Datsyuk (lower body) skips Saturday’s game vs. Stars

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The Detroit Red Wings are gradually getting healthier, but that process isn’t without hiccups. In Saturday’s case, it means going without Pavel Datsyuk against the Dallas Stars, as Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating passes along word from Mike Babcock that the star has a lower-body injury.

The positive aspect of this tough loss is that the 35-year-old will get a nice amount of time to heal up from that (and possibly other issues). The Red Wings won’t play again until Thursday, so he’ll get more than week off with his most recent appearance being the 2014 Winter Classic.

While the abstract view is to point to the Red Wings’ superior road vs. home record and call this beginning of a five-game road trip a positive thing, it’s still a tour that poses some potential problems. That’s especially true beginning Thursday, as Detroit faces the three imposing California teams in a four-day span.

So, yeah, there’s plenty of motivation to sit Datsyuk. Of course, it’s just as possible that he’ll be out for some of that trip, too.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen

Coyotes place towering enforcer John Scott on waivers

John Scott, Brandon Davidson
The Canadian Press via AP
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The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.

The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.

Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.

Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.