Coach Mike Yeo hopes Backstrom (illness) can start tonight; John Curry recalled as insurance.
Backstrom, who played last night for Darcy Kuemper (illness), could get back-to-back starts if he is well enough. Coach is expected to address the media at 6 PM ET, where he may announce if Backstrom is good-to-go. If not, we will have to wait for confirmation during warmups.
The Wild have officially recalled John Curry from Iowa (AHL).
Curry was pulled off of the ice from his start with Iowa last night. He has been recalled as insurance for Niklas Backstrom tonight, but head coach Mike Yeo is hoping that Backstrom will feel well enough to start. If he is not, Curry will go.
Polak (knee) is a game-time decision for Thursday.
Polak took part in Leafs practice on Wednesday and could be back in the lineup tomorrow vs. Carolina. He has been sidelined with a knee injury since November 22nd. Monitor his status in the morning skate.
Lecavalier (healthy scratch) could be back in the lineup on Thursday.
Coach Craig Berube said that there is a chance that Lecavalier could be back in the lineup tomorrow vs. the Panthers. If Vinny gets back in, he will be playing centre. Lecavalier has six points (2G / 4A) in 16 games this season.
Kunitz (foot) skated on Wednesday; will not play on Thursday.
Kunitz took part in Penguins practice on Wednesday, but did not take any contact and is not quite ready to return to the lineup. Despite not being available for tomorrow’s game, it sounds like Kunitz is close to being back, which would be a huge boost for a Penguins team who is decimated by injury and mumps right now.
Crosby (mumps) skated on Wednesday; could play on Thursday.
Crosby has missed the last three games with the mumps virus, but was on the ice this morning and GM Jim Rutherford said that “there is a chance” that Crosby plays on Thursday vs. Colorado. Monitor his status during the Penguins morning skate tomorrow.
The Islanders have placed Michael Grabner (lower-body) on IR.
Grabner is eligible to return to the lineup on Saturday vs. the Lightning, but he has not skated since being injured, so do not expect him to play. His placement on IR and Griffin Reinhart’s return to the AHL opens up roster spots for Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic to come off of IR for Friday’s game.
Elliott has been a light participant in a number of practices for the better part of two weeks. There has been no details on how Elliott’s injured knee is progressing or when he is expected to return to the crease. The Blues have went 7-2-0 without Elliott, so there is no rush to get him back between the pipes at this time.