The latest injury news on Jonathan Quick, Mark Streit, Semyon Varlamov, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Pavel Buchnevich and more...
The hockey gods seemed to show your fantasy teams mercy this week, leaving few injuries to report. Enjoy!
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Ryan McDonagh- Hand injury? Nope. Leg injury? Nope. Concussion? Nope. FLU? DING DING DING! The contagious enemy of fantasy dreams kept McDonagh out of Tuesday night’s lineup against the Blackhawks. We don’t know how severe this case is, but I would expect him to be back in the next couple of games.
Corey Crawford – The first week of the two (or three) Crawford was expected to miss is now history. In his absence, Scott Darling has done a fine job, with a sparkling 1.42 GAA and .954 SV%. Although recovery from an appendectomy usually takes less time than expected, don’t expect the Blackhawks to rush their starting goalie back with Darling playing so well.
Rick Nash – He has been skating after what seems to be a minor groin injury (are any injuries minor anymore?). After missing four games, time is almost up on the original prognosis, so expect to see Nash back in the lineup very soon.
Jonathan Quick – Quick is recovering slowly. I wish I could tell you a miraculous recovery will see him return sooner than expected, but I have to be the bearer of bad news. Quick is still very much in rehab mode, and we won’t have a satisfying update for the rest of 2016.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Jonathan Huberdeau – The Panthers haven’t had their top left wing at all this season, but things seem to be progressing well. Huberdeau is no longer wearing a protective boot after his Achilles’ tendon surgery, and is travelling with the team on its three-game road trip. He’s still some ways away from returning to the lineup, but may resume skating in the coming weeks.
Max Domi – Hand surgery is expected to keep this young talent off the ice for the next six weeks. The Coyotes aren't a contender this year, so don’t expect Domi to return before he’s fully healthy. I’m definitely going to be missing this for the next few weeks:
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Mark Streit – A sprained left shoulder will keep Streit out of the line up for the next two weeks. This came at an awful time for both team and player, as the Flyers have been on fire recently (9-0-0). It will be interesting to see if Ivan Provorov continues to thrive in an increased role, resulting in lesser value for Streit when he returns.
Semyon Varlamov – A groin injury will keep the Avalanche goalie out of the lineup on Wednesday night against the Flyers. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but let’s see if Calvin Pickard can ‘steal’ a starting role that neither goalie seems to want.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<20% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Darnell Nurse – An injured Nurse: a golden oxymoron for this column. Although the Edmonton defenseman hasn’t been fantasy relevant, the coaching staff were very pleased with how Nurse was developing this season, so losing him for the next 12 weeks definitely hurts.
Pavel Buchnevich - With an absence of satisfying updates on Buchnevich’s back injury, I was elated to learn he skated by himself on Monday (Dec 5). This being said, he wasn’t skating with the injured Puempel and Nash Tuesday morning (Dec 13). With the Rangers near the top of the standings (Anti Raanta has been amazing), and with back injuries being such an enigma, expect Buchnevich to remain on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
Ryan Callahan – The young Lightning core just haven’t been playing well in the absence of Steven Stamkos. Shaky goaltending from Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy, coupled with numerous late game collapses have resulted in a string of losses. Fortunately, the team could receive a big boost from the return of Ryan Callahan on their Canadian road trip. Aside from the stretches of fantasy relevance he has himself, guys like Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point (among others) might also improve with Callahan’s leadership.
Pavel Zacha – The New Jersey Devils forward seems very close to a return after missing the last four games because of dental work (he took a puck to the face against Nashville on December 3rd). With only seven points in 24 games this season, he hasn’t yet achieved fantasy relevance in a very young career.
Tyler Ennis – The Sabres offense has definitely been clicking with the return of Jack Eichel, and they might get an additional boost sooner than expected. Ennis has already missed a month of action after sports hernia surgery, and although he’s expected to miss another month, he might resume skating in the coming weeks. Ennis has had flashes of brilliance in his career, but injuries have held him back recently.
Frank Vatrano – The Bruins forward is very close to a return, and has been practicing as part of the top 6. Boston has been struggling to score recently (although David Pastrnak has been red hot), so hopefully Vatrano’s return can help out the team as a whole.
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