Updates on Rakell, Murray, Marchand, and more…
A fake doctor is called a quack, maybe that’s why there are so many injured Ducks… Follow me @BrennanDeSouza for timely updates on injuries to your fantasy roster!
The Big Guns (>75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Rickard Rakell – At the beginning of the season, the Anaheim Ducks were pretty deep down the middle, with Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell capable of playing center. 24 games into the season and by some miracle they 10 wins, because a center core of Derek Grant, Chris Wagner, Antoine Vermette, and Dennis Rasmussen doesn’t exactly intimidate the opposition. All we know about Rakell right now is that an upper-body injury has kept him from travelling with the team during their road trip (of which four games are left). While he could very well rejoin the team before they return home, coach Randy Carlyle hasn’t given us much to work with.
Ryan McDonagh – An abdominal strain has kept the Rangers’ captain out of the lineup, but he is hoping to return Friday against the Hurricanes. The injury had been bothering him while playing, preventing him from shooting as well or being as explosive skating.
Shea Weber – According to coach Claude Julien, Weber’s recovery is going well but he still hasn’t been cleared by the training staff to return to the lineup. Carey Price’s return to form might buy Weber some time as the Canadiens’ goaltender has stopped 73 of 74 shots since returning from injury. In Weber’s absence, Jeff Petry has stepped up in a big way, averaging 27:19 of ice time and putting up a couple of points.
Brad Marchand – The Bruins’ forward was practicing alongside Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak on Tuesday, and will be a game-time decision for Wednesday’s contest against the Lightning. Considering he’s missed eight of the last ten games with a vague injury, this is very good news.
Matt Murray – This news is slightly Jarring as Murray is likely out for the next two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. Officially, consider him week-to-week after this collision with Jakub Voracek. Tristan Jarry should see the bulk of the starts in Murray’s absence, so pick him up if he’s still available. Had you been following me on Twitter, you would have known Murray’s timetable and scooped Jarry up already!
Evgeni Malkin – Will travel with the team to Buffalo for Friday's game against the Sabres. The upper-body injury doesn’t seem too serious as the team continues to call him day-to-day. Fortunately for the Penguins, Sidney Crosby has started to heat up in Malkin’s absence with eight points in his last three games.
Martin Jones – The Sharks’ goaltender is currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury, but coach Pete DeBoer didn’t rule out the possibility of him playing during their road trip (three games left). Aaron Dell has been a great backup (2.06 GAA & .924 SV%) behind a stingy Sharks defense, and could make for a good short-term addition to your team.
The Second Liners (40%-75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Mika Zibanejad – A bit of a strange situation here as the Rangers’ forward took warmups and was fine Tuesday morning, but didn’t play Tuesday because of an upper-body injury. Zibanejad has embraced the role as New York’s top center, with 22 points in 24 games this season. As with all injuries, let’s hope this isn’t too serious.
Jared Spurgeon – Missed Monday’s game against the Jets because of a groin strain. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he didn’t know how serious it was, but hoped it wasn’t too serious. A lot of words to tell us absolutely nothing. Spurgeon has had a great start to the season with 15 points in 23 games, but like Boudreau let’s hope this isn’t too serious.
The Depth Guys (10%-40% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Evgeny Dadonov – The Panthers’ forward will be out four to six weeks with a shoulder injury suffered in Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks. Dadonov has been great this season, with 18 points in 22 games while skating beside the dynamic duo of Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. Denis Malgin is currently taking Dadonov’s spot on the top line.
David Krejci – The Bruins’ forward seems to have re-aggravated the upper-body injury he suffered earlier this season, which is never good. He will not be in the lineup when the Bruins take on the Lightning Wednesday night.
Antti Raanta – With the many examples of backup goalies embracing starting roles on new teams, I had high hopes for Raanta this season. Considering he plays for the 6-17-3 Arizona Coyotes, his 4-5-2 record is actually pretty impressive. Behind a team that averages a league worst 3.62 goals against per game, Raanta’s 2.84 GAA and .914 SV% aren’t too shabby. In last Wednesday’s game against the Sharks, Logan Couture ran into Raanta, making contact with his head and neck. The team is calling it an upper-body injury, but speculation suggests concussion-like symptoms that will need a few days to clear. The court says innocent until proven guilty, I say day-to-day until proven healthy.
Marcus Johansson – After a lengthy recovery from a concussion, the Devils’ forward has finally been cleared to play! The team wants to ease him into the lineup by getting in some practices before his eventual return. Expect him back within the next few games.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<10% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
David Backes – Coach Cassidy said the Bruins’ forward will be a game-time decision Wednesday night against Tampa Bay. It’s likely he’ll be Backes in the lineup after a speedy recovery from colon surgery.
Steve Mason – Concussion. Unfortunate because he had been playing well since a rough start to the season. While Connor Hellebuyck seems to have taken the reigns in Winnipeg, Eric Comrie has been called up and could put together a few quality starts in Mason’s absence.
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