Here’s the latest news in the world of NHL injuries! To see injury updates from around the league as soon as they’re made public, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Hampus Lindholm – Isn’t with the team as they travel through Florida to face the Panthers on Thursday and Lightning on Saturday. There haven’t been any significant updates about his recovery from a lower-body injury, but I wouldn’t expect him to play in those two games. The Ducks have registered just one win during this five-game stretch without Lindholm and have given up 20 goals in those four losses.
Patrice Bergeron – A lower-body injury kept him out of Tuesday’s game against the Devils, but there’s a good chance he returns on Thursday against the Sabres. There’s been some speculation that this is the same groin injury that bothered him in the offseason, but nothing has been confirmed by the team. Boston will need one of the best two-way centers in the game as they prepare to capture the prize they came so close to winning last year. At 35 years of age, there’s a real possibility that Bergeron opts to sit out of a few regular season games here and there in order to preserve his health for the playoffs.
Torey Krug – Is expected to return ‘later this week’. The Bruins face the Sabres on Thursday and Wild on Saturday, so hopefully Krug will get back in the lineup in one of those games. Matt Grzelcyk – who has taken over Krug’s role on the top power-play unit – has three points in four games without Krug. Interestingly enough, none of those points came on the power play!
Marcus Johansson – Is officially day-to-day with an upper-body injury and while he won’t travel to Boston for Thursday’s game, he could join the team in Florida prior to Sunday’s clash with the Panthers. Buffalo hasn’t had very much depth-scoring this year, so Johansson’s return will be a welcome one as he has 10 points in 17 games.
T.J. Brodie – The Flames defenseman was taken to hospital last Thursday after he collapsed and started convulsing during practice. He has since returned home and is feeling good aside from some soreness. At the moment, we don’t know when he’ll be back in the lineup, but we obviously wish him the best in his recovery!
Sam Bennett – Out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft hasn’t quite lived up to the hype that comes with being a top prospect, but he’s still only 23, so who knows what the future holds for him. While Bennett might not play a huge role in Calgary, his presence will certainly be missed as the Flames are currently on a five-game losing streak.
Erik Haula – The 28-year-old forward won’t be back any time soon as he recovers from a knee injury. As I mentioned last week, Haula suffered a serious knee injury last year that was described as a “dislocated patella with chipped bone and cartilage inside the knee”. The team will certainly miss his goal-scoring abilities as he lit the lamp eight times in 16 games this season.
Mikko Rantanen – Isn’t travelling to Minnesota so he won’t be in the lineup on Thursday when the Avalanche face the Wild. Beyond that, the team hasn’t really released any significant updates. As I mentioned last week, he’s been skating on his own but not with the team. I should have a better update for you next week, which means he probably won’t make his return between now and then.
Gabriel Landeskog – Nothing of significance to report. We do know that he’ll be out longer than Rantanen, so when his Finnish friend gets back in the lineup, we can start talking about a return for Colorado’s captain. With that being said, it’ll probably be weeks before Landeskog is ready for game action.
Roope Hintz – It’s possible that he returns from a lower-body injury on Saturday when the Blackhawks visit Dallas. The Stars are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and are back in a playoff spot after a shaky start to the season. Hintz has been excellent this year, so the team’s recent success is made even more impressive when you consider his absence.
John Klingberg – He’s in the same boat as Hintz; while he probably won’t be in the lineup on Thursday against the Jets, he should skate with the team in the coming days and could be back in the lineup on Saturday.
Adam Larsson – Plans to make his return to the lineup on Thursday against the Kings after missing almost two months of action while recovering from a broken fibula. The Oilers have played pretty well in his absence as they sit atop the Western Conference – just as we all predicted!
Mackenzie Weegar – While he might return to practice at some point this week, he won’t be ready for game action. That essentially rules him out of Thursday’s clash with the Ducks and Saturday’s tilt with the Hurricanes – probably Sunday’s game against the Sabres as well.
Paul Byron – Will be out for about four weeks as he recovers from knee surgery. The speedy forward generates a number of breakaways with his strong skating and his scored quite a few goals during his time in Montreal. He hasn’t been as effective this season, so hopefully he’s back to his normal self after this time off.
Jonathan Drouin – The Canadiens forward will need at least eight weeks to recover from wrist surgery. This is huge loss for the Habs as Drouin had been playing extremely well during the first quarter of this season. Hopefully the strong work ethic and defensive intelligence he developed during the summer won’t be lost during this time off. In Drouin’s absence, the team’s second line will be composed of Max Domi, Nick Suzuki and Joel Armia. Keep an eye on Suzuki over the next few weeks as the 20-year-old center is proving to be a really solid player for the Canadiens.
Mika Zibanejad – New York’s top center practiced with his teammates on Tuesday but didn’t take any contact. He’s been ‘day-to-day’ for nearly a month now and will have missed over 10 games in the process. Zibanejad isn’t expected to play this week, which rules him out of Wednesday’s game against the Capitals, Friday’s game against the Senators and Saturday’s game against the Canadiens. Ryan Strome has been outstanding in Zibanejad’s absence, maintaining a point-per-game pace through 18 games.
Sidney Crosby – You’ve probably heard by now, but Pittsburgh’s captain underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury and will be out for at least six weeks. As our very own Cam Robinson reminded us, Evgeni Malkin is a different animal when Crosby’s not in the lineup – Geno has 10 points in his last seven games.
Kris Letang – The Penguins defenseman has been making progress as he continues to skate on his own. He hasn’t yet been able to participate in practice with his teammates, but once he does, we can expect a return to follow soon after.
Patric Hornqvist – Has been a full participant in practice and will be a game-time decision on Thursday when the Penguins take on the Islanders. Hornqvist has 10 points in 14 games this year and his return will be a welcome one as the team is already dealing with a number of significant injuries.
Justin Schultz – Coach Mike Sullivan didn’t have any updates for us after Schultz left Wednesday’s practice early. As I write this, his status for Thursday’s game against the Islanders is up in the air.
Nikita Kucherov – Suffered an upper-body injury following a big hit from Brayden Schenn during Tuesday’s game against the Blues. Kucherov appeared to experience some whiplash as he fell to ice and while he did leave the game, coach Jon Cooper said his absence wasn’t due to concussion protocol. We were expecting a more detailed update at some point today, but the team cancelled their practice so we might have to wait a little longer before we get more information. He reportedly looked fine as he left the arena, but injuries aren’t always easily observed.
Alexander Kerfoot – Practiced with his teammates on Wednesday after missing a few games following dental fracture repair. As I write this, his status for Thursday’s game in Arizona hasn’t yet been determined.
Mitch Marner – Will join the team on their road trip as he continues to rehab from a high ankle sprain. This is more of an attempt to improve team morale than a milestone in Marner’s recovery, as the Leafs have lost six straight games. The 22-year-old forward is still weeks away from a return.
Nicklas Backstrom – Is day-to-day with an upper-body injury that will keep him out of the lineup on Wednesday against the Rangers. In his absence, Lars Eller is expected to move up and center a line with Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie.