It was another one of those nights for Teemu Selanne and the Anaheim Ducks, as the schedule forced the hand of the player and the team to take the night off and save the veteran body for another night. Selanne was a scratch again for the Ducks, as they took on the Senators on Friday night, a night after they were in Montreal to take on the Canadiens and just before the Ducks take an early game on Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was definitely a scheduled night off and Selanne should be back on Sunday.
I believe Chris M. is aware of this situation by now, as it has already happened once this season. Chris goes into Saturday in the midst of a 3-way tie for 2nd place with 96 points, so he'll need the Finnish Flash back before the weekend is out.
Injury news for the Calgary Flames sees forward Lee Stempniak taking the night off, due to a lower-body injury. Stempniak will not play Saturday night against the Washington Capitals and will be listed as out day-to-day for right now. The Flames have just returned home from an Eastern trip and it looks like they are not quite as healthy as they would have preferred. If there is anything more on Stempniak, an update will be provided, but day-to-day will be where he stands right now.
Leo M.'s team has been climbing the standings of late, but takes a hit with this injury news. Leo is only 5 points out of the top 10 going into Saturday's action, but he should have plenty of scoring help to make up for the new injury.
The New Jersey Devils are in Boston on Saturday evening to take on the Bruins, but Cory Schneider is not with the team, dealing with a lower-body injury. It will be Martin Brodeur taking to the net on Saturday, only days after he said that Schneider was likely going to be the number one guy for the foreseeable future. There is no full update on Schneider's status, but the Devils do not play again until Tuesday, home to the Lightning, so it may just be a precautionary move to leave him at home and stay rested.
Well, this may or may not have been a scheduled start for Brodeur any way, which kind of leaves everything up in the air. Dale C. will miss the possibility of Schneider coming in and giving the Devils a hand, but this does guarantee John S. a start tonight, so we'll take that as it is.
It was the season debut for Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kristopher Letang on Friday night, who had missed the opening few weeks of the season to a lower-body injury. Letang started the season on the Injured Reserve and the injury was so well-guarded, that no one had any idea that the injury was going to last through to Week Four of the pool season. It wasn't like the Penguins missed him too dearly, but his scoring touch wasn't around, so he was likely missed in plenty of other places.
Letang was Stuart's 3rd round pick in the draft, taken at 52nd overall, thanks to the big defenseman rush in the beginning of the draft. Letang should still be able to score at a point-per-game pace, in theory, which would still give him a pretty good season total, if he can stay healthy for the rest of the year. Stuart starts Saturday in 23rd at 55 points, trailing 1st place by 46 points.
The 10-game suspension for Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson is now over! A sigh of relief came up from Tony D.'s team, who has been waiting patiently after the preseason punishment. Clarkson was not able to register a point in a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but now that he is back in the line-up, he can at least be given the chance to help out on the score sheet, something that can't be done from the press box.
Tony started the night 13 points out of the top 10 in the standings, before Clarkson made his return and he is now only waiting for Alex Burrows to return from a foot injury to have a healthy and happy team for the first time this season.
With one player returning, usually it would be an AHL player coming out of the line-up, someone keeping a spot warm for the returning player, but on Friday, as it so happened, it was an injury that took Joffrey Lupul out of the line-up on Friday. Lupul suffered a bruised foot, blocking a shot in practice on Thursday and deemed unable to play on Friday night. Lupul is considered to be out day-to-day, but this definitely doesn't help his injury-prone status.
This injury does not sound too serious, just uncomfortable. That's about what you can say for Stuart, who has Lupul in the pool and can't seem to catch a break in his line-up. Stuart is trying to work his way out of the basement and he'll need his players to be healthy to do so.
It has not been a positive start for David Booth in Vancouver with the Canucks, as his scoring touch has not come back, he was scratched earlier in the week, because of his scoring and upon his return on Thursday night, he was injured early on, suffering another lower-body ailment. There is some belief that this injury is related to some groin problems he was having earlier in the season, so he sat out on Friday night in St. Louis. Booth only has 1 goal and 2 assists in 11 games this season, which is well down from his expectations.
Not good news for Ryan V., who likely had him pegged as that sleeper pick that NHL.com thought he could be. Ryan is still in pretty good shape going into Saturday's action, sitting in 11th place, 16 points out of the prizing and 2 points out of the top 10.