J.P. Dumont is still mired in a scoring drought. He doesn't have a goal in 10 games and has just three assists in that span ... Defenseman Ryan Suter has totaled 14 of his 19 points this season on the road. Unfortunately, as well, Suter went without a goal in December. He was 0-for-32 on shot attempts ... Not one Nashville player managed more than eight points in 13 December games ... Defenseman Shea Weber is starting to get back on track with two points in his last three games after getting just one in the previous eight ... Nashville is up for four games Week 14 with three at home. The Predators are averaging just 2.38 goals (28th) at the Sommet Center. It might be time to consider benching your Nashville skaters.
New Jersey Devils: Dainius Zubrus doesn't have a goal in 10 games. He has just two assists in that span ... Jamie Langenbrunner also hasn't scored in 10 games, but has managed six assists ... Brian Gionta is also feeling the cold spell as he has gone six games without lighting the lamp ... Patrik Elias and Zach Parise tied for the team lead with 19 points in December. Elias also had a team-high plus-8 rating and nine goals ... Travis Zajac has just three points in his last five games, but still managed to finish December with 11 points ... New Jersey has four games Week 14. Three are on the road where New Jersey is averaging 2.59 goals per game (17th).
N.Y. Islanders: Starting goalie Rick DiPietro (groin) is with the team on their current four-game road trip. Coach Scott Gordon said DiPietro is in good shape, but isn't sure when he will play again. Consider DiPietro a poor start Week 14 since the Islanders have just two games ... You should probably consider benching most of your Islanders' skaters as well since both of their games are on the road where New York is averaging 2.2 goals per game (27th) ... Mike Sillinger, who has played in just seven games since season-ending hip surgery in February, is back on IR because of the ailing hip ... Trent Hunter is just day-to-day with general body soreness ... Defenseman Mark Streit had an outstanding December with a team-high 13 points. He used a current three-game point streak to tie Doug Weight for the team lead with 30 points ... Bill Guerin wrapped up December with a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists). He finished last month with 12 points and has 28 on the season ... Mike Comrie has scored in three straight games and has four goals total in that span.
N.Y. Rangers: Nikolai Zherdev, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury all tied for the team lead with 11 points in December. They were also the only three New York players to break 10 points ... Markus Naslund and Ryan Callahan led the team with five goals a piece ... Wade Redden, Marc Staal, Brandon Dubinsky and Daniel Girardi all went December without scoring a goal ... Aaron Voros felt the wrath of coach Tom Renney's displeasure with the offense and took a seat in the press box Monday against the Islanders. Voros hasn't scored a goal in 12 games and has just five points in his last 25 appearances.
Ottawa Senators: Defenseman Filip Kuba continues to sit idle with a lower-body injury. Ottawa hasn't said much about his status, so he is looking like a poor start Week 14. Fellow defenseman Anton Volchenkov (upper body) has been skating with the team and is much closer to playing. Rookie Brian Lee has benefited from the absence of these two defensemen ... Antoine Vermette has been dropped off the scoring lines because of his woeful season, but he has been playing marginally better as of late. He has three points in his last five games after getting just one in his previous 19 ... Dany Heatley doesn't have a goal in three games and to make matters worse he has taken just one shot in his last two appearances. Heatley has scored in just one game in his last 10 outings. This is very unorthodox from a player with 50-goal potential ... The trio of Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza all broke 10 points in December. The closest player was Kuba, who had six points and only played nine games due to injury ... Mike Fisher did not score last month and went 0-for-41 on shot attempts ... The Senators face three top 15 defenses -- Buffalo, Boston, N.Y. Rangers -- in Week 14. Consider benching your Ottawa skaters.
