Here’s this week’s latest in the world of injuries! As always, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for the latest updates.
John Gibson – The Ducks goaltender suffered an upper-body injury when teammate Jaycob Megna crashed into him following a drive to the net by Matt Duchene of the Senators. While we don’t know exactly how long Gibson will be out, we do know that he hasn’t been practicing. Through 46 games this season he sports a 2.93 GAA and .914 SV%, which may not be good enough for the Vezina conversation, but those numbers are extremely impressive considering how terrible the Ducks have been recently.
David Pastrnak – Picture this, it’s Sunday night and you’ve just finished a lovely dinner with your co-workers. You’re walking to your car when all of a sudden you fall and injure your left thumb. Extremely relatable scenario, right? Especially if your name is David Pastrnak. Okay but seriously, are we sure that Pastrnak was merely walking to his car? Is it really possible to fall while walking? I like to think he was engaged in a spirited trot, happily skipping towards his car when all of a sudden gravity got the best of him. Forgive me for being so insensitive, but when you write about injuries every week, it’s nice to have a break from the same old boring “upper-body, day-to-day”. Speaking of timelines, I should probably mention that Pastrnak will be out for the next two weeks, after which he will be re-evaluated. Danton Heinen took Pasta’s spot on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Tuesday against the Blackhawks. He put up three points in a 6-3 win.
Casey Mittelstadt – Suffered a lower-body injury during Tuesday’s morning skate and the game-time decision was made to keep him out of the lineup against the Islanders. Coach Phil Housley said he’s day-to-day for now.
Corey Crawford – Feels great and back to normal! On Saturday, he practiced for the first time since suffering this concussion. As Blackhawks beat writer Mark Lazerus pointed out, when Crawford was injured earlier in the season, it took 12 days for him to play an actual game following his return to practice. I’d expect him to return within the next week or two – but there’s no official timetable from the team. Cam Ward has actually been outstanding recently – something I never thought I’d say this season. Ward is undefeated in his last four starts during which he’s stopped 94% of the shots he’s faced.
Ben Bishop – Could return from an upper-body injury on Thursday against the Lightning or Saturday against the Hurricanes. Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin has given the Stars a chance to win whenever they’ve called upon him this season, he sports a 2.45 GAA and .924 SV% through 24 appearances.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Needs clearance from Detroit’s medical staff before he returns from a concussion. If all goes well, he could be in the lineup on Thursday against the Senators. If he isn’t able to pass tests before then, he should return sometime this weekend – the Red Wings play a home-and-home series with the Flyers on Saturday and Sunday.
Jeff Carter – Has been skating. Coach Willie Desjardins thinks Carter is a few days away from a return, but that’s what we’ve been hearing for more than a few days. While he hasn’t been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Canucks just yet, I think it’s more likely he returns on Saturday against the Bruins or Monday against the Capitals.
Paul Byron – Will miss the next three games as he won’t be travelling with the team through Nashville, Tampa and Florida. Expect another update early next week when the Canadiens return from their road trip.
Blake Coleman – An upper-body injury caused the Devils forward to be a last-minute scratch against the Blues on Tuesday. Since it was such a late decision to keep Coleman out of the lineup, I don’t think the injury is too serious.
Taylor Hall – Is still on a recovery routine that doesn’t require him to skate every day. Coach John Hynes remains adamant that Hall will return at some point during this season, but we haven’t been given any real substantial updates. It’s been almost two months since he last played, but the team has no reason to rush him back as they aren’t really in the playoff conversation.
Craig Anderson – Took a tennis ball to the eye while at the gym which prevented him from dressing for Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes. He’s expected to travel with the team as they embark on a four-game road trip that beings on Thursday in Detroit.
Brian Elliot – Has been sent down to Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate – the Leigh Valley Phantoms – as part of a conditioning stint. It’s been three months since he last played a game, so this will give him a good opportunity to ease back into the action. I’ll remind you that Elliot had won four of six games prior to the injury and posted at least a .920 SV% in all six of those games.
Zach Aston-Reese – The Penguins forward has been a full participant in practice, which usually means he’s close to a return. If he’s not back against the Oilers on Wednesday, he should be back this weekend – against the Flames on Saturday or the Rangers on Sunday.
Justin Schultz – Is expected to return sometime this week. Now that Olli Maatta is on the shelf with a shoulder injury, the Penguins’ blueline is looking pretty weak. I’d be surprised if Schultz wasn’t in the lineup on Wednesday against Edmonton, but you’ll have to give him some time to return to form – he’s been out since October 13th.
Erik Karlsson – Coach Pete DeBoer revealed that is all-star defenseman is recovering from a muscle injury which may be groin-related. The team is very aware of the fact that muscle injuries are easy to reaggravate if they aren’t fully healed, so they’re giving Karlsson as much time as he needs to rest. Why they couldn’t have told us this four weeks ago, I have absolutely no idea. He should return to the lineup very soon – possible even on Thursday against the Capitals.
David Perron – Coach Craig Berube is hopeful that Perron will join the team as they begin a three-game road trip on Thursday against the Coyotes. If he doesn’t return Thursday, he should be in the lineup on Saturday against the Avalanche or Sunday’s tilt with the Wild
Ondrej Palat – Skated before Tuesday’s game against the Flames but wasn’t in the lineup and remains day-to-day. While Palat has seen some time on the top line with Nikita Kucherov recently, it looks like Yanni Gourde is skating with Brayden Point and Kucherov for the time being.
Jacob Markstrom – Coach Travis Green is hopeful that Markstrom will play on Wednesday against the Ducks. While it was probably never an option for him to play during Monday’s game against the Sharks, the fact that he was dressed and on the bench makes me think whatever he’s dealing with isn’t too serious. The Canucks recently acquired Marek Mazanec from the Rangers, who may get the start if Markstrom isn’t feeling well enough to play.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Should return to practice this week. While you shouldn’t expect him to be in the lineup on Thursday against the Avalanche, you can start hoping for a return on Saturday against the Senators. At the very latest he should be back in the lineup next Wednesday (February 20th) against Colorado.