Injury Ward: Hughes, Shesterkin, Burakovsky, Tatar, Makar, Merzlikins, Klefbom, & Bishop
Here's this week's latest injury news. 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!
Hampus Lindholm – Has missed Anaheim's last three games since suffering an upper-body injury against the Oilers on February 25th. We haven't had any significant updates since then.
Jakob Chychrun – Is not with the team as they kick off a three-game tour of Western Canada on Wednesday. He's not ready to start practicing just yet, so he'll probably miss Friday's game against Calgary in addition to Wednesday's game against Vancouver. Fortunately, the Coyotes have a bit of a break until the final game of the trip, which will be played on Monday in Winnipeg. Hopefully Chychrun has recovered from this lower-body injury by then.
Linus Ullmark – Was on the ice with his teammates during Monday's practice, for the first time since injuring his ankle on January 28th. When asked about his status for Buffalo's upcoming games, Ullmark replied with uncertainty, stating that it's a situation that needs to be monitored each day. He still isn't feeling 100-percent, but he has been progressing well. In Ullmark's absence, Carter Hutton has won six of his 12 starts, posting a .907 SV% and 2.98 GAA in the process.
Petr Mrazek – Is expected to return from a concussion in about seven to 10 days. The Hurricanes have given up a league-high 3.62 goals against per game over the past month. That probably won't improve in the near future as they'll be forced to rely on an AHL goalie tandem of Alex Nedeljkovic and Anton Forsberg over the next few games.
James Reimer – A lower-body injury will keep him out of the lineup for at least another week. He's expected to start skating this weekend, so we should be able to project a return date based on how he responds to that session. In any case, he's expected to be back shortly after Petr Mrazek. Once Mrazek is healthy, we can talk about Reimer's return.
Sami Vatanen – Skated before practice on Monday. He's been out of the lineup for over a month now, reportedly dealing with a bruised leg that he suffered after blocking a shot. Although he's been sidelined for a considerable amount of time, we haven't had many updates regarding his status. I assume it's a day-to-day process and he hasn't progressed as much as the Hurricanes would have hoped. Once we see him participating in practice, we can start talking about a return.
Cale Makar – Missed Monday's clash with the Red Wings and the team announced that he was day-to-day with an upper-body injury. As I write this, his status for Wednesday's game against the Ducks has not been determined. If you want to see the latest update on Makar when it becomes available, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza.
Andre Burakovsky – Is officially day-to-day with a lower-body injury. His status for Wednesday's game against Anaheim is still up in the air as I write this. Considering the Avalanche have a favourable off-day schedule this week, Burakvosky is definitely someone you want on your fantasy roster once he returns to the lineup. He has 20 points in his last 18 games and should see an increased role while Mikko Rantanen is sidelined.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – The 24-year-old forward will be sidelined for the next eight to 10 weeks as he recovers from surgery that repaired a fractured ankle. Bjorkstrand had 30 points in 30 games prior to the injury, which interrupted what was shaping up to be a breakout season. He's definitely someone to target in your fantasy drafts next year, as this extended absence could cause your fellow GMs to forget how good he is.
Cam Atkinson – Did not travel with the team to Calgary, so he won't be in the lineup when the Blue Jackets face the Flames on Wednesday. With that being said, he could still join the team as they continue their road trip through Edmonton on Saturday and Vancouver on Sunday. It's been three weeks since the team announced that he'd miss two to three weeks with a sprained ankle.
Ben Bishop – Is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Coach Rick Bowness reportedly didn't seem too concerned about the injury, so we'll see if Bishop is available to face the Predators on Thursday. Anton Khudobin has been excelled when called upon this season, he sports a 16-7-4 record alongside a 2.22 GAA and .929 SV%.
Mike Green – A sprained MCL will keep Green out of the lineup for the next two to three weeks. It's frustrating news for both him and the Oilers, who acquired Green at this year's trade deadline. The 34-year-old defenseman has battled through an injury-riddled career, but let's not forget the back-to-back 70-point seasons he had in 08-09 and 09-10.