Philadelphia Flyers: Simon Gagne banged up his shoulder Tuesday against the Canucks, but luckily the injury is not as serious as first feared. Gagne is expected to miss about a week, so consider him a risky start Week 14 ... Injured forward Daniel Briere, who has been out since early December with a groin injury, was hoping to play by the weekend but it appears the earliest he will go is Tuesday against the Capitals. He is also a risky start Week 14 ... Defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle have been playing through bum ankles. Their ability to remain active has put Luca Sbisa and Lasse Kukkonen in the press box ... Forward Jeff Carter had an outstanding December as he tied for a league-high 21 points (11 goals). He earned the NHL's Second Star of December ... Mike Richards (15), Scott Hartnell (15), Joffrey Lupul (14) and Timonen (13) also broke double-digits.
|1.||Wild||@BOS, @PHI, @CLB|
|2.||Hurricanes||NJ, @FLA, @BOS|
Phoenix Coyotes: Starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is nursing a sore back, but has been practicing with the team and is available to play. He is expected to start Sunday against the Ducks, so if that happens, consider him a decent No. 2 Fantasy goalie Week 14. Mikael Tellqvist will remain just a flier in leagues that use average points per game ... Coach Wayne Gretzky has put veteran center Olli Jokinen with speedy youngsters Enver Lisin and Mikkel Boedker ... Rookie forward Viktor Tikhonov hasn't been much of an offensive weapon this season for Phoenix (six points in 35 games), but he has been valuable on the penalty kill and that is keeping him in the lineup ... Shane Doan led the team with 15 points in 15 December games. He finished the month strong with three goals and five assists in his last six games ... Defenseman Ed Jovanovski finally got his act together with a season-high 12 points last month. He had all of seven points in the first two months of the season ... Martin Hanzal was Phoenix's top scorer with seven goals, but he has scored just once in eight games ... Phoenix is home for three games Week 14. They are averaging 2.74 goals per game at home (20th).
Pittsburgh Penguins: Injured defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who has been out all season following shoulder surgery, took to the ice Friday for a skating session with the conditioning coach. Gochar is in the third month of his recovery following the operation. His expected recovery time was 4-6 months and Gonchar isn't expected to do any practice drills for another month. He still should only be stashed in larger Fantasy leagues ... Oft-injured defenseman Philippe Boucher is back on the shelf with an undisclosed ailment. He looks to be a poor start Week 14 ... Eric Godard also remains day-to-day with an undisclosed ailment ... A bit of good news for the Penguins is that injured forward Tyler Kennedy, who has been out since early December with a sprained knee, is on the verge of returning ... Defenseman Kris Letang returned Thursday against the Bruins after missing four games with a lower-body injury. He saw some time at forward, a trend that could continue ... Surprisingly, All-Star forward Sidney Crosby has just one power-play score in 30 games ... Fellow All-Star forward Evgeni Malkin is in one of his worst slumps with just two points in five games ... Miroslav Satan and Jordan Staal have each gone seven games without a goal ... Petr Sykora has found his scoring touch again with 26 points in his last 27 games ... Pascal Dupuis had seven goals in December ... Pittsburgh has four games Week 14. Three are away from home where they rank fourth in road GFA (3.10). Consider starting your Pittsburgh skaters.
San Jose Sharks: Jonathan Cheechoo is starting to find his groove after another one of his patented slow starts. Cheechoo has five points (two goals) in his last five games after getting just eight points (four goals) in his first 20 games ... Breakout forward Devin Setoguchi missed only one game for personal reasons and returned to the lineup Wednesday against the Wild with his team-leading 18th goal .. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff was also back in the lineup Wednesday after being a healthy scratch for the first time all season. The five-year veteran has been in a major rut with a minus-7 rating in seven games and a goal-less streak that has reached 18 games ... Joe Thornton led the team with 18 points and a plus-11 rating in December. Patrick Marleau was second with 14 points. He led the team with seven goals ... San Jose hits the road for all three of their games Week 14. They rank eighth in road GFA (2.88).
St. Louis Blues: Rookie forward T.J. Oshie is back in the Blues' lineup after missing 24 of the last 26 games with an ankle injury. He has already has one setback from the injury and St. Louis is hoping the latest stretch of rest will keep Oshie in the lineup for good ... Unfortunately for St. Louis, Paul Kariya might be done for the season. The star forward is headed for hip surgery and might not be back on the ice until 2009-10 ... David Backes returned to the right side of the ice Tuesday against the Devils and scored his 11th goal of the season on a line with Keith Tkachuk and Oshie. Backes has 11 goals on the season and two in his last six games ... Patrik Berglund and top scorer Brad Boyes both scored six goals and added seven assists in 15 December games to lead the team with 13 points. Backes had a team-high seven goals ... St. Louis got some unexpected offense last month from B.J. Crombeen (six goals) and Brad Winchester (five) ... St. Louis is on the road for two games Week 14. They rank 24th in road GFA (2.35), so consider benching your St. Louis skaters.
