Here’s this week’s latest in injury news! Remember to follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for the latest line combinations and injury updates.
Hampus Lindholm – Has been progressing well from a lower-body injury. Anaheim has three games left in their road trip: Wednesday against the Panthers, Friday against the Hurricanes and Sunday against the Capitals. It’s the expectation that Lindholm will make his return in one of those three games.
Antti Raanta – Left Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury. He recently returned from a lower-body injury and struggled in three starts during which he allowed 14 goals. I get the feeling he wasn’t at 100% when he returned, so maybe this time the Coyotes will be more careful, and wait till Raanta is completely healthy.
Darcy Kuemper – Is day-to-day with a minor lower-body injury. With Raanta injured as well, it looks like Arizona’s goaltending tandem will consist of Adin Hill and Hunter Miska. Hill and Miska rank 28th and 59th respectively on our top 60 fantasy hockey prospect goalies over at DobberProspects. I’m not sure if I’d be racing to pick them up in any of my leagues, but if you’re really desperate for goalies in the short term…
Charlie McAvoy – Has been skating, but I wasn’t able to find any indication that he took part in a full-contact practice just yet. The Bruins host the Islanders on Thursday and the Red Wings on Saturday. With the information we have now, I wouldn’t expect McAvoy to play in either of those games.
Conor Sheary – Out day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He’s seeing more time on the power play in Buffalo than he saw in Pittsburgh, but his production (12 points in 24 games) hasn’t been a huge factor in the Sabres’ 10-game winning streak.
Henri Jokiharju – Missed Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights with an illness. Doesn’t seem to be anything too serious, so don’t expect him to miss too much action.
Tyson Barrie – Day-to-day with an unspecified injury. The Avalanche blue-liner has 20 points in 23 games this season – good enough for sixth-most points among defenseman (tied with Keith Yandle and Kris Letang). Sam Girard’s short-term value increases as he should take over Barrie’s spot on the top power-play.
Ben Bishop – Is travelling with the team and could very well return from a lower-body injury on Saturday against the Canucks. Anton Khudobin has been a solid back-up this season, but he did have a stretch of stinkers against the Penguins, Senators, and Avalanche – three high-powered offenses.
Andrej Sekera – After surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon this summer, we can finally start talking about Sekera returning to the lineup. He was skating with his teammates on Tuesday, wearing a non-contact jersey. Of course, we’d like to see him participate in a full-contact practice before projecting when he’ll be back, but this is certainly an encouraging sign.
Roberto Luongo – Is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, which seems to be a re-injured knee. The good news is, he has been skating. Panthers coach Bob Boughner said that Lu could return this weekend or early next week. Luongo has appeared in just nine of Florida’s 22 games, yet still has four of the team’s nine wins. James Reimer has not been good this season, with a 3.39 GAA and .895 SV% in 14 appearances. At 39 years of age, injuries seem to be getting the better of Luongo, but the Panthers’ need him to get healthy if they have any hope of making the playoffs.
Vincent Trocheck – Will be out indefinitely after successful surgery to repair an ankle fracture. In one-year leagues, if you can’t stash Trocheck on the IR, it might make sense to drop him and pick him up again when he gets closer to a return (which may be months from now).
Paul Byron – There’s a possibility he returns to the lineup on Saturday against the Rangers. Even if he doesn’t, I don’t expect he’ll feature in next week’s column. So, if not against New York, he’ll probably be back on Sunday against the Sharks, or Tuesday against the Senators.
Kyle Turris – Was placed on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed injury, which means he’s definitely going to miss Thursday’s game against the Coyotes. After that, we’ll have to closely monitor any updates out of Nashville. At this point, he isn’t practicing, so I expect he’ll be right back here next week – when hopefully I have a better update for you. Turris was on pace for 57 points prior to the injury.
P.K. Subban – Hasn’t been practicing, but has been getting some on-ice work done by himself. He’s eligible to be activated from the IR whenever he’s feeling well enough to play.
Mats Zuccarello – Still dealing with a nagging groin injury, which doesn’t appear to be too serious. I’m concerned because he’s only played in two of the team’s last 10 games, but I think we treat this as a day-to-day situation until we hear otherwise. Zuccarello won't travel with the Rangers on their two-game road trip this week.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Currently in concussion protocol and won't travel with the Rangers on their two-game road trip this week.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Participated in a few drills during Sunday’s practice, which is a great sign considering we’re just two months into a six-month recovery. We still don’t have an exact timetable of when he’ll be back, but expect it to be sooner rather than later.
Brian Elliott – Week-to-week with a lower-body injury. I think the Flyers continue to struggle until Elliott is healthy and playing well. The team is allowing 3.58 goals/game, third-most in the league!
Michal Neuvirth – Almost ready to return. I’m not expecting him to solve Philadelphia’s problem of keeping the puck out of their net.
Patric Hornqvist – Out with a concussion, which means I have absolutely no idea when he’ll be back.
Matt Murray – Will be out long-term with a lower-body injury. To say Murray has struggled this season would be an understatement, he had a 4.08 GAA and .877 SV% in 11 starts. Casey DeSmith on the other hand, has been spectacular. He sports a 6-3-3 record with a 2.41 GAA and .924 SV%, and should see the majority of the starts going forward.
Jaden Schwartz – Has been working out on the ice, but doesn’t appear close to a return.
Alexander Steen – Will return to the Blues' lineup on Wednesday. He's been out for the past two weeks with an upper-body injury.
Ondrej Palat – Is extremely close to a return. If he’s not back to face the Sabres on Thursday, then I’d expect he returns against the Panthers on Saturday.
Auston Matthews – Will return to the lineup on Wednesday against the Sharks. With that being said, if health was up to hockey players, they probably wouldn’t sit out a game, which is why we leave those decisions to the medical staff. Matthews had 16 points in 11 games prior to the shoulder injury, so I know we’re all itching to get him back in our lineups.
T.J. Oshie – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, concussions are unpredictable. So, we have no idea when exactly Oshie will return to the lineup. The team hopes to see him skate within the week, but the recovery process for a concussion is very fluid. As of Wednesday, he was not on the ice though.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Although he appears closer to a return than Oshie, he may not be ready to return for the Capitals' next game on Friday, as he was wearing a no-contact jersey at Wednesday's practice. Remember to follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for further updates.
Dustin Byfuglien – Pulled from Tuesday's game by a concussion spotter, but he returned. He said he felt fine on Wednesday even though he was absent from practice. It sounds like he'll be okay for Thursday's game.