Here’s the latest in the world of NHL injuries! Before you ask (and I know you were about to), the Jets haven’t provided us with a significant update on Dustin Byfuglien as this article is being written, so I recommend you follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza to see his status as soon as it’s made publicly available.
Ryan Miller – The 38-year-old goaltender was originally slated to start on Monday against the Canucks, but a lower-body ailment kept him out of the game. This injury isn’t expected to keep him out for too long.
Ryan Getzlaf – The Ducks captain has been sidelined for the past three games with an upper-body injury. According to GM/coach Bob Murray, there’s no sign that Getzlaf is improving and his status for Wednesday’s game against the Blackhawks remains up in the air. Despite a disappointing 39 points in 54 games this season, Getzlaf still leads the team in scoring. That should give you an idea of how miserable this season has been for Anaheim.
John Gibson – Anaheim’s top goaltender could be available on Wednesday when the team faces off against Chicago. He had his wisdom teeth removed during the Ducks’ most recent three-game road trip (February 19th to February 23rd). If he doesn’t start on Wednesday, I’d expect him to be an option on Friday against the Golden Knights. Whatever the case, he should be able to contribute to your fantasy hockey playoff matchup.
Antti Raanta – Has been skating as he continues to recover from knee surgery. While Raanta isn’t expected to play for the rest of the regular season, if you’re participating in a playoff pool and the Coyotes make the playoffs – he might be an option.
David Pastrnak – Will be out for at least two more weeks as he needs to keep his thumb in a cast. After those two weeks, he’s probably going to need a short amount of time to get comfortable holding his stick and shooting the puck. Danton Heinen has been filling in for Pastrnak on the Bruins’ top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, he has nine points in his last 10 games.
Justin Faulk – Left Tuesday’s game against the Kings with an upper-body injury. No further updates have been released as of right now. Did I just copy and paste Ferland’s update for Faulk? No. I changed ‘LA’ to ‘the Kings’. Okay?
Ian Cole – Has been skating in a non-contact sweater. With that being said, he’s dealing with a broken orbital bone (a bone which surrounds your eye) so the fact that he’s skating doesn’t exactly mean he’s about to return.
Ryan Murray – Is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The Blue Jackets did acquire Adam McQuaid at the trade deadline, so maybe that slightly offsets the loss of Murray? Very slightly? Not at all?
Mats Zuccarello – Imagine what it’s like to put on a different jersey after nine seasons of being a Blueshirt. Imagine having an incredible debut with your new team, putting up a goal and an assist through 13 minutes of ice time. The next thing you know you’re doubled over after blocking a shot from Blackhawks’ defenseman Connor Murphy. Such is the life of Mats Zuccarello, who will be out for about four weeks with a broken arm. While he did have surgery on the arm, the purpose of the surgery was to hold the arm in place and speed up the healing process – this wasn’t some reconstructive surgery where he’ll need to learn how to hold a stick again.
Jamie Benn – He left Sunday’s game against the Blackhawks with an upper-body injury, which also kept him out of the lineup on Tuesday against the Golden Knights. Fortunately, he’s expected to return to the lineup on Thursday when the Stars take on the Kings. Benn has struggled to produce offensively this season with just 41 points in 61 games.
Thomas Vanek – Is expected to be out long term with a hip flexor injury. If you’re unfamiliar with the intricacies of the hip flexors (like I was until seconds ago), all you really need to know is that they allow the joint between your hip and your leg to bend. Since the injury is expected to keep Vanek out for a long time, it sounds like he’s dealing with a relatively large tear that’s going to significantly decrease his range of motion until it heals. Another important note – especially considering Vanek is 35 years old – is that you’re more likely to injure a hip flexor if you’ve injured it before. See how much fun this article can be when teams actually give us details on an injury? Three cheers for learning!
Jesse Puljujarvi – The belief is that he requires surgery for a lower-body injury. What exactly is he dealing with? How long will he be out? Find out in next week’s episode of ‘Spoiled Oil’ (copyright pending).
Craig Smith – You know what my favourite kind of update is? No update! At this point, all we really know is that Smith is dealing with a lower-body injury. Nashville’s acquisition of Mikael Granlund and Wayne Simmonds at the Trade Deadline should relieve any pressure of rushing Smith back into the lineup.
Jesper Bratt – Is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and won’t be in the lineup against the Flames on Wednesday. The Devils have been absolutely decimated by injuries recently. If you can name a player in the lineup who isn’t Nico Hischier, I’ll give you a high five.
Taylor Hall – The Devils expect to find out sometime this week whether Hall is going to play again this season. Considering the team isn’t playoff-bound, there’s really no reason to rush Hall back into the lineup and risk his long-term health. GM Ray Shero made it clear that if Hall does return this season, it’s because the team’s medical staff is absolutely confident that his return won’t have any long-term impact on his well-being. While it’s easy to say Hall should be shut down for the rest of the season considering there’s nothing left to play for, he’s a hockey player. Hockey players want to play hockey.
Carter Hart – The rookie goaltender is expected to be out for at least a week with an ankle injury. If everything goes well he’ll be back on the ice this weekend, with a return hopefully following soon after. Hart has been fantastic this season, sporting a .917 SV% and a 13-8-1 record.
Kris Letang – If you watch the video above closely, you’ll notice that Kris Letang went after Wayne Simmonds following his hit on Brian Dumoulin. In an attempt to defend Simmonds, Shayne Gostisbehere came in and threw Letang to the ice. Letang suffered an upper-body injury following the takedown and is currently out on a day-to-day basis.
Bryan Rust – Left Tuesday’s game against Columbus on crutches after this hit from new Blue Jacket Adam McQuaid. He’ll be evaluated on Wednesday and we’ll probably get a better idea of how severe the injury is.
Erik Karlsson – Left Tuesday’s game against the Bruins with an injury, but we don’t yet know if it’s related to the groin injury that caused him to miss significant time recently. What we do know is that he wasn’t able to put much pressure on his left leg. This clip from late in the second period shows Karlsson’s skating was not at 100 percent. He didn’t play in the third period.
Brayden Schenn – Remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to be back sooner rather than later. While we still don’t know exactly what the injury is and when he was injured, some believe it’s a concussion.
David Perron – Has been skating but is still officially day-to-day. GM Doug Armstrong stated that he should be back sooner rather than later. I feel like I’ve been saying his return is just around the corner for a long time now, but maybe this time it’s true?
Jake Gardiner – Has missed the team’s last couple of practices and won’t be in the lineup against the Oilers on Wednesday. Coach Mike Babcock has noticed Gardiner’s skating hasn’t been as good as it normally is. It’s possible he’s still dealing with back spasms that were bothering him earlier in the season.
Nazem Kadri – Skated on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a concussion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: concussions are unpredictable because everyone experiences symptoms differently, so there’s a lot of variation in recovery times.
Alexander Edler – The Canucks begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday against the Avalanche and it’s still not clear whether or not Edler will be travelling with the team. While he has been skating, we still don’t know when exactly he’ll return from a concussion.
Erik Haula – May start skating soon! While that’s great news considering he had knee surgery a couple of months ago, I don’t think he’ll be back in time to have an impact on your fantasy hockey playoff matchup.
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