Injury Ward: Crosby Skating, Makar Inching Closer, Raanta, Kotkaniemi, & Arvidsson
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!
Antti Raanta – Was unavailable for Tuesday’s game against the Sharks because he was sick. Raanta has played pretty well when called upon this year, sporting a .919 SV% and 2.72 GAA through 12 games. Unfortunately for him, Darcy Kuemper has been even better – outstanding really. Kuemper has won 15 of his 24 games, recording an immaculate 1.97 GAA and .935 SV% in the process.
Erik Haula – Joined his teammates on the back end of their Western Canadian road trip, as they travelled through Calgary and Winnipeg. He has been skating recently and continues to make encouraging progress. Coach Rod Brind’Amour said that Haula’s return might be soon or it might not be, which obviously tells us absolutely nothing. Haula will continue to work on his health and conditioning as the team monitors his status each day.
Calvin de Haan – The Blackhawks haven’t released a recent update on de Haan’s status as they’ve been deciding how to treat his shoulder injury. It sounds like he’s going to miss a significant amount of time. Sources told Scott Powers – who covers the Blackhawks for the Athletic – that de Haan will likely be out for around four to five months.
Cale Makar – Won’t be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Avalanche face the Blackhawks as he didn’t travel with the team to Chicago. Coach Jared Bednar mentioned a few days ago that Makar’s recovery was taking longer than they originally thought. The rookie defenseman has been skating recently, so I get the feeling he’ll return very soon. He isn’t expected to play on Thursday against the Hurricanes – so maybe he’ll be back on Saturday against the Blackhawks? Colorado sports an impressive 21-9-3 record despite dealing with a number of significant injuries this season. The team has no reason to rush Makar back into action, so you can trust that he’ll be 100-percent healthy when he eventually returns to the lineup.
Erik Johnson – Won’t face the Blackhawks on Wednesday as he didn’t travel with the team to Chicago, but it’s possible he returns on Thursday against the Hurricanes. He has been skating recently, but not taking any contact. Johnson last played on November 23rd and has been out with an upper-body injury ever since.
Josh Anderson – Is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a shoulder injury. The 25-year-old forward has struggled to produce this season, with just one goal and three assists in 26 games – a far cry from the 27 goals and 20 assists he tallied last year. If you’re looking for underrated fantasy value on Columbus’ roster, check out Oliver Bjorkstrand. I shared some thoughts on him in this week’s Eastern Edge.
Jimmy Howard – Is close to returning from a groin injury. He was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins to get some starts in the AHL as part of a conditioning stint. The team understandable wants to ease him back into action as he last played on November 27th.
Jason Zucker – Is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Zucker’s numbers on the season don’t appear too impressive as he has just 24 points in 34 games, but he had seven points in seven games prior to the injury. I feel like players from Minnesota often go under the radar in fantasy hockey, so I’ll let you know that Kevin Fiala has 13 points in his last 15 games and could see an increased role in Zucker’s absence.
Mikko Koivu – Earlier in the week, it was reported that Koivu could return on Thursday against the Coyotes as he’d been feeling well enough to practice. Last we heard, he was sent back to Minnesota for treatment of his lower-body injury – so he probably won’t play in Arizona.
Jared Spurgeon – It’s possible that he returns to the lineup on Thursday against the Coyotes. Back on December 4th, the team announced that he would miss about two weeks with an upper-body injury – that was exactly two weeks ago.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Is travelling with the team through Western Canada so it’s possible that he makes his return on Thursday against the Flames, Saturday against the Oilers or Monday against the Jets. He has been skating recently, which is always encouraging to hear while a player recovers from a concussion.
Viktor Arvidsson – It’s possible that the 26-year-old forward returns to the lineup before Christmas, but the team won’t rush him back. The Predators play three games before Christmas: Thursday against the Senators, Saturday against the Bruins and Monday against the Coyotes. In any case, it’s encouraging to hear that he’s been skating with the team and it doesn’t sound like he’ll be out for too much longer.
Oskar Lindblom – Was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma and will undergo further testing next week before beginning treatment shortly after. He will not play for the rest of the season. We wish him the best during this time. For those of you who didn’t know, Dobber – the creator of this amazing website – had his own battle with cancer a few years ago. I mention this to echo a message which he’s shared through this platform before – register as a stem cell donor and you could save a life! There’s some more information on that from Dobber himself in his 2-year update.
Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh’s captain has been skating consistently over the last few days but there’s still no timetable for his return. He underwent a procedure to repair a core muscle injury about four weeks ago and it was announced that he would miss at least six weeks of action.
Thatcher Demko – Suffered a concussion during practice last week and there’s no real timetable for his return. Jacob Markstrom started both games of a back to back this weekend, so I’d expect him to start virtually every game until Demko gets back. 20-year-old Michael DiPietro is with the team, but it’s unlikely he sees much action considering he conceded seven goals in his only career NHL start. DePietro replaced Markstrom during Sunday’s game against Vegas – allowing a goal on seven shots.
Micheal Ferland – No timetable for his return as he deals with concussion-related symptoms. He hasn’t suffered a concussion but is currently seeing some specialists to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Alexander Edler – Has been skating on his own and should be back in the lineup before Christmas. The Canucks play three games before the break: Thursday against Vegas, Saturday against the Penguins and Monday against the Oilers.
No data at this moment.