Injury Ward: McDavid, Boeser, Kuznetsov, Kucherov, Courture & Kuemper
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!
Ondrej Kase – Flu-like symptoms kept him out of the lineup for the past two games. I'd say it's likely that Kase returns against the Flames on Thursday, seeing as the flu doesn't usually keep players down for too long. In the event he isn't ready Thursday, he'll have a few more days to rest as the team doesn't play again until Sunday.
Darcy Kuemper – He participated in a full practice on Sunday and was on track to return to the lineup on Monday against the Habs. Unfortunately, he suffered a setback during Monday morning's skate and is now day-to-day with the same lower-body injury. Kuemper is extremely important to the Coyotes, he sports a .929 SV% and 2.17 GAA through 25 games this season. He's been out of the lineup since mid-December and the team has allowed an average of three goals against per game in his absence (a span of 22 games).
Linus Ullmark – It's been two weeks since the Sabres announced that he'd miss approximately three to four weeks with a lower-body injury. On Wednesday, coach Ralph Krueger revealed that Ullmark is still a few weeks away from a return. I know the Sabres aren't a good team and I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you pick up Carter Hutton, but he hasn't conceded more than two goals in four of five starts during Ullmark's absence.
Victor Olofsson – We're about five weeks into the original five to six-week timetable that Olofsson was initially assigned when he first suffered a lower-body injury. He has been skating recently and is expected to be a full participant during Wednesday's practice. His status has been upgraded to 'day-to-day', so he should be back in the lineup very soon. If he doesn't return against the Blue Jackets on Thursday, I think there's a good chance he plays against the Leafs on Sunday.
Mark Giordano – GM Brad Treliving announced last Thursday that Giordano had suffered a hamstring injury and his status is 'week to week'. He won't require surgery and the injury isn't expected to come with a long recovery timeline. It definitely sounds like the he'll return before the end of the regular season, we just don't exactly when. We should receive another update in the coming days.
Nazem Kadri – The Avalanche forward is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. It sounds like a long-term issue that will cause Kadri to miss weeks of action, not days. After posting back to back 30-goal campaigns in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, Kadri managed just 16 goals last year. He was bouncing back nicely this season and was on pace to return to the 30-goal club before this injury.
Seth Jones – Underwent surgery to repair an injured ankle and will be sidelined for the next eight to 10 weeks. Assuming he's able to return sooner rather than later, eight weeks from now would put us at April 7th – four days after the regular season ends.
Cam Atkinson – You'll recall that a high-ankle sprain caused him to miss four weeks of action between December and January. Well, it seems he reaggravated that high-ankle sprain during Saturday's game against the Avalanche which caused him to miss Monday's game against the Lightning. During Atkinson's initial recovery from the injury, it looked like he was close to returning for quite some time, but he mentioned being cautious during the recovery process because it's hard to gauge progress with a high-ankle sprain. Your ankle is subjected to a lot of unexpected movement during an NHL game, but you can't really capture those dynamic movements in practice where most motion is predictable and repetitive. He suffered a high-ankle sprain a few years ago and that still bothers him. He participated in Tuesday's optional practice, but will miss the next two to three weeks with a sprained ankle.
Joonas Korpisalo – Skated during Tuesday's optional practice, so it seems he's getting close to a return. We're just about six weeks into the original four-to-six week timeline that was initially prescribed after he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus. We haven't heard too much about Korpisalo's recovery, but that's probably because there's no rush to get him back into the lineup with how well Elvis Merlikins has been playing. In Korpisalo's absence, Merlikins leads the league with a .950 SV%, alongside a 1.57 GAA and 12-3-1 record.
Josh Anderson – A shoulder injury was originally expected to keep him out for four to six weeks. Here we are, nearly nine weeks later and he still hasn't participated in a full-contact practice. He's been skating frequently in an attempt to stay in shape while his shoulder heals but doesn't want to rush a return and risk reaggravation. He was on the ice for Tuesday's optional practice, but we can't really talk about a return until he participates in a full practice.
Joe Pavelski – Was listed as a game-time decision for Tuesday's clash with the Hurricanes. While he was on the ice for warmups, he was ultimately kept out of the lineup. Officially, it seems he's day-to-day with an upper-body injury, but I think there's a good chance he plays against the Leafs on Thursday.
Robby Fabbri – Took some contact to the jaw when he was hit by Sean Kuraly during Sunday's game against the Bruins. He's officially day-to-day with a jaw injury but he has been skating and it doesn't sound like he'll be out for too much longer.
Connor McDavid – On Tuesday, Oilers GM Ken Holland announced that the team's captain would miss two to three weeks with a quad injury. Unfortunately, Holland wouldn't provide any more detail when asked if a muscle had been torn, but he did say that this wasn't a long-term issue and surgery wasn't necessary. He also mentioned that this injury is not related to the one McDavid suffered last year, a "PCL tear plus a torn meniscus on both sides of the knee, cracked fibia and a popliteus muscle that was torn right off the bone". He'll spend the next little while rehabbing in Toronto and should be re-evaluated in about a week.
James Neal – Still no timeline available for his recovery from a foot injury. He has skated recently, but he hasn't been progressing as well as the team had hoped.
