Here’s the latest news in the world of NHL injuries! To see injury updates from around the league as soon as they’re made public, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
David Krejci – The Bruins forward missed the team’s last three games with an upper-body injury. The ailment appears unrelated to the lower-body injury that kept him out of the season opener. Krejci has featured in five of Boston’s first nine games and has just one point in that span. Charlie Coyle has centered the second line between Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie in Krejci’s absence but hasn’t really done much in the role. Consider Krejci day-to-day until we hear otherwise.
Erik Haula – We’re about 10 games into the season and only David Pastrnak, James Neal and Auston Matthews have more goals than Erik Haula. The Fantastic Fin has scored in seven of nine games and has as many goals as Alexander Ovechkin (who has played two more games). He has been kept off the ice recently because of an upper-body injury, which coach Rod Brind’Amour has emphasized is NOT a concussion. Haula returned to practice on Wednesday and the team remains optimistic that he’ll get back in the lineup within the next few days. Carolina plays Columbus on Thursday, Chicago on Saturday and Calgary on Tuesday. I’d expect Haula to make his return in one of those games.
Mikko Rantanen – The Avalanche forward is officially week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Coach Jared Bednar expects to have more information about Rantanen’s status at some point next week, but he doesn’t think his star forward will be out for too long. Bednar mentioned that he expects Rantanen to be back in less than four weeks, so that’s encouraging. It looks like Joonas Donskoi will play with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog in Rantanen’s absence.
Aaron Ekblad – An illness kept him out of Tuesday’s clash with the Penguins. Players don’t often miss too many games when they’re sick, so I’d expect Ekblad to be back in the lineup on Thursday against the Flames or Sunday against the Oilers – at the very latest. The 23-year-old has had an excellent start to the 2019-2020 campaign, posting five points through eight games.
Vincent Trocheck – He missed Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh because of a lower-body injury. The decision to keep him out of the lineup was made close to puck drop, so I don’t think the injury is too severe. Had it been more serious, the team probably would have announced his absence much earlier. Brian Boyle took Trocheck’s spot between Mike Hoffman and Brett Connolly but failed to get on the scoresheet.
Kevin Fiala – The Wild forward is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He showed a lot of promise when he tallied 48 points in 80 games with the Predators back in 2017-2018. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really progressed since then and has just eight points in 26 games since arriving in Minnesota.
Devan Dubnyk – Left Tuesday’s game against the Oilers after he had his legs taken out from underneath him as teammate Ryan Donato slid into the crease. His head appeared to jerk backwards and hit the ice as he landed. While early speculation is that Dubnyk has a concussion, we’ll get a more concrete update from the team at some point in the next couple of days. Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t expect Dubnyk to start against the Predators on Thursday.
Tomas Tatar – Suffered a lower-body injury late in Wednesday’s practice when he took a puck to the foot. His status for Thursday’s game against San Jose hasn’t yet been determined. Tatar makes up one third of what I consider to be the most underrated line in the league, which also features Philip Danault and Brendan Gallagher. He’s had a solid start to the season with seven points in nine games.
Joel Armia – Has been practicing after missing Montreal’s last two games with a lower-body injury. He felt good during Wednesday’s practice and should be back in the lineup on Thursday against the Sharks. Armia has had a great start to the season with four goals in seven games but is currently scoring on 22% of his shots when he typically scores of 9-10% of them.
Filip Forsberg – Remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He sat out of the last three games and hasn’t been skating or practicing recently. Forsberg has five goals and three assists through six games this year and is definitely capable of breaking the 40-goal barrier if he can stay healthy for most of the season.
Will Butcher – Returned to the ice on Tuesday and feels a lot better since suffering an upper-body against the Rangers last week. The medical staff will continue to monitor his progress over the next couple of days before deciding his status for Friday’s game against the Coyotes. P.K. Subban might limit Butcher fantasy value this year as Butcher is barely seeing any time on the power play compared to previous seasons.
Nico Hischier – Was a full participant in Monday’s practice, so there’s a good chance he returns to the lineup on Friday against Arizona. The first overall pick of the 2017 draft has just two points through six games this year, but I expect his production to increase going forward. With so many new faces on the Devils roster it makes sense that the team needed some time to get familiar with each other. Hischier is an extremely talented player and has a solid supporting cast in New Jersey, the points will come.
Jordan Eberle – Didn’t practice on Wednesday so he probably won’t be in the lineup against the Coyotes on Thursday. He has been skating as he recovers from a lower-body injury, but we still don’t have a concrete timetable for his return.
Colin White – The 22-year-old had been playing through a hip flexor injury but the team finally made the decision to shut him down for the next three to five weeks. White put up 41 points in 71 games last year and is part of a ‘bright’ future in Ottawa, but it’ll probably be a couple of years before his fantasy value increases.
Nolan Patrick – Coach Alain Vigneault is happy with Patrick’s progress so far, but still wants him to participate in a few more practices before returning. His official status remains week-to-week but the migraine disorder he’s dealing with is too unpredictable to set any concrete recovery timelines.
Evgeni Malkin – Has been skating on his own but isn’t travelling with the team to Dallas, where the Penguins will face the Stars on Saturday night. Darren Dreger initially reported that Malkin would miss at least a month of action when the injury was first announced, we still have two weeks left in that timetable.
Alex Galchenyuk – Has been skating on his own but isn’t travelling with the team to Dallas, where the Penguins will face the Stars on Saturday night. Please don’t tell anyone that I just copy/pasted Malkin’s update here.
Nick Bjugstad – Is with the team as they travel to Tampa on Wednesday and Dallas on Saturday. He’s taking it day by day and isn’t sticking to any official timetable, so we don’t know exactly when he’ll return from a lower-body injury. While it’s encouraging that he’s travelling with the team, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be in the lineup on Saturday against the Stars. Sometimes it’s just nice to be around your teammates and provide moral support.
John Tavares – It’s been about a week since Toronto’s captain broke his finger in a loss to the Washington Capitals. He has been working with the team’s Skating Consultant Barb Underhill in order to keep his legs fresh while his finger heals. He’ll be evaluated again in a week’s time, after which the team will be able to provide a more concrete timetable for his return. In Tavares’ absence, Alexander Kerfoot has been centering the second line with William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyev and Nylander has been promoted to the top power-play unit.
Nate Schmidt – It was reported last week that he was about a week or two away from a return, so he should be back in the lineup within the next few games. Vegas begins a four-game homestand on Friday which ends on November 2nd against Jets. That seems like a reasonable window for Schmidt to get back in the lineup.
Alex Tuch – Same situation as Schmidt in that he should be back within the next week. An upper-body injury has kept him out of the lineup, but he should make his 2019-2020 debut soon. The 23-year-old put up a 58-point pace last year and will be looking to take another step forward once he returns to the lineup.
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