The latest injury information on Letang, Spooner, Cammalleri, Burakovsky, Stamkos and more…
The Big Guns (>75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
John Gibson – The Ducks’ goaltender has been recovering from a nagging muscle strain that kept him out of the team’s last five games. There is a great deal of uncertainty as to when exactly Gibson will be back between the pipes, but the good news is that he has been skating, just not with the team. Anaheim’s young net minder has had an incredible season so far, posting a 2.24 GAA and .922 SV%. A “nagging muscle strain” doesn’t sound too serious, so he should be back pretty soon.
Alexander Radulov – The Habs’ forward has had flashes of brilliance alongside Alex Galchenyuk this season, and has been one of the team’s biggest offensive threats. Unfortunately, he’s currently day-to-day with what the team is calling a lower-body injury. The Habs are going to need a healthy Radulov for the playoffs, so unless their spot in the post season starts slipping out of their hands, I would expect them to be patient with his return.
Roberto Luongo – Age seems to finally be catching up to @strombone1, but thankfully we can still be fans of his twitter account as his stats slowly decline (2.68 GAA and .915 SV% this season). All we know right now is that this is a lower body injury, and there’s some speculation might be related to an offseason hip surgery. Even though Luongo might be back as early as next week, now might be a good time to grab James Reimer who has been impressive in recent games.
Kris Letang – The Pittsburgh Penguins’ offensive defenseman will not travel with the team on their upcoming Western Canadian road trip. An upper-body injury that was originally treated as day-to-day has gotten more and more serious with each passing day. The outstanding play of Justin Schultz, and newly acquired Mark Streit will definitely give Letang enough time to fully recover. Knowing Letang’s injury history, the Penguins would be crazy to not have him at a hundred percent for this year’s playoff push.
Steven Stamkos – Although he hasn’t yet participated in a full team practice (with contact and the whole shebang), Tampa Bay’s captain has been skating regularly with the team. Despite the huge strides he has made, we still don’t have an exact date as to when he’ll be back. Considering the Lightning were sellers at this year’s Trade Deadline (bidding farewell to Valtteri Filppula, Brian Boyle, and Ben Bishop), the team will probably delay their star’s return until he’s feeling 191%.
The Second Liners (40%-75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Kyle Okposo – A rib injury has the Sabres’ forward week-to-week which might make your fantasy team a little bit weak. After leaving the Islanders, Okposo has taken a small step back this season with a mediocre 43 points in 63 games. We’ll have a more concrete timetable after he’s re-evaluated in the coming days.
Johnny Boychuk – Oh Boy(chuk)! The Islanders defenseman is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Not much else I can tell you, he has 21 points in 59 games, not really an offensive juggernaut this season, but he does have value in deeper leagues.
Michael Grabner – The Rangers’ leading goal scorer (26 goals in 62 games) is still day-to-day with a hip injury suffered in practice. Grabner said he doesn’t “really want to risk it and get more hurt”, so don’t expect a premature return.
Marc-Andre Fleury – This one is nothing too serious. The Penguins’ goaltender is currently feeling under the weather, but he should be available for one of Pittsburgh’s games later in the week. Matt Murray has clearly taken the reigns this season, with a .925 SV% and 2.35 GAA clearly outshining Fleury’s 3.08 GAA and .908 SV%.
The Depth Guys (10%-40% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Ryan Spooner – The Bruins’ forward is out indefinitely with a concussion. He had been having a pretty ‘okay’ season, amassing a whopping 34 points in 65 games. If you’re a fan of hockey, you probably know concussions are one of the most frustrating injuries, for both player and fan. As we enter the final stretch of this fantasy season, it might be in your best interest to cut bait on Spooner.
Scott Darling – O MY DARLING, O MY DARLING, O MY DARLING CLEMENTINE will miss three weeks with an upper-body injury. Chicago’s backup goaltender has been outstanding this season, putting up 16 wins with a 2.13 GAA and .931 SV%. He had been providing great relief for Corey Crawford, whose numbers have been a lot less impressive (2.55 GAA and .918 SV%). Since we’re entering crunch time in most fantasy leagues, it might be time to let Darling go, but he could provide some hidden value in the latter stages of your playoff run.
Michael Cammalleri – The Devils’ forward is currently week-to-week with an upper-body injury. His status should be updated later in the week after re-evaluation. If you’re looking for a player to make an impact for your team down this final stretch, this might not be right place to look.
Andre Burakovsky – The Capitals’ forward is still recovering from a hand injury, and won’t be with the team during their California road trip. Washington is a very big contender for Lord Stanley’s mug this year, and their acquisition of Kevin Shattenkirk further solidified that. With this in mind, it makes even more sense that they give Burakovsky enough time to rest, so he can make an impact in the playoffs when it matters most.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<10% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Niklas Hjalmarsson – More like Niklas Hy(I’ll miss him). Am I right? Well you won’t be missing him anymore because according to coach Quenneville, he’ll be back in the lineup Thursday night against the Ducks.
Tomas Plekanec – A 236 game iron man streak came to an end on Tuesday night when an upper-body injury kept the Habs’ forward out of the lineup. I’ve always considered Plekanec a very, very poor man’s Patrice Bergeron, but this season has been especially troubling for him offensively, with just 24 points in 66 games. Consider him day-to-day for now.
Ondrej Pavelec – The Jets’ goaltender will most probably miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery. There’s been a great deal of discussion on whether Pavelec suffers from the defensive system of the Jets or is just a bad goalie, maybe this offseason sees him sign with a new team to put this discussion to rest.
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