This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.
Around the Rink
Something happened with Sidney Crosby Friday and it wasn't good…
— HockeyNightInCanada (@hockeynight) December 12, 2014
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain was held out of Friday's game against Calgary and will not be in the lineup when the team faces the Blues Jackets Saturday. At the present moment, the Pittsburgh Penguins are uncertain whether Crosby has the mumps.
The mumps is a viral disease of the human species that has affected at least a dozen players from both NHL conferences this season. While Crosby has shown 'no indication' of the disease, the team will need to observe further tests results to come to an overall conclusion.
It is very possible Crosby has the mumps, as players in the Penguins' division have been affected by the outbreak. Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils both contracted the illness recently and are currently out of the lineup.
— Devils Insiders (@DevilsInsiders) December 11, 2014
While Sid is tied for second in NHL scoring with 35 points, he has only scored twice in his last 19 games. Maybe a brief rest will help Crosby snap out of this so called 'scoring slump'.
While the Penguins won't have Crosby in the lineup, they are one of 26 NHL teams that will be in action Saturday night.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Senators (Robin Lehner*) at Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 1:00
Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 1:00
Ducks (Frederik Andersen) at Jets (Ondrej Pavelec), 7:00
Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Capitals (Braden Holtby), 7:00
Blackhawks (Scott Darling) at Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 7:00
Red Wings (Jimmy Howard) at Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:00
Panthers (Roberto Luongo) at Sabres (Jhonas Enroth), 7:00
Wild (Darcy Kuemper) at Coyotes (Mike Smith), 8:00
Devils (Cory Schneider*) at Stars (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30
Blues (Jake Allen) at Avalanche (Calvin Pickard), 10:00
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Canucks (Ryan Miller), 10:00
Predators (Pekka Rinne) at Sharks (Antti Niemi), 10:30
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News For Teams Playing Saturday
Dany Heatley, LW (groin) – Was sent to AHL Norfolk on Thursday on a long-term conditioning loan.
John Gibson, G – Took part in an on-ice workout Tuesday.
Corey Perry, RW (knee) – Will miss three-to-four weeks due to a sprained left knee.
Brandon Gormley, D (lower body) – Rotated in with the third pairing at Wednesday's practice.
Cody McCormick, LW (lower body) – Isn't expected to play Saturday against the Panthers.
Mike Weber, D (undisclosed) – Missed Friday's practice with an undisclosed injury.
Andrej Meszaros, D (concussion) – Was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, considered day-to-day
Andrej Nestrasil, C (upper body) – Appears unlikely to play Saturday against the Flyers.
Jiri Tlusty, LW (undisclosed) – Is questionable to play Saturday against the Flyers.
Alexander Semin, RW (lower body) – Was placed on injured reserve Thursday.
Jordan Staal, C (leg) – Has been participating in pregame skates, but still no timetable for return.
Jesse Winchester, RW (concussion) – Continues to experience vision problems.
John Mitchell (leg), C – Joined his teammates on the ice for a limited portion of Friday's practice.
Brad Stuart, D (hamstring) – Was a full participant in Friday's practice.
Jamie McGinn, LW (back) – Underwent surgery Wednesday and isn't expected to play again in 2014-15.
Semyon Varlamov, G (groin) – Coach Patrick Roy said Varlamov would miss "a couple weeks" after aggravating his groin injury at Monday's practice.
Travis Moen, LW (upper body) – Has been ruled out for Saturday's game against the Devils.
Ryan Garbutt, RW (suspended) – Was suspended three games Thursday for a slew-foot on Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien in Tuesday's game.
Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW – Will miss four-to-eight weeks but will not require surgery.
Stephen Weiss, C (shoulder) – Injured his shoulder Friday and did not return.
Justin Abdelkader, RW (upper body) – Was placed on injured reserve Thursday.
Danny DeKeyser, D (upper body) – Has been ruled out for both of the Red Wings' weekend contests with an upper-body injury.
Scottie Upshall, RW (ankle) – Questionable.
Aleksander Barkov, C (hand) – Isn't expected to rejoin the Florida lineup for either of the team's two weekend games against the Red Wings or Sabres.
Marco Scandella, D (suspended) – Has been suspended two games for his illegal check on the Islanders' Brock Nelson in Tuesday's game.
Keith Ballard, D (concussion) – Is dealing with a concussion and multiple facial fractures and is considered out indefinitely.
Lars Eller, C (upper body) – Was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Paul Gaustad, C (lower body) – Questionable.
Derek Roy, C (upper body) – Participated in Wednesday's practice.
Taylor Beck, RW (concussion) – Has been diagnosed with a concussion and will miss at least the next three games.
Dainius Zubrus, LW (leg) – Will not play Saturday against the Stars.
Adam Larsson, D (illness) – Has been diagnosed with the mumps virus.
Travis Zajac, C (mumps) – General manager Lou Lamoriello said Zajac (lower body) has recently gotten over a case of the mumps.
