Injury Ward: Teams Keeping Things Quiet

by Brennan Des on December 5, 2018

John Klingberg. Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports Images

John Klingberg. Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports Images


Here’s the latest in injury news from around the league! Nashville and St. Louis have been bitten by the injury bug frequently this week, but only Nashville remains tight-lipped on timetables. In fact, I’ll give you a million dollars if you can find a significant update on P.K. Subban or Kyle Turris (you won’t find any updates) (I also don’t have a million dollars). As always, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for the latest injury updates!


Cam Fowler – It’s been a couple of weeks since Fowler had surgery to repair some facial damage, which came as a result of a puck to the face. He has been progressing well and is scheduled to start working out this weekend. Expect him to resume skating in the next week or two. If all goes well, he should return sometime in the middle of January.


Michael Grabner – Suffered a pretty gruesome eye injury and will be out of the lineup indefinitely.  


Antti Raanta – Has participated in a full practice and should be ready to start the next time he’s called upon. Until then, it looks like Arizona will ride the hot hand in Adin Hill. As I write this, Hill has only allowed one goal in four appearances and is on his way to his fourth win in as many games. Ride Hill while you can, but don’t expect him to seriously steal starts from Raanta down the road.


Charlie McAvoy – Has been a full participant in practice for the past couple of days, which means we should see him return within the next few games. The team hasn’t announced a concrete return date because he’s been out for over a month with a concussion, so they’ll continue to keep a close eye on him and decide when he’s ready to play.


Jason Pominville – Was hoping to play against the Leafs on Tuesday, but ultimately sat out. Considering there was a strong possibility he returned against Toronto, I think it’s even more likely he’s in the lineup on Saturday against the Flyers – I almost guarantee it. If you’re expecting Pominville to play alongside Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner when he returns, you might be disappointed. Sam Reinhart has been the third member of that top line recently and has six points in his last four games.


Micheal Ferland – Out with a concussion. When will he be back? Excellent question. Unfortunately, I don’t have an excellent answer. However, I can give you the obligatory “concussions are unpredictable, he’ll be back when he’s feeling well for a consistent period of time”. Carolina’s top line now features Jordan Staal beside Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.


John Klingberg – Worst case scenario, Klingberg returns on December 27th. However, there’s a chance he’ll be back in the lineup before Christmas. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Klingberg will return sooner if you’ve been good this year – stay off the naughty list!


Anthony Mantha – Will miss the next four to six weeks after breaking his hand in a fight. The 24-year-old hasn’t been too impressive this season with just 14 points in 27 games, behind last year’s pace that saw him tally 48 points in 80 games.


Ilya Kovalchuk – Will miss the next four weeks as he recovers from an ankle bursectomy procedure. If you’re curious, a bursectomy involves the removal of a fluid-filled sac from within the joints. The sac usually provides cushion for movement but can restrict movement when it becomes inflamed. Does this mean Kovalchuk will be more agile when he returns? Well, we’ll have to watch closely when he’s back in the lineup. On the fourth line. Playing less than ten minutes a game…


Filip Forsberg – Out four to six weeks with an upper-body injury. Since Arvidsson is still out a few more weeks with a broken thumb, Nashville’s top line now features Ryan Hartman, Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala. The Predators have gone 2-0 in Forsberg’s absence so far, and it’s worth mentioning that they were also without P.K. Subban, Kyle Turris, and the aforementioned Arvidsson. Prior to the injury, Forsberg was on pace for 44 goals. He’s one of a few players in the league with the potential to score 40+ goals. Unfortunately, he might have to another season to do it because of this injury.


Jesper Bratt – Missed Monday’s game against the Lightning because he was sick. Don’t expect him to miss too much time because of the illness.


Robin Lehner – Sat out when the Islanders faced the Jets on Tuesday because he “tweaked something”. Based on the information we have now (he wasn’t placed on IR), it doesn’t sound too serious.


Vladislav Namestnikov – Has been practicing, but hasn’t been taking contact. He’s dealing with a concussion, so here’s the obligatory “concussions are unpredictable, he’ll be back when he’s feeling well for a consistent period of time”. With that out of the way, it’s possible he plays on Saturday against the Panthers.


Pavel Buchnevich – Was originally scheduled to miss four to six weeks with a broken thumb. Well, we’re about a month into that timetable, and word on the street is that Buchnevich hopes to play in Florida on Saturday. Whether that hope becomes a reality, we’ll find out.


Mats Zuccarello – Participated in Tuesday’s practice. It’s possible he returns from a groin injury when the Rangers face the Panthers on Saturday.


Brian Elliot – Has been getting some work in on the ice, and should return within the next couple of weeks. Can Carter Hart just hurry up and develop into a Vezina-calibre goalie already?


Matt Murray – Has been getting some work in on the ice. Still no timetable for a return.


Timo Meier – Should be in the lineup when the Sharks host the Hurricanes on Wednesday.


Alex Pietrangelo – Looks like the Blues’ captain will require surgery to repair a hand injury. Follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza to find out exactly what the timetable for recovery will look like when he is re-evaluated later in the month (meaning he’s going to be out for at least a month). Both Vince Dunn and Colton Parayko should see increased roles in Pietrangelo’s absence.


Robby Fabbri – Won’t need surgery to repair a separated shoulder. Will be re-evaluated around Christmas.


Alexander Steen – Day-to-day with a concussion. “Concussions are unpredictable, he’ll be back when he’s feeling well for a consistent period of time”.


Max Pacioretty – The game-time decision was for Pacioretty to sit out of Tuesday’s game because he “wasn’t feeling well”.  Since the team waited until game-time to make that decision, he probably could have played if he had to. With that in mind, I’ll conclude that the ‘injury’ isn’t too serious.


Erik Haula – Is on crutches. Won’t play for a couple of months. Might return before the end of the season.


Paul Stastny – Has been skating but is still a couple of weeks away from a return.


T.J. Oshie – Good news? He has started skating again. Bad news? He won’t return during the team’s current road trip. That means the earliest he can return is on December 11th when the Capitals host the Red Wings, but I’d expect it to take it a little longer.


Dustin Byfuglien – The Jets’ defenseman has a concussion and will be out until he isn’t. I realize how pathetic that update is, so I’ll support it with my obligatory statement for all concussions, “concussions are unpredictable, he’ll be back when he’s feeling well for a consistent period of time”. Yeah, that’s the fourth time I copy/pasted the same sentence. What are you gonna do about it? Byfuglien had 17 points in 21 games prior to the injury.



Josh Morrissey – Missed Tuesday’s game despite participating in warmups. Since the decision to keep him out of the lineup was made extremely close to puck-drop, I don’t think the injury (lower-body) is too serious. Jacob Trouba took over the top power-play with both Morrissey and Byfuglien injured.