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On the Beat

On the Beat: Injuries, line changes, starters and other notes

This afternoon around the NHL, Kari Lehtonen back on the ice, Milan Lucic has target return date, details on the Predators’ attendance and much more after the jump.

What team beat writers are saying this afternoon:

  • Kari Lehtonen was on the ice for the Thrashers, reports Chris Vivlamore.  Goaltending hasn’t been the problem in Atlanta, so if Lehtonen does return in the next month or so, I’d expect him to be available in a trade.
  • Milan Lucic hopes to be back for the Winter Classic.  As hard working as Steve Begin is, I’m sure Bruins fans will be happy to see Lucic back on the top line.
  • Tyler Myers and Patrick Kaleta both missed practice today.  Both players are extremely valuable to the Sabres’ cause.
  • Shockingly the Hurricanes have not called this season “lost.” What else do they expect Maurice to say?  In reality though, a turnaround for next year is certainly feasible and that top five pick should pay dividends down the road.
  • The Hawks know the Sharks will be looking for revenge tonight when they visit the United Center.  After I hyped up the last match between these two teams on the IC Radio Show, I’ll hold judgment until tomorrow morning.
  • Craig Anderson starts tonight for the Avalanche.  The Avs fans need to take notice of this team because it doesn’t appear to be going away.
  • Did you know Tomas Plekanec is sixth in the entire NHL in points?  When Brian Gionta returns, we will be able to see what this team is capable of.  Also, expect the trade of Halak to bring in another forward.
  • If the Predators continue at their current pace, they will not qualify for revenue sharing this season.  That doesn’t mean they get nothing, it just means they get 75% of revenue sharing money.  Also, the team is playing tremendous hockey, so later games should garner more interest due to playoff implications.
  • Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky got into a tussle at practice today.  Probably something the Rangers need.  I bet Tortorella doesn’t mind this at all.
  • Rick Carpiniello thinks Wade Redden played okay last night in his return to the lineup.  Obviously okay isn’t good enough at that salary.
  • Pavol Demitra skated for the Canucks todayHe’s always injured so you almost forget him if you aren’t a Canucks fan.  That said, a late January return would be hugely beneficial for this club’s secondary scoring.
  • Semyon Varlamov is slated to return next weekHis Calder Trophy aspirations fall off a bit with this injury, but he has time to make that up.