Here’s this week’s latest in the injury world. If you don’t see a certain player below, there probably haven’t been any major developments in their progress. Once there is a significant update, I’ll be sure to have it for you on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Oliver Ekman Larsson – The Coyotes captain is currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He appeared to suffer the injury after a knee-on-knee collision with Dustin Brown on January 30th. He was considered a game-time decision – which usually means a player is close to returning – on February 1st against the Kings, but ultimately ended up sitting out that game as well as the next one, against the Oilers. I don’t anticipate he’ll be out too long, so don’t be surprised if he’s back on Thursday against the Hurricanes.
Darcy Kuemper – Still no timeline for his return but the media in Arizona keep hearing that he’s close. He has been practicing, so we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer. Some of you noticed that Kuemper was activated from the injured reserve only to be placed back recently. Fortunately, that has nothing to do with his progress, the Coyotes just needed to open up a roster spot. Antti Raanta hasn’t been as good as Kuemper this season, but he’s strung together a couple of good starts recently. Raanta stopped 42 of 44 shots against the Blackhawks on Saturday and stopped all 30 shots he faced against the Oilers on Tuesday.
Rasmus Dahlin – Missed Tuesday’s game against the Avalanche with an upper-body injury and is currently considered day-to-day. He took a maintenance day on Monday and sat out of practice but did skate on Tuesday morning. As I write this, his status for Thursday’s game against the Red Wings hasn’t yet been determined.
Linus Ullmark – The Sabres announced last week that he would miss three to four weeks with a lower-body injury, so he’s still a few weeks away from a return. Ullmark has been the best goalie in Buffalo this season, posting a 2.72 GAA and .914 SV% through 33 games. On the other hand, Carter Hutton has a 3.30 GAA and .891 SV% through 21 games. I wouldn’t advise picking Hutton in your fantasy league during Ullmark’s absence.
Victor Olofsson – The team is hoping to see him practice at some point next week but he’s still a few games away from a return. They’re optimistic about his recovery and will continue to monitor his progress over the next few days. I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that the 24-year-old rookie has 35 points in 42 games this season, if you can acquire him at a low cost in your fantasy league, I’d pull the trigger.
Mark Giordano – Left Tuesday’s game against the Sharks with a lower-body injury. A player on San Jose reportedly heard Giordano say he tore his hamstring, which – if true – could keep him sidelined for the next few weeks. Giordano tore his hamstring during the 2011-2012 season, so he’s familiar with the sensation that accompanies an injury like that. He needed over a month to recover. With all that being said, we still don’t know the exact nature of this ailment as the team hasn’t released an official update just yet.
Joonas Korpisalo – He has been skating and even travelled with the team this past weekend as they stopped in Buffalo on Saturday and Montreal on Sunday. He was originally expected to miss four to six weeks while recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. We still have a week left in that timetable. In his last seven starts, Elvis Merzlikins is 7-0, sporting a 1.14 GAA and .965 SV%. It’ll be interesting to see who takes the starting role once Korpisalo returns. I don’t think a 50/50 split would work because Merzlikins seems to thrive when he’s given a long stretch of games to get into a rhythm, he struggled when tasked with sporadic starts early in the season.
Josh Anderson – He’s been skating for over a week but hasn’t been cleared for contact just yet. A shoulder injury has kept Anderson out of the lineup since December 14th but it sounds like he’s getting close to a return. He should be back in the lineup shortly after he gets cleared for contact.
Anthony Mantha – We recently learned that he suffered a punctured lung in addition to the rib injury he sustained on December 21st against the Leafs. He’s been skating recently and hopes to return to the lineup before February 15th. There was originally some speculation that he’d miss the rest of the season, but Mantha sounded confident that he’ll be back soon.
James Neal – Is day-to-day with a foot injury that’s caused him to miss Edmonton’s last three games. Since scoring nine goals in his first eight games of the season, Neal has lit the lamp 10 times in his last 42 contests.
Aleksander Barkov – The team is hoping to have him back in the lineup on Thursday when they face the Golden Knights. He left Saturday’s game against the Canadiens with a lower-body injury and hasn’t skated since. Keep an eye on Barkov during the final stretch of the season, he put up 32 points in his final 22 games last year.
