New writer Brennan Des brings you the latest injury information on the likes of Crawford, Toews, Galchenyuk, Landeskog and many others…
Howdy! The name is Brennan, and I'll be bringing you your weekly dose of injury information. I hope to add a lighter tone to the most frustrating aspect of fantasy hockey…. and I swear some of my jokes really are funny!
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Gabriel Landeskog – The Avalanche captain was placed on injured reserve on November 30. The severity of his injury is still being debated, as coach Jared Bednar expressed hope that Landeskog is more “day-to-day than week-to-week.” He was able to take part in Monday’s practice, wearing a no-contact jersey. It’s a shame they don’t let you wear those in an actual game! As much as fantasy GMs need their elite winger back, Colorado might be a little more desperate, averaging just 2.23 goals per game (better than only Vancouver and Buffalo).
Corey Crawford – After a solid start to the season, an appendectomy is expected to keep Crawford out of the lineup for the next 2-3 weeks. This timeline isn’t set in stone considering Max Pacioretty came back just eight days after his appendectomy. It’s going to be at least a week though, because the Blackhawks placed him on Injured Reserve today. Scott Darling makes a good add in the short term.
Logan Couture – This one’s more of a situation to monitor so you’re not thrown off guard if Couture misses a game. He had one of the six screws in his ankle removed (he didn’t put these screws in himself by the way, they were put in during surgery to repair his fractured fibula in 2015), and says he should be good to go for the game against Ottawa.
T.J. Oshie – The shootout specialist’s injury came at an inopportune time for his fantasy owners (there is no opportune time for injuries, you silly goose). After fully participating in Tuesday’s practice, there appears to be a good chance that Oshie makes his return against the Bruins. Pay close attention to see if he reclaims his spot on a scary (albeit currently underperforming) Capitals power-play.
Alex Galchenyuk – Being a Habs fan, this one hurts the most. Everything about Galchenyuk’s hot start foreshadowed a breakout season, especially the chemistry he was developing with Alex Radulov. There’s speculation that this might be a serious knee injury, but all we know for sure is that he’s out “indefinitely”. Keep your ears open (please don’t try to physically open your ears, or you might end up in next week’s column) for more insight into the severity of the injury later in the week.
Jonathan Toews – It looks like the Chicago captain will be on the shelf for the immediate future with a back injury. The exact extent of the injury isn’t yet known, but severities are so varied when it comes to back injuries.
Mark Scheifele – After an extremely hot start to the season (26 points in 26 games), the Winnipeg center missed his third consecutive game on Tuesday night against the Red Wings. Although Scheifele has been skating, a lower body injury sustained in Thursday night’s game against the Blues has kept him from being game-ready. This seems like more of a day-to-day situation, but expect an increased role for Bryan Little in the short-term.
Rick Nash – The Rangers just can’t catch a break on the injury front. In Tuesday night’s loss to the Islanders, Rick Nash went down with a groin injury, the severity of which is currently unknown. Vigneault said he will have more information on Wednesday, so be on the lookout.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Bobby Ryan – Ryan reinjured his finger in last Tuesday’s game against the Sabres and was placed on injured reserve. Although he is eligible to return against the Sharks on Wednesday, look for Senators management to be more patient with his recovery this time around.
Patrick Sharp – Really sucks to see a component of such a stacked Dallas Stars offense have to deal with concussion-like symptoms. Obviously Sharp is no spring chicken, and this likely wasn’t going to be an amazing year for his point production, but it’s the second time this season a concussion has kept him out of the lineup. If you own him right now, I don’t know whether to slap you in the face or give you a hug.
Jonathan Marchessault – Has definitely cooled off after a hot start but remains a fantasy asset, especially when skating alongside Aleksander Barkov. Consider him day-to-day with a lower-body injury for now, but keep your eyes peeled.
Jonathan Drouin – It hasn’t been an ideal start to the season for Drouin, who hasn’t really stepped up in the absence of Steven Stamkos, but perhaps injuries have played a part in that. Drouin missed Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury, the details of which are unknown. The Lightning have three days of rest between their games on Sunday and Thursday, hopefully enough time for Drouin to recover.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Rickard Rakell – With six goals in his last eight games, we can all give thanks that this injury doesn’t seem to be long-term. Despite not being a full participant in Tuesday’s practice, he expressed a desire to get back into the lineup as soon as possible. Currently only 37% owned in Yahoo leagues, you may want to scoop him up if someone in your league dropped him.
Justin Abdelkader – Abdelkader will be out 2-4 weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament (I’ll allow you fantasy doctors to diagnose whether it will be closer to two or four weeks.). He’s always been one of those guys that sees spurts of fantasy hockey relevance, but is simply a better on-ice performer.
Erik Johnson – The talented defensemen went down with a broken fibula in Saturday’s game against the stars. He’s projected to be out of the lineup for the next 6-8 weeks, so alter your lineups accordingly. Calvin Pickard may not be the best streaming option behind a depleted Avalanche defense.
Michal Neuvirth – If my math serves me correctly, Neuvirth has about 1-2 weeks left before making his return to the lineup. I shamelessly included him in this week’s column to give Steve Mason a shout out for his incredible work in Neuvirth’s absence (5 Wins, 1.71 GAA, .945 SV%). It will be interesting to see how Neuvirth’s return impacts Steve Mason.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<20% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Jordan Staal – Unfortunately, his skate on Monday didn’t go too well, and he won’t be travelling with the team on their upcoming road trip. Don’t Staal before dropping him (I’d like to apologize from the bottom of my heart for forcing this pun)