The latest injury notes on Sharp, Drouin, Vanek, Jones and others…
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Patrick Sharp – No promising updates on Patrick Sharp this week, other than he’s working out. He’s yet to skate, and this isn’t his first rodeo with head injuries. Let’s keep him in the week-to-week column and check back later.
Jason Spezza – If you’re annoyed at Spezza being on the shelf again, no worries, so is he! He’s really close to returning, but wasn’t able to do so last night. Look for updates on his status when Dallas plays Calgay and Edmonton back-to-back starting tomorrow, as he might suit up for either of them.
Justin Faulk – Faulk likely injured his hand when he delivered a hit to Taylor Hall on Sunday, and now is week-to-week, according to Head Coach Bill Peters. 2015 top pick Noah Hanifin will take over the top PP spot in his absence, so maybe this will be a chance for him to show everyone why he was rated so highly going into the draft.
Zach Parise – Coach Bruce Boudreau calls Parise’s chances of returning before the end of the Wild’s current road trip “slim”. The highly-paid winger is about “70 percent healed from his lower-body injury”. The next Wild home game is November 15 vs. the Flames, so check in on him just before then.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Michael Stone – In a situation similar to that in Carolina with Faulk and Hanifin, Stone has now missed four games with an upper-body injury. Just like in Carolina, the Coyotes have a highly-touted, highly skilled defenseman who hasn’t had a chance in the spotlight yet, and he scored a goal in his debut last night. This is Anthony DeAngelo’s shot to earn a spot in the Coyotes’ top four. He’s already got top powerplay minutes, but his window is quickly closing, as Stone’s been practising with his team in a limited capacity.
Jonathan Drouin – Despite what I thought last week, Drouin’s gotten no better and has not played since taking a strong hit from the Islanders’ Calvin de Haan. The Lightning and being tight-lipped about his injury, but I suspect it is a concussion after all. He primarily played with Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat before his injury and it looks like he’s been replaced by Brayden Point. Point’s only owned in 1% of leagues, but don’t let his five points in 13 games fool you. He’s been on the ice for 161 unblocked shot attempts and only 12 goals (good for 7.5% team shooting percentage). If we correct that to the 9% that Tampa Bay forwards usually score at, that number jumps to 14.4. Give him a point in 65.4% of those (again, the average Lightning forward rate), and he’s got 9 points. That kind of correction give his points-per-game a boost from 0.38 to 0.72, almost a 60-point pace! A buy-low candidate if I ever saw one.
Thomas Vanek – Vanek was placed on long-term injured reserve, which isn’t a great sign for an early return from injury. The Red Wings have lost all five games since he dropped out of the lineup and clearly miss his scoring. The earliest he’ll be able to return is November 18 against the Capitals.
Seth Jones – Jones powered through a cut to the top of his foot and a hairline fracture on Saturday to help his team get a point in their overtime loss. The source of the injury? A skate that cut through Jones’s skate. I have no idea how he managed the feat, but for his trouble, Jones will miss the next three weeks. Again, similar to the Coyotes and Hurricanes, Columbus has a young, great defenseman in Zach Werenski who is already making the most out of his opportunity in the NHL. Grab him off Free Agency if you can!
Jussi Jokinen – Get him back in your lineup, because “Unless something happens [Wednesday], he's ready to go”, according to Coach Gerard Gallant! Jokinen will make his return after missing nine games with a knee injury.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Evander Kane – Kane has finally returned to skating, which means it’s ok to upgrade his status to day-to-day. Given the nature of his injury (broken ribs), you have to imagine that he’ll start slow when he eventually returns, as he’ll have to fight through some pain.
Mike Smith – Smith sustained a knee injury some time ago and has only recently begun skating. It’s probably safe to consider him week-to-week until anything else comes up, but Smith’s a Band-Aid Boy anyways. Even in the few games he does play, Arizona’s not likely to net you a boatload of wins.
All stats courtesy of Corsica.hockey and Dobber’s own Frozen Pool Line Combinations tool.
As always, thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more frequent injury updates and general hockey-related tomfoolery! @AjayDaCosta, in case that address bar is too far away.
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