Patrik Elias, C (groin) – Was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
Casey Cizikas, C (upper body) – Practiced Friday.
Josh Bailey, RW (lower body) – Questionable.
Johnny Boychuk, D (upper body) – Skated Wednesday.
Travis Hamonic, D (upper body) – Skated Wednesday.
Marc Methot, D (back) – Is expected to sit out Saturday's game.
Milan Michalek, LW (upper body) – Joined the team for Friday's practice.
Chris Neil, RW – Is considered week-to-week with a knee injury he suffered Thursday against the Kings.
Clarke MacArthur, LW (illness) – Questionable.
Zach Sill, C (upper body) – Left Friday's game with an upper-body injury and could miss the next "couple weeks,"
Sidney Crosby, C – Will sit out Friday and Saturday with a swollen right-side of his face as a precautionary measure.
Beau Bennett, LW (knee) – Took to the ice on his own prior to Friday's morning skate.
Chris Kunitz, LW (foot) – Attempted to skate prior to Thursday's practice but was unable to do so.
Olli Maatta, D (upper body) – Is dealing with an upper-body injury and will not play in either of the Penguins' two games over the weekend.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, D (upper body) – Took part in Friday's optional skate.
Mike Brown, LW (lower body) – Was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.
Raffi Torres, LW (knee) – Coach Todd McLellan said Tuesday that Torres would be out for "well into the New Year.
Tyler Kennedy, RW (shoulder) – Coach Todd McLellan said Kennedy would be out "awhile" after suffering a shoulder injury Saturday in Calgary.
Carl Gunnarsson, D (concussion) – Was on the ice for a workout Friday.
Brian Elliott, G (knee) – Was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice.
Ondrej Palat, LW – Doubtful.
James Reimer, G (groin) – Coach Randy Carlyle said Reimer tweaked his groin in Friday's practice but believes it's only a minor concern for the goalie.
Roman Polak, D (ankle) –Was on the ice on his own prior to Friday's practice.
Leo Komarov, RW (head) – May have suffered a setback in his return from a head injury.
Shawn Matthias, C (head) – Questionable.
John Carlson, D, WSH – Carlson has been on fire lately, recording two goals and nine points in his last seven games. In that span, Carlson is a plus-9 and has recorded 21 shots on goal. Yeah, he's on a bit of a role. The 24-year-old is playing a key role on a Capitals' team that sits eighth in the Eastern Conference and hold a 3-0-1 record in their last four games. Carlson sits seventh in defenseman scoring, and with 21 points (four goals) in 28 games, he is on pace for the first 60-point season of his NHL career. If Carlson happens to be available, he needs to be snatched up immediately.
P.K. Subban, D, MTL – Beware, the Subbantor has caught fire. With three goals and nine points in his last seven games, Subban now sits fifth in defensemen scoring with 22 points in 31 games. Averaging 25:04 of ice time, the 25-year-old is once again proving to be one of the best fantasy options on the blueline. Subban has been very consistent in 2014-15, never going more than three games without registering a point. He has potted three game-winning goals and is on pace for another 60-point season. After producing below expectations earlier in the season, Subban has finally his stride. Watch out.
Dan Girardi, D, NYR – Girardi is pointless in his last nine games and is also a minus-6 in that span. While he's not known for being a major offensive contributor, Girardi can usually be counted on for 20-30 points every season. That just hasn't been the case in 2014-15, as Girardi has managed just one goal and five assists in 26 games, putting him on pace to post his lowest point total in nine years. While he may still reach 20 points, it's time to look elsewhere if you are looking for offense from the blueline.
Shane Doan, RW, ARZ – Doan has managed just one assist in his last six games and has gone eight straight games without scoring a goal. The top-line forward has still managed seven goals and 16 points in 29 games, on the season, but has struggled of late. He is on pace for 20 goals, but if he keeps producing at this rate, he won't even reach 45 points. At 38-years of age, Doan is no longer the 70-point producer he was in his earlier days. Considering the Coyotes sit 13th in the Western Conference and have only scored 67 goals this season, it's hard to see Doan picking up the offense in the near-future.
Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY – Gaudreau continues to impress in his first full NHL season, recording three goals and seven points in his last seven games. With 22 points (six goals) in 30 games, Gaudreau has surpassed even the highest expectations set out for him. He has become a fixture in Calgary's top-six, playing on the second line with Jiri Hudler. Gaudreau's two-game-winning goals, 60 shots on goal, and plus-8 rating make him an all-around solid fantasy option. Currently owned in only 39.3 of ESPN fantasy leagues, Gaudreau could hit 60 points as a rookie. He has a superior skill-set and is thriving on a Calgary team that, though they have lost four straight games, still sits seventh in the Western Conference with 36 points in 31 games. Johnny Hockey is worth a look right now, especially if you're in a deeper league.