Will Corey Crawford still return this season?
This week we have a bunch of updates on notable long-term injuries, as well as a few new arrivals to the Dobber Injury Ward. Knowing how much time your players will miss can help you find the best replacements before your opponents. For the latest injury updates, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
The Big Guns (>75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Corey Crawford – It has been almost four weeks since Corey Crawford went down with an upper-body injury, and sources are now saying Crawford could miss the rest of the season with vertigo-like symptoms. He was dealing with similar symptoms in the 2015-2016 season, which caused him to miss four weeks of action. Considering he still hasn’t resumed skating, it’s going to take longer for him to feel 100% this time. Crawford is 16-9-2 on the season, with a .929 SV% and 2.27 GAA. That gives Chicago a 6-8-4 record without him, so it’s safe to say he’s an integral part of the roster.
Victor Hedman – Huge loss for the Lightning as Victor Hedman will be out three to six weeks with a lower-body injury. While this might create a bigger role for Mikhail Sergachev, let’s remember that he had been playing pretty sheltered minutes and had cooled off recently with only three points in his last 12 games.
Sean Monahan – The flu kept Monahan out of Sunday’s contest against the Hurricanes. Considering he will have had five days of rest prior to the team’s next game against Winnipeg, I wouldn’t expect him to miss any more time.
Viktor Arvidsson – The Predators forward was placed on injured reserve after suffering a lower-body injury in practice. With 27 points in 42 games this season, Arvidsson has been proving last season’s 61-pont season wasn’t a fluke.
Cory Schneider – The Devils’ goaltender missed Tuesday’s game with an illness. These usually don’t cause players too much time, so he could start against the Caps or Flyers (or both) later in the week.
Jaden Schwartz – Skated for the first time on Monday after suffering an ankle injury. We’re about five weeks into the original six-week timetable.
The Second Liners (40%-75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Ryan Johansen – As I write this, Ryan Johansen has left the game against Vegas after William Carrier made contact with his head. While early indications would suggest a concussion, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for the official update.
Sebastian Aho – After a slow start to the season that saw him go 15 games without a goal, Aho had been pretty hot with 16 goals in his next 29 outings. Unfortunately, he’ll be out indefinitely with a concussion and lower-body injury after this collision with Mark Giordano. Concussions can be very unpredictable, so all we can do is track his progress and make note of when he starts skating again.
Jeff Carter – Has started skating on his own! The playoff race is getting tighter in the West, and the return of their 30-goal scorer will certainly help the Kings. While Carter has been making good progress, wait for him to practice with the team before activating him from the injured reserve.
Semyon Varlamov – What’s being called a “lower-body muscular injury” will keep Varlamov out for at least another week. While that’s the official label, a lingering groin strain was also mentioned. Colorado is very much a part of the playoff picture, currently on a seven-game winning streak that has seen Jonathan Bernier go 6-0, never allowing more than two goals a game. I guess there’s no need to rush Varlamov back.
Jake Muzzin – Has been skating and making good progress, so expect him back very soon. The Kings are currently on a four-game losing streak and will greatly benefit from the return of a defenseman who plays 20+ minutes a night.
Nino Niederreiter – It’s been a week since the team announced Nino would miss a week with a lower-body injury. While there haven’t been any more official updates, all signs point to him suiting up on Saturday against the Lightning.
The Depth Guys (10%-40% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – While there were early concussion concerns after this hit from Brayden McNabb, the injury was limited to some bruising that should heal before the team’s next game (Saturday against the Canucks). Nugent-Hopkins is on pace for 55 points, which would be a great bounce-back after last season’s 43 point total.
Artem Anisimov – Skated for about 10 minutes before the team practiced on Saturday, but it’s unlikely he plays in Chicago’s next game (January 20). Considering how hot Nick Schmaltz has been as the new second line center (11 points in last nine games), it’ll be interesting to see where Anisimov plays when he is healthy. Mark Lazerus sees third-line minutes in Anisimov’s future.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<10% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Kevin Hayes – The leg contusion doesn’t seem to be too serious, but coach Alain Vigneault still doesn’t know if Hayes will practice on Wednesday or face the Sabres on Thursday. Not knowing is better that knowing he won’t be ready, right?
Justin Abdelkader – The Red Wings’ next game is on Saturday against the Hurricanes, and Abdelkader won’t be in the lineup. While tests showed no structural damage from the lower-body injury, it’s not encouraging that he’s been ruled out four days in advance.
Steve Mason – Wasn’t feeling well last week, which might have been related to taking a puck up high. Winnipeg doesn’t play again until Saturday, so we’ll see if Mason is well enough to back up Connor Hellebuyck then.
Phillip Danault – It was a scary moment in Montreal after a Zdeno Chara slapper caught Philip Danault up high. He has been released from hospital, but what seems to be a concussion will keep him out for the foreseeable future. While his health is the most important and we wish him a speedy recovery, the injury creates an even bigger hole down the middle in Montreal. What do the Habs do when losing a center to injury? Move Jonathan Drouin to the wing of course! Jacob De La Rose Is now centering Drouin and Alex Galchenyuk. Paul Byron has moved to center between Max Pacioretty and Charles Hudon.
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