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!
Hampus Lindholm – Had been playing through a lingering lower-body injury but the decision was finally made to keep him out of the lineup. He was place on Injured Reserve a few days ago and is eligible to return on Thursday when Anaheim hosts the Sharks – but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back in the lineup, it all depends on how he’s feeling. Lindholm has missed the team’s last two games – both of which were losses as the Ducks conceded six goals against the Oilers and four goals against the Red Wings.
Torey Krug – Is out with an upper-body injury that he presumably suffered following some contact from Claude Giroux in the latter stages of Sunday’s loss to the Flyers. Krug missed Tuesday’s game against the Panthers but hasn’t been ruled out of Friday’s clash with the Leafs or Saturday’s contest against the Capitals. He continues to be evaluated. Krug is a very effect power-play quarterback for the Bruins as 11 of his 13 points have come with the man advantage. Matt Grzelcyk took over Krug’s role on the top power-play unit on Tuesday but failed to register a point through three and a half minutes of PP ice-time. I know the Bruins have enough offensive talent to score without Krug in the lineup, but I’d keep an eye out to see if their power play can remain as effective.
Jake DeBrusk – A lower-body injury is expected to keep him out of the lineup until at least next weekend. Between now and then the Bruins play four games – Friday against the Leafs, Saturday against the Capitals, next Tuesday (Nov 19) against the Devils and next Thursday (Nov 21) against the Sabres. Again, no concrete timetable has been attached to DeBrusk’s recovery, but it does sound like he’s going to miss the next few games. The 23-year-old has gotten off to a slow start this season with just six points through 15 games, but it’s encouraging that five of those points came in his last eight games.
Erik Haula – Last year, Haula underwent surgery to repair his knee after it bent awkwardly during a game against the Leafs early in the season. It appears that the same knee has started bothering him again in recent games. While there are no structural issues and no further surgery is required, his status is more serious than the typical day-to-day. He returned to practice on Wednesday after sitting out of the team’s last four games, so hopefully that time off has provided him with some relief.
Pavel Francouz – Just 31 seconds into Tuesday’s game, Mark Scheifele was cutting to the net when he was bumped by Samuel Girard and proceeded to run over Francouz. The goaltender’s head took a considerable amount of contact on the play and he stayed down for a little while before being helped off the ice. Avs defenseman Ryan Graves noted that Francouz was walking around after the game and seemed to be doing okay. As I write this, the team hasn’t released any details regarding the location or severity of the injury.
Nikita Zadorov – Has been skating and speaking with teammates recently. That second part is especially relevant because he’s recovering from surgery that repaired a broken jaw. Colorado begins a four-game road trip on Thursday that will take them through Western Canada and Minnesota. There’s a possibility that Zadorov joins the team at some point on that trip.
Philipp Grubauer – Has been involved in practice and will travel with the team as they embark on a four-game trip. Coach Jared Bednar said on Tuesday that Grubauer was close to returning but is still day-to-day. He hasn’t officially been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Oilers, so it’s possible he starts in Edmonton.
Mikko Rantanen – Skated on Monday while wearing a no-contact jersey, but left the ice before the team began practice. He’s expected to stay in Colorado and continue rehabilitating while the team heads out on the road for the next four games. With that being said, there’s a chance Rantanen joins his teammates at some point later in the trip.
Gabriel Landeskog – Still no timetable for his return; I’ll update you as soon as the team provides us with more information. Can we talk about how good Nathan MacKinnon has been in the absence of his star line mates? In seven games without Rantanen and Landeskog, MacKinnon has tallied five goals, six assists and 50 shots!
John Klingberg – Will be revaluated in about a week to determine when he can return from a lower-body injury. The results of his MRI were encouraging, but he’ll probably miss another week or two following the next evaluation. He suffered the injury following a hit from Nikita Zadorov of the Colorado Avalanche on November 5th.
Roope Hintz – Was expected to miss about two weeks with a lower-body injury, but that was nearly two weeks ago and it doesn’t sound like he’ll be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Stars face the Flames. Dallas heads into Calgary to begin their three-game tour of Western Canada but Hintz isn’t travelling with the team. Obviously, he can join the team at some point on the trip, but we haven’t heard anything that would suggest his return is imminent.
Adam Larsson – Is about two weeks away from a return. A shot from Quinn Hughes fractured Larsson’s fibula in Edmonton’s season opener back in early October. He’s projected to be back in the lineup on November 16th against the Stars or November 19th against the Sharks.
MacKenzie Weegar – Sat out of Tuesday’s game after taking a puck to the side of the head during Saturday’s clash with the Rangers. We know he’s with the team, but we haven’t any substantial updates just yet. Weegar has been excellent this season with 10 points in 17 games despite a lack of power-play opportunity.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Officially, he’s still day-to-day as the medical staff wants him to heal completely. He’s at a stage in his recovery where he might experience a setback if he were to overexert himself. With that being said, he is feeling much better and should be back in the lineup very soon.
Sami Vatanen – Took an elbow to the face from Alex Chiasson a few days ago when the Devils were in Edmonton. Whatever injury he suffered on that play kept him out of Sunday’s clash with the Canucks and is expected to keep him out of Wednesday’s game against the Senators as well. The team hasn’t released any information about his status going forward so I assume they’re monitoring how he’s feeling each day.
Mika Zibanejad – Isn’t travelling with the team to Florida so he won’t face the Lightning on Thursday or the Panthers on Saturday. The Rangers return home to host the Capitals next Wednesday (November 20th), Zibanejad’s status for that game hasn’t yet been determined. Coach David Quinn wants to ensure that his star center is fully healthy before he gets him back in the lineup, to avoid any risk of reaggravation or setback.
Sidney Crosby – According to Rob Rossi of The Athletic, Crosby is currently considering treatment options for a sports hernia. The Penguins’ captain has been playing with the injury since training camp but decided against surgery as the team was already dealing with a number of injuries. If he decides to have surgery now, he’ll probably miss about a month of action. On the other hand, if he chooses to delay surgery with injections and physical therapy, he could aggravate the hernia and be forced to have surgery anyway.
Kris Letang – He’s officially out week-to-week with a lower-body injury and hasn’t been practicing with the team recently. Justin Schultz steps onto Pittsburgh’s top power-play unit in Letang’s absence, but I’m not sure how dangerous they’ll be without both Letang and Sidney Crosby.
Mitch Marner – Multimillion-dollar Marner will miss at least four weeks of action with a high ankle sprain. After that period of time, he’ll be reassessed by the team’s medical staff and we should have more information on when exactly he’ll be back. If you want to stay up to date with the latest news on Marner, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza! Expectations are high for Mitch this year given the lucrative contract he just signed, but he’s quietly maintained a point-per-game pace through his first 18 contests. Toronto’s best line last season was composed of Zach Hyman, John Tavares and Mitch Marner. That line hasn’t had a chance to play together this year as Hyman was recovering from offseason knee surgery (he’ll make his season debut on Wednesday against the Islanders), Tavares missed time with a broken finger and now Marner is out for the foreseeable future. The Leafs haven’t had an ideal start to the 2019-2020 campaign, but they should improve as the season progresses and the roster gets healthy. They had a difficult schedule in October with a number of back-to-backs that they struggled with.
Bryan Little – Took a slapshot to the head during last Tuesday’s game against the Devils. He’ll be out of the lineup indefinitely with a perforated eardrum and vertigo symptoms. In Little’s absence, Blake Wheeler – who normally plays wing – is centering a line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Jack Roslovic. Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine are playing with Mark Scheifele.
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