Updates on Weber, Dubnyk, Couture, and more…
This week we take a look at a big loss for San Jose, and a few players who could be making their season debuts very soon. For quick updates on the latest injuries and news on notable line changes that affect your fantasy hockey roster, follow @BrennanDeSouza on Twitter!
The Big Guns (>75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Shea Weber – The Canadiens defenseman is out indefinitely with an injured foot, and yes, it’s the same injury that caused him to miss time recently. Here’s the concerning part thought, according to Pierre LeBrun, Weber suffered the injury on opening night in Buffalo. While I acknowledge that hockey players are tough guys who deal with some form of injury throughout the season, I feel like the team should have made sure he was 100 percent before returning to the lineup. Weber deserves a lot of credit for maintaining an elite level of play despite not feeling his best. Jeff Petry saw an increased role when Weber missed time earlier in the season, so maybe he could add some value to your fantasy roster. As I write this, Petry already has two points against Vancouver.
Logan Couture – Suffered a concussion on Friday against the Canucks. As I’ve made clear many times before, it’s very difficult to put a timetable on a concussion because they affect different individuals in different ways. However, this is a huge loss for San Jose, as Couture was their leading scorer with 26 points in 31 games this season.
Devan Dubnyk – Will join the team in Florida (Wild face the Panthers on Friday), and will probably be back on the ice by Thursday (skating and taking shots). Alex Stalock was great in his first three starts since Dubnyk’s absence (75 saves on 79 shots, 3 wins), but has struggled in his last three games (96 saves on 106 shots, 1 win).
Dustin Byfuglien – Not many updates, as he is still week-to-week and on injured reserve. Just thought I would mention that Tyler Myers has five points in five games since Byfuglien’s injury (three of which came Tuesday against the Predators) and Jacob Trouba has two.
Auston Matthews – The Leafs’ forward will travel to Columbus with the team for Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jackets. However, just because he’s travelling doesn’t mean he’s going to be playing. Matthews has missed five games with an upper-body injury.
The Second Liners (40%-75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Patric Hornqvist – The Penguins’ forward is being evaluated in Pittsburgh for an upper-body injury. Hornqvist was seeing a lot of time beside Sidney Crosby so keep an eye out to see who takes that spot on the top line (looking like Dominik Simon if he recovers from illness). As Jason Mackey points out, the Penguins have always announced upper-body injuries as upper-body injuries and concussions as concussions, so don’t stress too much.
Ryan Kesler – The Ducks’ forward has been skating every other day, but is still having some issues. The team doesn’t want to rush him back and risk any long-term consequences. While earlier in the season it seemed his return would be your Christmas present, perhaps returning to the lineup is now one of his New Year’s resolutions.
Oscar Klefbom – The Oilers’ forward was placed on injured reserve to recover from a nagging upper-body injury. It has been a very disappointing season for Klefbom as he only has nine points in 33 games despite good usage and exposure to Connor McDavid on the top power-play unit. Hopefully he can come back from this injury feeling 100% and have a better finish to the season.
Tyler Johnson – Missed Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights with the flu. Johnson has been providing some good secondary scoring in Tampa Bay, and becomes more valuable in Yahoo leagues with his newly added right wing-eligibility (now C,RW).
The Depth Guys (10%-40% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Zach Parise – Has been practicing with the team, hasn’t been cleared for contact. Since he’s been out for so long, I’ll remind you that he needed this time off to recover from back surgery. Considering he had the surgery in late October and was expected to miss two months, he should be returning soon.
David Krejci – An upper-body injury kept the Bruins’ forward out of the lineup on Monday and Tuesday, but we still don’t have a timetable for his return. As you probably know, Krejci has missed a number of stretches this season, but still has an impressive 14 points in 18 games, isn’t that Krejci!
Ryan Ellis – Has been practicing with his teammates and is still on track to play his first game of the season within the next few weeks. Even without Ellis, Nashville’s defensive core is one of the best in the league and having P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm on the blue line gives Ellis enough time to feel his best before returning.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<10% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Andrej Sekera – Likely he returns to the lineup on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Considering this will be his season debut after knee surgery, it might be wise to wait a few games before adding him to your roster.
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