Sergei Bobrovsky – Was expected to face the Flames on Sunday, but tweaked something during warmups and wasn't able to play. He wasn't on the ice for Tuesday's practice, but seeing as the team announced his status as day-to-day, I don't think the injury is too severe. The Panthers will have had three days of rest by the time they face the Bruins on Thursday, so we'll see if Bobrovsky is ready by then. He's struggled to find consistency this season, a reality that is perfectly exemplified over his last five games. He had a strong showing against the Ducks, allowing just one goal on 36 shots. But then he followed that up by allowing five goals to the Kings. He rebounded with a great performance against the Coyotes, stopping 37 of the 38 shots he faced. However, he proceeded to give up four goals to the Leafs in his next start. His most recent game saw him stop 27 of the 29 shots he faced against the Blackhawks. Let's hope he can shake this inconsistency and start to build some momentum once he returns.
Jeff Carter – Tried skating on Sunday but coach Todd McLellan said it didn't go very well. A lower-body injury has kept him out of the lineup since February 18th and we haven't heard much about the recovery process. There's still no timetable for his return.
Tomas Tatar – Left Tuesday's game against the Islanders with an upper-body injury. As I write this, the team hasn't released any more information about Tatar's status going forward. Follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza to see the latest news about Tatar when it becomes available. He's been having an incredible season with 61 points in 68 games, which ranks seventh among all left-wingers in the NHL!
Jonathan Drouin – An ankle injury has kept him out of the lineup for Montreal's last three games. While we know he hasn't been skating recently, we haven't heard any other information about his status going forward.
Ryan Johansen – Missed Tuesday's game against the Wild because of an illness. It's dangerous for me to speculate considering I don't know the exact nature of the illness, but players don't usually miss too much time when they're sick. He hasn't yet been ruled out of Thursday's clash with the Stars.
Johnny Boychuk – Left Tuesday's game against the Habs after a scary incident in which he took a skate to the face. Fortunately, early indications suggest that he suffered a cut to the eyelid rather than his eye, but there's no timetable for his return. According to Boychuk's brother David, he's doing well.
Chris Kreider – Fractured his foot after blocking a shot during a game against the Flyers on February 28th. While there's no concrete timetable for his return, he's expected to sit out at least a couple of weeks. It's encouraging to hear that surgery isn't a part of the recovery protocol, but he's still wearing a walking boot.
Igor Shesterkin – While he has been taking shots recently, those shots have been directed to the lower-portion of the net and he's mostly making leg saves. You'll recall that he's dealing with a rib fracture. So, while his presence on the ice might indicate that any damage to his ribs did not extend to his lungs (he probably wouldn't be partaking in strenuous exercise if his breathing was affected), the fact that he's taking low shots doesn't tell us much about the status of his rib. He hasn't practiced with the team and there's still no official timetable for his return.
Brandon Tanev – An illness kept him out of the lineup on Tuesday, when the Penguins took on the Senators. For the most part, players don't miss too many games as a result of being sick. He should be available for Thursday's game against the Sabres, or Saturday against the Capitals at the latest.
Vladimir Tarasenko – He's expected to start taking contact in practice at some point this week. Tarasenko has been skating for a few weeks now, which should help get his conditioning to a high level in preparation for the rigors of an NHL game. While this is all encouraging news, it doesn't necessarily mean that a return is imminent. We need to see how he responds to physical contact before making any conclusions about his status going forward. A best-case scenario would see him return in mid-March. I know a lot of people are running to grab Tarasenko in fantasy leagues, but I'm really not sure how much of an impact he's going to have. I mean he last played on October 24th, I think he's going to need a few games to get back into form.
Steven Stamkos – Will be sidelined for the next six to eight weeks as he recovers from the surgical repair of a core muscle. That means he's done for the rest of the regular season and could even miss the first round of the playoffs. It seems that the injury had been bothering Stamkos over the last little while, so while this may not be good news for your fantasy roster, it should benefit his long-term health.
Morgan Rielly – Took part in practice on Monday, for the first time since injuring his foot on January 12th. He won't play against the Kings on Thursday or the Ducks on Friday, but if all goes well his status should be upgraded to day-to-day by next week.
Quinn Hughes – While he's banged up and his official status is day-to-day, coach Travis Green is hopeful that Hughes will be able to play against the Coyotes on Wednesday. It sounds like he'll be a game-time decision, or at least, the decision will be made closer to puck drop.
Mark Stone – Is week-to-week with a lower-body injury that does not require surgery. He's expected to return before the end of the regular (Saturday April 4th), but that leaves us with a pretty big window.
No data at this moment.