NHL Injury Report: The latest updates on players for Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Dallas, St. Louis, San Jose & Nashville
Eastern Conference Final
Sidney Crosby (playing, possible hurt wrist)
I wanna say Crosby’s looking like “just” a star instead of his superstar self because of a slash from Alex Ovechkin in Game 3, but the best player in the world (until Connor McDavid claims that title) has not looked terribly dangerous this series. Maybe it’s just my untrained eye, but the no-look passes just aren’t there, and he’s turning over the puck more than I expect him to. Not what I was expecting to see in a bitter rivalry like this one, but to be honest, I was expecting another dueling hat-tricks game. Lofty expectations for sure. Sid was happy to return Ovechkin’s favour by taking out Karl Alzner with a nasty slash of his own. Alzner remained in the game, but was clearly so hurt that he couldn’t help his team much once the Pens turned on the pressure.
On the goalie side of things, the Pens have the services of Marc-Andre Fleury once again. It’s yet to be seen if he’ll start Pittsburgh’s next game, especially when rookie Matt Murray has been so hot. Crazy stat from Hockey Night in Canada: Murray hasn’t lost at home since December, and that was in a shootout!
And finally, the Pens received Olli MaattaTuesday night, and he played much better than he did in Game 1. His shot, tipped by Carl Hagelin, was a dagger to the Capitals in the second period that put them in a 3-0 hole. They’d climb out of it, but to no avail. Nick Bonino finished the job in overtime.
Steven Stamkos (week-to-week, vascular surgery)
Anton Stralman (day-to-day, fractured fibula)
J.T. Brown (week-to-week, upper-body injury)
Matt Carle (day-to-day, undisclosed)
Stamkos is still on blood thinners, according to some reports, and close to returning, according to others. I’ll wait until something official gets published, but he’ll need to get off blood thinners for a few days to avoid any internal bleeding. The better Tampa does without him, the weaker his position in negotiations for his new contract. If he manages to return this postseason, it might be his last appearance as a member of the Lightning. Best-case scenario is a return late in the third round (really, really best case)
Similar to Stamkos, Stralman will have an indicator of when he’s ready to return to action: he’ll join a full team practice or be spotted in a contact jersey. His recovery is taking as expected, and he hasn’t had any setbacks yet. At least, not publicly. Whether or not we’ll see him against Pittsburgh likely depends on how long the series lasts.
Dallas vs St. Louis
Tyler Seguin (day-to-day, related to Achilles tendon cut)
He’s still not ready to help Dallas take Game 7, but Seguin has resumed skating, which is a big step for someone with his injury. Head Coach Lindy Ruff even said that “He's been ramping up the skating again”. It seems like Dallas is taking their time with Seguin here, which is what they should’ve done in the first place. In his absence, Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp are holding down the fort, each with a CorsiFor% around 55% in the 2016 playoffs.
San Jose vs Nashville
With an average defenseman weight of 211 lbs (San Jose) and 206 lbs (Nashville), you would expect forwards from these teams to be playing Game 7 in wheelchairs. Nope. There is zero news coming out of either team’s office. I hope they both somehow get eliminated, the jerks. Put me out of a gig…
As always, thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more frequent injury updates and general hockey-related tomfoolery! @AjayDaCosta, in case that address bar is too far away.