Ramblings: Buffalo practicing; Carolina injuries; Garland; Ekblad – February 11

Michael Clifford

2021-02-11

Buffalo hit the ice for practice for the first time in over a week but none of their players from the COVID list returned. That includes names like Taylor Hall, Rasmus Dahlin, Brandon Montour, Jake McCabe, and Rasmus Ristolainen. You will notice that that is their top-line left winger and four of their six from the blue line. They don't officially play again until Monday so they have time to get some bodies back but if they're all positive tests – we don't know their status – it could be longer than Monday until Buffalo is back to full strength.

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After missing their last game with an injury, Martin Necas was on the ice for Carolina's practice on Wednesday. Even though he was in a non-contact jersey, it appears he will make the road trip with Carolina and could return in the next day or two. He was off to a solid start with five points in eight games to go with 2.5 shots per game and over a hit per contest. It is not a full-fledged breakout yet but all the signs are there. Something to keep in the back pocket for the 2021-22 fantasy season.

Vincent Trocheck is also expected to return in short order.

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Jakub Vrana (COVID list) and T.J. Oshie (injury) were both back at practice for the Capitals on Wednesday. This team has been through a lot already this year with delays and positive COVID tests, so getting two top-6 wingers back is a great sign.

I will be interested to see if Vrana maintains his top PP role now that the team is basically back to full strength. Something tells me he won't, but a guy can dream.

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Evgeni Malkin left