Here’s the latest in the world of NHL injuries! Knowing my luck, teams are going to release a whole bunch of updates immediately after this article is posted. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza to see those updates.
Derek Stepan – The Coyotes forward will miss the next four to six weeks of action with a lower-body injury. By some miracle, the Coyotes are just three points behind Minnesota for the second wild-card spot and they’ve played one less game than the Wild. They’ve battled through a number of significant injuries this season and seem resilient enough to stay competitive even without Stepan.
Marcus Johansson – Left Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes with an upper-body injury after this hit from Micheal Ferland. He has one point in three games since being traded to the Bruins, but his linemates Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci have been on fire. It looks like Peter Cehlarik skated alongside DeBrusk and Krejci in Johansson’s absence.
David Pastrnak – has been skating with a stick in his hand, which is very encouraging considering he’s recovering from a thumb injury. Once he starts shooting the puck as a full participant in practice, we can start talking about a return. I would expect him to be back in the lineup at some point next week unless we hear otherwise.
Micheal Ferland – Left Tuesday’s game against the Bruins with an upper-body injury. While we don’t know exactly what he’s dealing with, it seems he suffered the injury during a fight with David Backes.
Cam Ward – Will miss about a week with a knee injury. He’s struggled mightily recently, allowing at least four goals in each of his last five games and posting a save percentage below .900 in every one of those games. Chicago’s goaltending tandem will feature Corey Crawford and Colin Delia for the near future.
Ryan Murray – As far as we know, he isn’t travelling with the team on their current road trip. The Blue Jackets play in Pittsburgh on Thursday before returning home to face the Penguins on Saturday. While Murray probably won’t be in the lineup on Thursday, his status after that hasn’t yet been revealed.
Mats Zuccarello – It’s been about a week since he had surgery to repair a broken arm and the expectation is he’ll resume skating soon. With that being said, his arm doesn’t need to be fully healed in order for him to skate, so it’ll probably be another few weeks before he returns to the lineup.
Jesse Puljujarvi – Had surgery on both of his hips and as you would expect, will be out for the rest of the season. How long until the Oilers trade Puljujarvi for a bag of pucks and he turns into a superstar for another team?
Jesper Bratt – Left Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jackets after blocking a shot with his foot/ankle. While we didn’t get an update on his status following the game, we should get some information on Thursday morning when the Devils get back on the ice. Bratt has 13 points in his last 14 games.
Nico Hischier – Is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He was considered a possibility to play against Columbus on Tuesday which leads me to believe the injury isn’t too serious. The Devils face the Capitals on Friday and the Rangers on Saturday, I’d be surprised if Hischier missed both of those games.
Taylor Hall – Has been engaged in off-ice rehab since his knee surgery last week. When you first hear ‘knee surgery’ it sounds like the recovery could stretch through the beginning of next season. However, the procedure was more of a cleanup than anything major. Officially, there’s no timetable for his return, but I’d be surprised if he plays again this season.
Robin Lehner – Left Tuesday’s game against the Senators late in the third period after being run over by Brady Tkachuk on this play. Lehner has dealt with concussions previously in his career and suffered through some dark times mentally. While he seemed to take a considerable amount of contact to head in Tuesday’s collision, the team hasn’t made any official announcements just yet. Let’s hope both his short and long-term health isn’t affected by this. He has been fantastic this season with a 20-11-5 record alongside a 2.19 GAA and .927 SV%.
Jakub Voracek – He won’t be in the lineup against Washington on Wednesday, but the hope is for him to get back on the ice for Thursday’s practice. Voracek has been playing extremely well recently, he has nine points in his last four games.
Carter Hart – While he’s expected to get back on the ice with his teammates soon, it’ll probably be another week before he’s ready to start. Brian Elliot has been playing very well since returning from injury and hasn’t posted a save percentage below .900 since he returned on February 19th.
Bryan Rust – Was spotted wearing crutches and is officially out long term with a lower-body injury following this hit from Adam McQuaid. I get the feeling he won’t be back in time to have an impact on your fantasy hockey playoffs, but maybe for the actual Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Kris Letang – Participated in Tuesday morning’s skate while wearing a non-contact jersey. Obviously, we’d like to see him take contact in practice before returning to the lineup, but there’s a good chance he returns during Pittsburgh’s home-and-home series with the Blue Jackets (Thursday and Saturday).
Evander Kane – Is dealing with a middle-body injury that isn’t expected to be too serious. Coach Pete DeBoer said the injury wasn’t related to the head shot Kane took from Zdeno Chara on February 26th against the Bruins. The Sharks have won both games they’ve played without Kane – against the Avalanche and Blackhawks.
Erik Karlsson – Re-aggravated the same groin injury that kept him out of the lineup for 10 games earlier in 2019. It isn’t expected to keep him out long term – in the sense that surgery isn’t required. With that being said, you can bet the team will be extra cautious with his recovery this time around. I expect he’ll play again during the regular season, but only because he needs to see some game action before the playoffs. Don’t be surprised to see him on the shelf for the next few weeks.
David Perron – Won’t travel with the team as they embark on a road trip of California, which means he’ll be out of the lineup for at least the next three games (Wednesday against Anaheim, Thursday against LA and Saturday against the Sharks).
Nazem Kadri – On Tuesday he was a full participant in practice for the first time since he suffered a concussion on February 19th. While he probably won’t be in the lineup on Wednesday against the Canucks, he’s certainly making great progress.
Dustin Byfuglien – The plan is for him to start skating at some point this week, which would set the stage for a return in the near future. Once he gets back on the ice we’ll get a better idea of how much his ankle is still bothering him.