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Right on Schedule: Holiday happenings

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

For most, Santa Claus visits just as you're entering into your slumber on Christmas Eve. For Tom Fenton, good 'ole Santa came early when Phoenix G Ilya Bryzgalov (flu) became ill Thursday afternoon. With Bryzgalov unable to suit up for the game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Coyotes, desperate for a warm body to backup Jason LaBarbera, signed the 26-year-old former goalie Fenton to a 1-day contract. Of course the very next morning Phoenix recalled Matt Climie, who was 13-5 with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, and Fenton was out. But hey, it still makes a good story. Rather than goalies, let's focus on a few teams anxiously waiting with milk and cookies hoping the jolly old feller will bring an offensive breakout.

Though Nashville (17-9-6) is keeping pace with first place Detroit, it has little to do with their offense. After collecting four goals in the first three games of the season, Steve Sullivan is managing to lead the team with just 10 goals. If the Preds are to continue their persistence in the Central division, Sullivan, (ten points in the last 12 games) is going to have to find the back of the net more. Some good second-line center Cal O'Reilly has pitched in a bit with 12 assists (18 points) this season, but if he is to stay in Nashville all season, he needs to shake his streakiness. Though a plus-4 in his last five games, he is pointless over that span.

Until their embarrassing 6-1 home loss to Los Angeles, Nashville had been on a roll. Even after watching number one goalie Pekka Rinne head to the injured reserve, the Preds had been undefeated in ten games. Rookie backup goaltender Anders Lindback posted two shutouts and went undefeated in seven games. Reports say Rinne, after undergoing arthroscopic surgery earlier this month is back at 100 percent. However, just as you could hear the zippers of Mark Dekanich’s travel gear heading back to Milwaukee (AHL), Lindback gave up three goals on nine shots against Los Angeles and Dekanich came in to clean up. All of a sudden … it's Rinne's job to lose again?

Under the AHL tree:
RW Chris Mueller in 30 games played is a plus-8 and has 12 goals (18 points)
LW Linus Klasen in 27 games played has 13 goals (24 points)
D Teemu Laakso in 27 games is a plus-4 and has 11 points
D Jonathan Blum in 29 games has 16 points

This week: @ CHI vs. OTT, @ STL

After a relatively terrible 2009-10 campaign for Cam Ward, it seems he is back to his old self with a 14-9-3 record and 2.54 GAA. Problem is, if his record is to ever reflect that change, the Carolina Hurricanes (15-12-4) have got to get their offense going. Despite the fact that Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner have combined for merely five points in the month of December, the Hurricanes are winners of their last four games. And now, GM Jim Rutherford has decided to unwrap his gift(s) a little early this season.

Last week, Carolina called up D Bryan Rodney and Zach Boychuk. Rodney, who has appeared in three games since his recall, has 18 points in 28 games with Charlotte of the AHL. Boychuck is second in the AHL's scoring with 32 points (10G, 22A) in 28 games. Though an uneventful, 5:51 of ice time, I believe the moons are aligning here for Boychuck. Having already tapped the system once, here's what's left for the NHL's All-Star game hosts.

Under the AHL tree:
C Zac Dalpe is averaging a point a game (12 goals, +10) in just 19 games played
RW Jerome Samson who had 37 goals (78 points) with last season, is a plus-11 with 31 points this season
D Brett Carson is a plus-4 and has seven assists in just 19 games
RW Jared Staal won't be getting a call to Carolina anytime soon, but he was recently promoted to the AHL. So far, the youngest Staal is pointless in ten games this season with Charlotte.

