Ramblings: Malkin, Rust, Tanev Injury Updates; Postponements; Josi, Wahlstrom, and Olofsson – December 28

Michael Clifford

2021-12-28

It should go without saying at this point, but the landscape of the NHL is going to change dramatically on a daily basis for the near future. Every player is at risk of landing in COVID protocols and that can take any player, or any combination of players, out of the lineup for a team. We got a glimpse of that shifting power balance with the news that came out on Monday. For example, the Toronto Maple Leafs don't have enough defencemen to ice a team. That is in the entire organization. Even getting a couple back might leave them with a very weak blue line. Over in Philadelphia, they're now missing Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, and Carter Hart, among many others. That was announced on the same day that Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point returned to practice for the Tampa Bay Lightning. We are going to see wild roster swings like this for the foreseeable future, and that means fantasy owners will have to be on their toes daily.

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Significant updates in Pittsburgh:

It should also be noted that Evgeni Malkin was skating on Sidney Crosby's wing, along with Rust on the other side. That is something we have not seen with any frequency in their careers, outside of the last few minutes of a close game or something. Whether it sticks or not, we'll see. But that would be a pretty big change to his fantasy outlook if it's something that has any duration.

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Neither Mark Stone nor Max Pacioretty were at practice for Vegas on Monday afternoon but they’re not in