The IR: Updates on Smith, Kassian, Malkin and more

Mike Schmidt

2013-03-27

KrisLetang

 

Mike Schmidt takes a look at injuries around the league, including Letang, Kovalchuk, Lindback. Hossa and more

 

Get The Stretcher (Latest Injuries)

The New Jersey Devils are expected to be without the services of star winger Ilya Kovalchuk for at least the next 10 days. He sustained a shoulder injury Saturday in his squad's 2-1 home win overFlorida.  It goes without saying it's a major loss for the Devils, a squad that is losing a proven point-per-game player who leads all forwards in ice time per game by more than three minutes.

The Penguins lost Kris Letang – one game after getting him back. He re-aggravated his lower-body injury and, according to RDS, he suffered a broken toe (just to add to his fun). No word on how long he will be out for, but it’s a safe bet that we won’t see him before April 10.

Mike Smith hasn't performed anywhere near as well last year's career campaign in goal for Phoenix, but the Coyotes would probably settle for him getting healthy and back in net at this point. Smith has been out of action since last Thursday when Vancouver's Alex Edler crashed into him and received a five-minute major for charging. Jason LaBarbera is a competent backup netminder and should be the team's primary option in net while Smith recovers from an upper-body injury.

Anders Lindback remains sidelined indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain. His backup, Mathieu Garon, has made little of his increased playing time in Lindback's absence. Expect Lindback to quickly regain his role as a workhorse in net (albeit an underwhelming one) as soon as he's healthy and ready to return.

Remember when Zack Kassian was healthy scoring goals at an incredible rate? Yeah, late January seems like a REALLY long time ago now. Kassian hasn't scored a goal since Jan. 30, and now he's currently dealing with a back injury that came about as a result of an on-ice fight last week.  To be fair, he's not seeing major minutes, he's not being sheltered defensively despite his lack of experience, and his PDO of .954 suggests he's been incredibly unlucky. However, let Kassian prove himself to be a top-six forward capable of producing decent goal totals before considering him in one-year formats.

Not much has gone right for longtime veteran Daniel Briere in 2013. His scoring is down, and his shooting percentage has dropped for the third straight campaign.  He hasn't been very productive on the ice this season, and now it looks like he'll be off the ice for a considerable amount of time due to a concussion. Look elsewhere for offensive help at this point in the season.