We know this: Vernon Fiddler (lower-body injury) is expected to play for the Dallas Stars on Saturday, according to head coach Lindy Ruff in a report on the Stars’ website.
That club is also dealing with a list of injuries to Trevor Daley and forwards Ales Hemsky and Brett Ritchie, although, as you might expect, specific details about their respective ailments were lacking.
In one case, Ruff even diverted away from the typical lower-body/upper-body descriptions.
“Well, the one guy, it’s kind of mid-body,” said Ruff, as per the Stars’ website. “I think the one guy, depends where he carries it, it could be lower or upper. The other guy is lower. We might as well get a little more detail. I give you guys mid-body now. One guy’s mid. One guy’s lower and one guy can be anyplace.”
Reminder: Two years ago, former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said goalie Cory Schneider was out with a “body injury.”
All the latest from the blue paint…
Halak to face Fleury
Interesting sidebar to tonight’s Penguins-Islanders game at Nassau — Marc-Andre Fleury and Jaroslav Halak, named as replacement All-Stars for Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard yesterday, will square off in a key Metropolitan Division showdown.
The Isles head into tonight’s action one point up on the Pens, and much of that has to do with Halak’s play this year; he’s won nine of his last 11 starts and has been very good against Pittsburgh this season, posting a 1.52 GAA and .954 save percentage through two head-to-head matchups.
Fleury has been equally strong this season, especially against the Isles — he’s secured three of a possible four points with a 2.40 GAA and .929 save percentage.
Canucks at ‘Canes: Cam Ward for Carolina, no word yet on a Vancouver starter.
Rangers at Jackets: Henrik Lundqvist for New York, Sergei Bobrovsky likely for Columbus.
Caps at Preds: Braden Holtby vs. Carter Hutton
Jets at ‘Hawks: Corey Crawford for Chicago, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.
Devils at Ducks: Cory Schneider vs. Ilya Bryzgalov
I mentioned this the other day on the tweeter machine, but with the Capitals on NBCSN tonight, it bears repeating:
Among active goalies with at least 100 NHL appearances, only Tuukka Rask (.926) and Cory Schneider (.924) have a higher career save percentage than Washington’s Braden Holtby (.920).
Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist, considered by many to be the world’s best goalie, also has a .920 career save percentage.
Granted, Lundqvist has played 606 games and Holtby only 142. But still, that’s pretty darn good. And his career playoff save percentage is even better, at .931.
This season, Holtby is 21-8-7 with a .923 save percentage.
“His play has been stellar and so has our play,” said coach Barry Trotz, per NHL.com.
Discuss amongst yourselves how much Holtby should thank his teammates and new, structure-oriented coach for those gaudy numbers. To me, it just doesn’t seem like he gets the recognition his stats suggest he deserves. Five-on-five, Holtby’s right up there will all the current Vezina Trophy candidates. Even last season, during which he absorbed a fair bit of criticism as the Caps went on to miss the playoffs, his stats were actually quite good.