This week: @TB, vs. MON, WAS

Let's play four: ATL, PIT, STL, TB, VAN
Let's play two: BOS, BUF, CHI, COL, OTT, SJ, TOR

A few other gifts unwrapped early (link) this holiday season

Montreal, desperate to jump start their veterans, called up LW Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty, only 22, proceeded to collect a goal and an assist in his second NHL game.
This week: @ DAL, CAR, NYI

Losers of their last eight games, Washington will try to scare its team back into production. As suggested earlier in the year, RW Andrew Gordon got the call Friday. Though he had 16 goals (points) with AHL Hershey before being called up, reportedly head coach Bruce Boudreau will ease him into the Capitals lineup with a few spot starts. He quickly got a chance last Saturday night. Gordon was a minus-1 in a modest 12 minutes of ice time.
This week: @ OTT, vs.NJ, PIT, @CAR

Relaxing for the Holidays:

-Toronto (12-16-4) starts off the week hosting Atlanta (18-11-5), takes five days off and heads to the Meadowlands to take on the New Jersey Devils (9-21-2) this Sunday.
-As hot as your talent from Philadelphia (22-7-5) is, you may want to sit them. After hosting the Florida Panthers (14-16-0) to start the week, the Flyers won't play again till next Tuesday.
-The New York Rangers (20-14-1) schedule this week is separated only by a clash with the Tampa Bay Lightning (18-10-4) at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

No fairytale, this is assured

The Calgary Flames are beginning to defrost, and Mark Giordano is a big part of it. He has a colorful 40 PIM total and nine points in his last 10 games. A 15-goal, 35 assists season is possible this year.
This week: @ MIN, CLB, DAL

Are the New York Islanders (6-18-6) on your opponents’ schedule?

They have been very giving this holiday season, with a 65/104 GF/GA ratio. Most of their gifts have come on the road (2-11-3); so with two of their three games this week away from Nassau Coliseum, I'm sure your opposing players will be marked as "nice" on Santa's list.
This week: vs.TB, @NJ vs. MON

Team Away Home Total
Atlanta 2 2 4
Pittsburgh 2 2 4
St. Louis 1 3 4
Tampa Bay 3 1 4
Vancouver 3 1 4
Anaheim 3 0 3
Carolina 1 2 3
Calgary 3 0 3
Columbus 1 2 3
Dallas 0 3 3
Detroit 1 2 3
Edmonton 3 0 3
Florida 3 0 3
Los Angeles 1 2 3
Minnesota 1 2 3
Montreal 3 0 3
New Jersey 1 2 3
Nashville 1 2 3
N.Y. Islanders 1 2 3
Phoenix 3 0 3
Washington 1 2 3
Boston 0 2 2
Buffalo 0 2 2
Chicago 0 2 2
Colorado 0 2 2
Ottawa 1 1 2
San Jose 0 2 2
Toronto 1 1 2
N.Y. Rangers 0 1 1
Philadelphia 0 1 1

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- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

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Player News
Calvin Pickard
Avs' Pickard Makes 17 Saves For First NHL Win
Calvin Pickard, G, COL
12:54 PM
News: Calvin Pickard stopped all 17 of the shots he faced for his first NHL win Saturday against Carolina.
Analysis: Pikcard didn't start Saturday's game, but was called upon in the first period after starter Reto Berra was pulled. Berra gave up three goals on 10 shots, but Calvin Pickard was able to step in and help the team comeback to defeat the Canes. With the way Berra has struggled this season, there is a chance Pickard could stick with the Avalanche once starter Semyon Varlamov (groin) returns from injury. The 22-year-old youngster is 1-2-0 this season with a respectable .913 save percentage and 2.66 GAA.

Scott Clemmensen
Devils' Clemmensen Picks Up Loss In Rare Start
Scott Clemmensen, G, NJ
2:24 AM
News: Scott Clemmensen made his first start of the season Saturday, stopping 33 of 37 shots in a shootout loss to the Flames.
Analysis: Wait, Cory Schneider finally got a night off? Did we read that right? The former Canuck had started 20 straight games, but the team finally gave him a rest Saturday, turning to the backup Scott Clemmensen instead. Unfortunately, Clemmensen's lackluster performance Saturday is exactly why Schneider will continue to be an absolute workhorse in the Devils' crease. Clemmensen's struggles over the last few years are the reason why he won't see much action as the backup to Schneider this season. Even when he's called upon, he won't be very useful for fantasy goers.

