The latest injury info (what little can be scraped up during this time of year) on Thornton, Couture, Raanta, Krug and others…
The Big Guns (>75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Cam Fowler – The Ducks’ defenseman will be out for the next two to six weeks with a knee injury. Although this does slightly weaken Anaheim’s defensive core for the playoffs, players like Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm are still capable of holding down the fort. It will be interesting to see if John Gibson’s impressive regular season stats (2.22 GAA and .924 SV%) will translate into playoff success, especially in a favourable matchup against the Flames.
Torey Krug – It’s unlikely that the Bruins defenseman will play against the Senators in Round One of the playoffs. Krug had a very respectable 51 points in 81 games during the regular season, and Boston will definitely miss that scoring from the blue line to begin the series. However, if the series goes down to the wire, a lower-body injury might not be enough to keep the talented blue liner out of the lineup.
Joe Thornton – The Sharks’ forward is confident he’ll be in the lineup for the team’s playoff opener on Wednesday night, but considers himself day-to-day at this point. Among active players, Thornton is tied for fifth in playoff points, and his team will require that experience to beat Connor McDavid and company.
Frederik Andersen – The Leafs are going to need all hands on deck if they have any chance of beating the favoured Washington Capitals. Pulling off the upset seems impossible without starting goalie Frederik Andersen, who has remained tight lipped on his status, but could be ready for the teams’ opener on Thursday night.
Logan Couture – After a great 2016 playoffs, there is some doubt that Couture will be ready to go on Wednesday against the Oilers. He has been skating consistently, but is yet to take contact to the facial area (suffered a mouth injury after taking a puck to the face at the end of last month). Connor McDavid is going to be hard to stop if both Couture and Thornton are out of the lineup, but health is a second priority to hockey players come playoff time.
The Second Liners (40%-75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Antti Raanta – A knee injury kept the Rangers’ goaltender out of the lineup for New York’s final game of the season, but he should be ready for the playoffs. With this said, it’s unlikely Raanta sees any playing time behind King Henrik Lundqvist.
The Depth Guys (10%-40% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Tomas Tatar – The Red Wings’ forward will have shoulder surgery on Thursday after a pretty disappointing regular season (46 points in 82 games). An estimated four to six months is required for recovery, but Tatar believes he’ll be ready for the start of next season. I know a lot of us enter our drafts expecting Tatar to take it to the next level, so hopefully any nagging pains will be solved by this surgery and next season is a step in the right direction.
Jussi Jokinen – Although the Panthers’ forward is dealing with an MCL issue, he won’t require surgery this offseason. After a disappointing season (28 points in 69 games), it will be some much needed recovery time for the 34 year-old.
Chad Johnson – The Flames ‘goaltender didn’t participate in practice on Monday because of a lower-body injury. However, he was on the ice before the morning skate, so this doesn’t seem to be too serious. Brian Elliott has earned the right to start off the series against the Ducks, and if Johnson isn’t available, John Gillies will serve as the backup.
Michal Neuvirth – Remember that scary collapse Neuvirth had against the New Jersey Devils? He suffered a concussion when his head hit the ice. Fortunately, this offseason will provide plenty of recovery time for the Flyers netminder, let’s hope it will be enough.
Paul Stastny – The Blues’ forward didn’t skate on Tuesday, so he probably won’t be ready to start the series against the Wild. He has been out with a lower-body injury since March 21, but the team still hasn’t provided a concrete update as to when he’ll be back.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<10% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Alexei Emelin – The Canadiens’ defenseman won’t be in the lineup for Wednesday’s playoff opener because of a lower-body injury. Not many details have been released regarding his status, but I would consider him day-to-day for now.
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