Tampa Bay Lightning: To help struggling left winger Vaclav Prospal, coach Rick Tocchet reunited him on the top line with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis Thursday against the Capitals. The trio combined for two goals -- both by Lecavalier -- and five assists ... Prospal's promotion to the top line means Ryan Malone has been dropped to the second line with Jeff Halpern ... Backup goalie Olaf Kolzig skated with the team before Thursday's game, but is not yet ready to play. He has missed five of six games with an upper-body injury. Kolzig is targeting a Jan. 8 return at Phoenix ... Defensemen Paul Ranger and Lukas Krajicek are both nursing upper-body injuries, but are merely day-to-day ... St. Louis and Lecavalier were the only Lightning players to break 10 points in December. Malone and Mark Recchi both had eight ... Jussi Jokinen, Andrej Meszaros and Marek Malik all went without a goal last month ... Tampa Bay is on the road for two games Week 14. They rank 25th in road GFA (2.32), so consider benching your Lightning skaters.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Coach Ron Wilson praised fourth-line center John Mitchell after Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Sabres. Wilson was not pleased with the top line of Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak and hinted after the game that he might replace one of them with Mitchell starting Saturday in Ottawa ... The Maple Leafs are also expecting to get rookie defenseman Luke Schenn back in the lineup after he missed several weeks with a knee injury. He is still rough around the edges and is more of a long-term Fantasy keeper ... Matt Stajan is on the injured list with an eye injury stemming from an off-the-ice mishap involving a soccer ball. He might return during Fantasy Week 14, but is still a risky start ... Antropov was the top point producer in December with 12, but also had a minus-10 rating which tied Jeff Finger for the worst mark ... Defenseman Tomas Kaberle picked up 10 assists last month, but was 0-for-20 on shot attempts. He has not scored since Nov. 13 ... Jeremy Williams has seven points in 10 games since his recall from the minors, but is currently day-to-day with a shoulder injury ...
Vancouver Canucks: The big news of the week for Vancouver was the arrival of goalie Jason LaBarbera in a trade with Los Angeles. LaBarbera is expected to share time in net with Curtis Sanford (who is out a few weeks with a groin injury) and rookie Cory Schneider until Roberto Luongo (groin) is ready to return after the All-Star break. LaBarbera won his Vancouver debut Thursday against Nashville, but still remains a low-end Fantasy option ... Newcomer Mats Sundin has practiced some with his teammates since arriving last week, but is not expected to make his Vancouver debut until Wednesday against the Oilers. Consider him a low-end start Week 14 ... Daniel Sedin led Vancouver with 16 points and seven goals last month. Henrik Sedin was close behind with 11 points ... Defenseman Kevin Bieksa has hit a wall with no goals in 12 games and one point in seven games ... Pavol Demitra is also struggling with one goal and one assist in eight games ... Mattias Ohlund had no goals on 30 shots in December, but erased those bad memories with a tally Thursday against the Predators.
Washington Capitals: While Brent Johnson has dealt with a sore hip, goalie Jose Theodore has won four straight starts and appears to have the stranglehold on the No. 1 job for the time being ... Chris Clark scored his first goal of the season Thursday against the Lightning. It ended a 24-game goal-less streak. Clark has scored just six goals over the last two injury-riddled seasons. He scored 30 goals in 2006-07 ... Nicklas Backstrom tied for the NHL lead with 21 points in December. After getting just four points in October, Backstrom has 40 points in his last 30 games ... Alex Ovechkin continues to chase another MVP award with a 12-goal outburst last month ... Veteran winger Viktor Kozlov had his best month with 14 points and six goals -- both season highs ... Brooks Laich was a nice surprise with six goals in December ... Alexander Semin continues his recovery from a nagging back injury. If he can't play Saturday against the Rangers, he remains a risky start Week 14.
Do you have a question for our Fantasy staff? You can e-mail us at DMFantasyPucks@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Fantasy Pucks in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.