Adam Henrique
Devils' Henrique Nets Two Points In Win
Adam Henrique, C, NJ
2:09 AM
News: Adam Henrique scored for the second straight game and had an assist in Saturday's shootout loss to the Flames.
Analysis: Adam Henrique continues to produce this season, recording 12 points (six goals) in 15 games, to go with a plus-5 rating. At only 24-years of age, this could very well be the season Henrique breaks out and hits the 30-goal, 60-point mark. Centering the second line and playing on the top power-play unit, Henrique isn't slowing down anytime soon. He's definitely worth looking at.

Marek Zidlicky
Devils' Zidlicky Dishes Out Two Assists
Marek Zidlicky, D, NJ
2:01 AM
News: Marek Zidlicky contributed a pair of assists in Saturday's loss to the Flames.
Analysis: Although the points were Marek Zidlicky's first in five games, the 37-year-old has impressed lately, recording a plus-7 rating over his last five games. He has delivered a solid three goals and 11 points in 21 games this season, putting him on pace for another 40-point campaign. Use him well.

Karri Ramo
Flames' Ramo Makes 25 Saves For Fourth Win
Karri Ramo, G, CGY
1:52 AM
News: Karri Ramo made 25 saves on 29 shots in Saturday's shootout win over New Jersey.
Analysis: Karri Ramo has now won two straight games, posting a 4-2-1 record on the season. Considering Jonas Hiller has given up three or more goals in each of his last four starts, the Flames might give Ramo some more starts in the near-future. He is good enough to be a reliable fantasy option whenever the team opts to sit Hiller on the bench.

Jiri Hudler
Flames' Hudler Picks Up Two Points In Win
Jiri Hudler, LW, CGY
1:40 AM
News: Jiri Hudler scored his seventh goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's shootout win over the Devils.
Analysis: What a season the 30-year-old is putting together. Jiri Hudler, who also had the shootout winner Saturday, now has 17 points in 21 games, to go with a tidy plus-4 rating. The only worry would be that Hudler currently owns a 25.0 shooting percentage, meaning he is scoring on one of every four shots he takes. There is simply no way he maintains that, so he will need shoot more if he hopes to continue finding twine. Keep rolling him, though, as he should hit 60 points.

Josh Jooris
Flames' Jooris Scores Fifth Of Season
Josh Jooris, C, CGY
1:20 AM
News: Josh Jooris scored his fifth goal of the season and had a game-high six shots on goal in Saturday's win over New Jersey.
Analysis: Josh Jooris has been heating up lately, recording two goals and four points in his last three games. While the 24-year-old is currently skating on the third line, he has still managed nine points in 15 games, including three power-play goals. The youngster is worth a look in some deeper leagues.

Curtis Glencross
Flames' Glencross Scores Twice In Win
Curtis Glencross, LW, CGY
1:09 AM
News: Curtis Glencross ended a nine-game goal drought by scoring his third and fourth goals of the season in Saturday's shootout win over New Jersey.
Analysis: It was quite the productive night for Curtis Glencross, who also had three shots, four hits, and a game-high six takeaways. Known for being consistently inconsistent, the first-liner has now compiled three goals and 10 points in his last 11 games. While he may be streaky, Glencross is known for delivering around 20 goals and 40-50 points every season. A solid scorer who won't post outstanding point totals.

Pekka Rinne
Preds Expected To Start Rinne On Saturday
Pekka Rinne, G, NSH
12:50 AM
News: Pekka Rinne is expected to be the starter in net for Saturday's game against the Panthers.
Analysis: After backup Carter Hutton got the starting nod Thursday against Ottawa, it would be a monumental surprise if Pekka Rinne wasn't in the net Saturday night. A winner of six of his last seven games, Rinne is expected to match up against the Panthers' Roberto Luongo.

Brad Marchand
Bruins Move Marchand To IR
Brad Marchand, LW, BOS
12:45 AM
News: Brad Marchand (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve Saturday.
Analysis: The retroactive placement on IR doesn't change Brad Marchand's situation much, as he'll be eligible to return to action at any point after Saturday's game since he last played Nov. 15. The Bruins continue to view him as day-to-day, but moving him to IR will at least allow Boston to bring a healthy forward into the lineup.

 
 
 
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