The latest injury news on Vlasic, Subban, Hossa, MacKinnon, Callahan, Martinez and many others…
We’re at the finish line here. A lot of you have already clinched or lost your trophy, but here’s an injury update for the few that are still fighting, as well as some playoff implications for those of you interested in that.
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Cory Schneider – The Devils’ number one netminder returned with a .923 save percentage over his last two games. However, he has only one win since February 23rd. Despite offering the Devils excellent netminding, without Cammalleri, he won’t string together too many wins.
Nicklas Backstrom – Backstrom didn’t play last night, the third straight game he’s sat out with an upper-body injury. The Capitals have more than enough reason to be cautious with their number one center. They’ve had plenty of disappointing postseasons, and don’t mean to add another one because of careless injury rehab. He’s day-to-day, but don’t be surprised if he’s done for the regular season.
Corey Crawford – After missing time since March 17th, Crawford will likely be back from his mysterious upper-body injury for the start of the playoffs, though this might be wishful thinking on the part of head Coach Joel Quenneville. A Blues-Hawks series is bound to be bloody. Having a steady presence in net can help Chicago stave off their rivals for another year.
Matt Duchene – The Avs’ OTHER young centerman recently got blasted by his coach for celebrating his 30th goal. Since his return from his own knee injury, Duchene has three points in three games.
David Backes – While he’ll be re-evaluated before round one of the playoffs, don’t expect Backes to return at 100%. The heart and soul of the Blues is just the type of guy to fight through his lower-body injury to help his team against their bitter rivals, the Blackhawks.
Marc-Andre Fleury – The Flower will miss an undisclosed amount of time with a concussion. This might spell the end of the Pens’ season. While they’re certainly capable of scoring, it was blind luck and a superhuman effort from Kris Letang that won them their game last night. Rookie goalie Matt Murray simply isn’t ready for what he’s about to face.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Brendan Gallagher – Gallagher returned to play the Panthers and opened the scoring in the process. The Habs’ agitator is also in the middle of a really mediocre season, and doesn’t even have the shots or PIMs to justify his lack of production.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – RNH returned to help the Oilers get thrashed by the last people they’d want trashing them. They dropped a contest versus the Flames 5-0, and the Nuge picked up a minus-two on the night in 14 minutes of ice time.
Alec Martinez – Martinez is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. The recent Stanley Cup-winning goal scorer will likely be back for the Kings’ first round series against the Sharks.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Despite Head Coach Pete DeBoer’s positive tone two weeks ago, his world-class defenseman is still on day-to-day status. They’re not in dire need of him, with Joe Thornton’s discovery of a time machine that turned him into his 2005 self again and James Reimer’s sparkling .938 save percentage, but that’ll all change come round one. They’re likely to meet the Kings and won’t THAT be fun?
Ryan Callahan – Despite returning for three games, Callahan did not play last night thanks to a lower-body injury. The Lightning have ruled him day-to-day, but they can’t afford these injuries this late in the year. With Stamkos’ UFA status looming, this might have been their best chance at the Cup for a few years.
Leo Komarov – Despite having no playoffs to play for, the Leafs refuse to go down quietly. Komarov could have sat out for the rest of the year, but is instead eyeing a return on Thursday or Saturday, if for no other reason than to give the fans a show. Is there any wonder Uncle Leo is adored in Toronto?
Artem Anisimov – After he helped his line put together 11 points between them on Saturday against Boston, Anisimov is again out with a minor injury. He was the victim of an Antoine Vermette hit last night and suffered an upper-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said more news about it should trickle in today.
Done for the Season
P.K. Subban – Despite looking like he might have returned last week, Subban is scheduled for another MRI. Rumours have been floating that he might be hiding a knee ailment, but if it’s on his neck, it’s cause for serious concern. The Habs announced Wednesday morning that Subban will be shut down for the season.
Steven Stamkos – The big one this week. We might have seen Stamkos’ last game as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He’ll miss between one and three months rehabilitating from vascular surgery. A blood clot could’ve been much worse for him, but the surgery was successful. The Lightning will have to survive without their captain in the postseason, and the triplet line (Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat) have not looked like they did last season. Don’t expect Tampa to go very far this postseason.
Ryan McDonagh – Why do stars block shots? This late in the season, against Columbus? McDonagh is sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury. It’s not even like he was careless with his position. He had his glove facing the shooter and everything.
Tyler Seguin – I wouldn’t be shocked if Seguin returned for the very last game of the season to get back into form for the playoffs, but that’s just cautious optimism. The cut in his Achilles tendon will keep him sidelined for now. If Dallas drops their next two games and Chicago continues on this tear, you could find yourselves watching Stars/Blues.
Carey Price – Price has returned to practice with his teammates and was very positive about his chances to play again this season. However, on Wednesday morning the Habs released a statement announcing that both he and Subban will be shut down for the season.
Evgeni Malkin – Malkin’s upper-body injury will keep him out of round one. Look for him if the Penguins manage to get by the Rangers. It seemed really unlikely, but with the injury to McDonagh, it’s becoming more and more realistic. The Pens have scored five or more goals for five straight games, and just overcame a 3-0 hole to win 5-3 last night versus Ottawa.
Evander Kane – Evander Kane’s hand injury will end his first season as a Buffalo Sabre prematurely. In 65 games, the winger put up a disappointing 35 points. However, he managed 271 shots and 91 PIMs, so he managed to not be a total liability for roto leagues.
James van Riemsdyk – JVR is out until the 2016-17 season with a foot fracture.
Anton Stralman – Stralman was the first of the Lightning to get injured. After falling awkwardly on his leg, Stralman has been restricted to a pair of crutches, and won’t be available until the later rounds of the playoffs, if the Lightning can pull off a miracle and achieve that.
Jake Allen – The Blues’ future starting netminder is also out with a lower-body injury. Luckily for St. Louis, Brian Elliott is more than capable of picking up the slack while Allen heals. He’ll miss the rest of the season.
Olli Maatta – The Penguins have been red hot lately, winning 13 of their last 14 games, and while averaging over five goals a game for their last ten victories! They’ve been doing it without Maatta, who’s still week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.
Jaroslav Halak – This Band-Aid Boy’s still got two weeks to go before he’s back from his groin injury. The Isles have clinched a playoff berth, and will likely play Florida in round one. It’s WAY better than getting the Capitals, but the Panthers pack a punch this year.
David Perron – Finally, some news on Perron! Aaaaaaand he’s gone. Four to six weeks is the recovery time from March 20th, which means he’ll likely return sometime during the first round, if he’s lucky enough to have a short healing process.
Vincent Trocheck – Trocheck is out for up to two weeks with a broken bone in his foot from blocking a shot. He was on a hot streak with 29 points in his last 29 games before the injury, so I’m sure Panthers fans are thrilled about his absence. Luckily, they’ll face a substantially more injury-riddled team in the playoffs, whether that’s the Islanders or the Lightning.
Marian Gaborik – Gaborik’s knee injury is looking like a little more serious than initially thought. He was expected to be back for round one of the playoffs, but it looks like he’ll miss the start (and maybe even the end) of the playoffs. Coach Darryl Sutter is, as usual, being deliberately confusing in his responses.
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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