Philip Danault – Had to have some dental work done after taking a puck up high during Monday's game against the Coyotes. Fortunately, he didn't suffer any symptoms of a concussion and even travelled with the team to Boston where they'll face the Bruins on Wednesday.
Shea Weber – Montreal's captain is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury, but it hasn't been fully diagnosed just yet. The team expects to have more information about the ailment by the end of the week when there's less swelling. TSN's Bob McKenzie reportedly heard that the initial prognosis for Weber's injury isn't very encouraging and it doesn't sound like he'll be playing any time soon. McKenzie went on to remind us that when a player is sidelined for a week or more without a definitive announcement from the club, it's usually because they're weighing treatment options and seeking additional medical opinions. He won't travel to Boston or Pittsburgh and it's unlikely he faces the Stars on Saturday. From a fantasy hockey perspective, Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot should see increased roles during Weber's absence.
Ryan Ellis – Has been skating frequently over the past week and was on the ice for Nashville's last couple of practices. As far as I know, he hasn't been ruled out for Thursday's game against the Islanders, so we'll see how he's feeling over the next 24 hours. He's been working through concussion protocol since taking a hit up high from Corey Perry during the Winter Classic on January 1st. Recovering from a concussion is not a predictable process because progress isn't necessarily linear. With that being said, the fact that he's been skating consistently with no news of a setback seems encouraging.
Sami Vatanen – The Devils defenseman participated in Tuesday morning's skate but hasn't yet been cleared for full-contact practice. He's missed New Jersey's last four games while dealing with a bruise that he suffered after blocking a shot. His status remains day-to-day as the team continues to monitor his progress.
Nico Hischier – Has been skating on his own as he recovers from a laceration to his knee. Considering he hasn't participated in a full practice, I wouldn't expect Hischier to be available for Thursday's game against the Red Wings – so he'll probably miss his fifth-straight game.
Casey Cizikas – Left Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury as it appeared he had his leg cut by Ivan Provorov's skate. Coach Barry Trotz did not have an update after the game, but we should get some more information in the coming days.
Anders Nilsson – He's been out with a concussion since December 16th. Coach D.J. Smith believes that Nilsson will return at some point this season but doesn't know exactly when. He has been working out really hard so hopefully, he feels better soon.
Shayne Gostisbehere – He returned to the lineup on February 6th after taking a few weeks to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery. He went on to miss the team's next three games as he's been dealing with pain from scar tissue as a result of the surgery. The pain has kept him off the ice recently, but coach Alain Vigneault hopes that Gostisbehere will resume skating on Thursday.
John Marino – The 22-year-old defenseman underwent surgery to repair facial bone fractures and will miss the next three to six weeks of action. Marino had quietly been putting together a really impressive rookie season, tallying 25 points through 51 games, with 20 of those points coming in his last 33 appearances.
Logan Couture – San Jose's captain recently shed the walking boot and got back on the ice for some light skating. While that's certainly an encouraging step in his recovery, there's still no concrete timetable for his return as it doesn't sound like the bone he fractured in his ankle has completely healed yet.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Has been skating recently, but still no changes to the timetable that is expected to keep him out for another couple of months.
Jay Bouwmeester – It was a scary scene on Tuesday night when Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on the bench. Fortunately, reports indicate that he was conscious and alert in hospital, expect a more detailed update at some point on Wednesday.
Nikita Kucherov – Left Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury, but coach Jon Cooper did not have an update for us afterwards. I expect we'll have more information in the coming days, so follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza if you want to hear more about Kucherov's status.
Anthony Cirelli – Similar situation to Kucherov. Left Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury but no further update on his status.
Steven Stamkos – Is dealing with a lower-body injury but isn't expected to be sidelined long term. His status for Thursday's game against the Oilers hasn't yet been determined.
Frederik Andersen – While he didn't start against the Coyotes on Tuesday, he did all the work that a starter normally does during the morning skate. The team ultimately determined that he hadn't fully recovered from his neck injury, but I think he could be available for Thursday's game against the Stars.
Morgan Rielly – Will be evaluated by doctors this week, to assess his progress after he broke his foot on January 12th. We have about four weeks left in the original eight-week recovery timeline, but we should have more information about Rielly's in the next few days.
Ilya Mikheyev – Returned to the ice on Monday, for the first time since a skate blade cut an artery and tendons in his wrist during a game against the Devils on December 27th. He's probably more than a month away from a return, but this is certainly an encouraging sign.
Brock Boeser – An upper-body injury will keep him out of the lineup on Wednesday against Chicago, after which he'll be re-evaluated. Coach Travis Green said Boeser would be out for a 'little bit' immediately after the injury, so it sounds more like a week-to-week situation than a day-to-day one.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Left Monday's game with an upper-body injury after taking a heavy hit from Leo Komarov of the Islanders. He wasn't on the ice for practice on Tuesday or Wednesday and is officially listed as day-to-day. He won't face the Avalanche on Thursday, but will travel to Arizona on Saturday and Vegas on Monday, as the team hopes to have him return in one of those games. Follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for more updates on Kuznetsov's status going forward.
No data at this moment.