Carey Price – Didn’t travel with the team to New Jersey for Tuesday’s game against the Devils because he was dealing with the flu. He isn’t the only one on the Canadiens dealing with an illness as six or seven players on the team are reportedly sick as well. Many of them left the bench periodically during Tuesday night’s game. It’s certainly something to keep in mind if you own a Hab in your fantasy leagues. Back to Price, he’s been really good in 2020, posting a 2.00 GAA and .936 SV% through 12 games. I’d expect Price to be available for Thursday’s game against the Ducks.
Jonathan Drouin – Has been skating and participating in shooting drills but we still don’t know exactly when he’ll be back. Over the past few days, coach Claude Julien has been saying that Drouin is close to returning but hasn’t revealed a concrete timetable. We’ve reached a point now where we get reports on his status before each game, so I’d consider him day-to-day. The team announced that he’d miss a minimum of eight weeks after having wrist surgery – it’s been 11 weeks since that announcement.
Ryan Ellis – Skated on Tuesday, for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on January 1st. He’s with the team as they travel through Western Canada but isn’t expected to play against the Flames, Oilers or Canucks – so he’s going to be out for at least another week.
Nico Hischier – Won’t travel with the team to Philadelphia. We know that he received stitches on his knee during Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars, but the team hasn’t released a significant update since then.
Sami Vatanen – Remains day-to-day with a bruise from blocking a shot. He didn’t participate in practice on Monday or Wednesday and won’t travel with the team to Philly where they’ll face the Flyers on Thursday. His status for Saturday’s game against the Kings is still up in the air.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Left Tuesday’s game against the Ducks with a lower-body injury after blocking a shot. Initial reports indicate that the X-rays came back negative, so we still don’t know if this will cause him to miss any games. Ottawa next tilt is on Thursday against the Avalanche.
Carter Hart – Has been practicing but won’t be ready to face the Devils on Thursday. Philadelphia plays in Washington on Saturday and will return home to host the Panthers on Monday. Considering Hart’s struggles on the road, I don’t think he’ll start against the Capitals even if he’s healthy – that’s not exactly the opponent you want to face in your first game back after being sidelined for a few weeks. That game against Florida seems like a more realistic target for his return.
Shayne Gostisbehere – Is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday after missing a few weeks while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Gostisbehere has struggled this season with just 12 points through 40 games, it will be interesting to see if he performs better now that his knee is in better shape.
Nolan Patrick – It was encouraging to see him practice with the team on Wednesday without a no-contact jersey. However, it was mainly a skills session and no one was really dishing out any hits, so this doesn’t mean he’s been cleared for contact. He has skated often as he deals with a migraine disorder, so I wouldn’t consider this a major breakthrough.
Tomas Hertl – Will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL. San Jose is in a really tough spot now as they sit 26th in the league standings and don’t have their first round pick this year.
Frederik Andersen – Is officially day-to-day with a neck injury after a collision with Frank Vatrano during Monday’s game against the Panthers. Michael Hutchinson will start against the Rangers on Wednesday, but Andersen hasn’t been ruled out of Friday’s game against the Ducks. Andersen has struggled recently, posting a 3.45 GAA and 0.891 SV% over his last seven appearances.
William Karlsson – Has been making good progress as he recovers from an upper-body injury and his status has been upgraded from week-to-week to day-to-day. With that being said, he didn’t practice on Wednesday and probably won’t be in the lineup against Florida on Thursday. He has just 10 goals through 49 games this year and only two in his last 23 games.
Cody Glass – Hasn’t been practicing and remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He’s been out of the lineup since January 4th, but we’ve seen his status go from week-to-week to day-to-day recently, which you’d think is a good sign. His return still seems far off considering he hasn’t been skating or cleared for contact.
Ilya Samsonov – Will be available for Saturday’s game against the Flyers after participating in Wednesday’s practice and passing concussion protocol. He’s won 11 of 12 starts since November 30th, posting a 1.92 GAA and .930 SV% in the process.