Injuries are a part of fantasy hockey and no one wants to spend time surfing the web for the latest on their injured player. Here is the latest on the NHL’s bruised and battered..
The Bad News
It was quite shocking to see Dan Boyle knocked unconscious thanks to a hit from St. Louis’s Maxim Lapierre Tuesday evening, one which caused Boyle to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. At this time, the plan is to have the San Jose defenseman skip Thursday’s game against Dallas and return to San Jose for further medical examination. It’s safe to assume more information regarding his status will be made available. Consider him day-to-day now, but be sure to keep tabs on how he’s recovering.
New York Rangers forward Rick Nash is still experiencing symptoms from a concussion sustained last week. The team placed him on injured reserve and is expected to add at least one forward in his absence.
Montreal forward Max Pacioretty had to be helped off the ice during Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets and is dealing with a lower-body injury of some kind. However, there has been no word as to how serious the injury is at this time. That being said, it is a safe bet that he’ll miss at least a little time.
A few days after announcing Kari Lehtonen was day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the Dallas Stars placed their No. 1 goaltender on injured reserve. However, the injury has not prevented Lehtonen from working out on the ice during practice. He should return in short order. Dan Ellis has been seeing the bulk of the action in net for the Stars in Lehtonen’s absence.
Evander Kane hurt his right leg in practice on Wednesday. No word yet on the severity of the injury. The Winnipeg winger is day-to-day for now.
Good news for Cam Ward owners… Carolina’s other goaltender, Anton Khudobin, is expected to miss about a week with a lower-body injury was placed on injured reserve. Ward and Khudobin have split goaltending duties for the Canes early on this year, but it’s difficult to imagine a 50-50 timeshare between these two moving forward. The injury to Khudobin should (at the very least) allow Ward to gain some confidence and rhythm in the short term.
Pittsburgh forward James Neal was placed on injured reserve this week as he continues to recover from an upper-body injury sustained in his squad’s season opener against New Jersey on October 3. To make matters worse, Neal isn’t practicing and there is no definitive return date in mind. However, he is eligible to come off injured reserve on Oct. 28.
The Philadelphia Flyers will be without two of their top forwards for the immediate future. Vincent Lecavalier is dealing with a lower-body injury that should keep him out for the remainder of this week. Meanwhile, Scott Hartnell should be out around 2-4 weeks with an upper-body injury.
Ryane Clowe seems to be struggling to shake off the effects of being elbowed in the head by Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba this past Sunday. The veteran forward was placed on injured reserve after acknowledging he was dealing with headaches. The team is playing it safe and he should return the New Jersey Devils lineup this coming week.
One of the key prospects the Anaheim Ducks received in the Bobby Ryan trade is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Tough luck for Stefan Noesen. That being said, he’s still an intriguing and very relevant center in keeper leagues.
Michael Cammalleri remains sidelined due to a hand injury. He has yet to play this season. There is no timetable for his return at this time.
Elias Lindholm, Carolina’s first-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft (fifth overall), is day-to-day with an upper-body injury he sustained late last week. It is impressive that the 18-year-old Swede made the Carolina Hurricanes this year and was already seeing action on the third line with Jeff Skinner and Radek Dvorak. There’s no doubting his potential as a playmaking center, as evidenced by the fact that Dobber has him ranked 26th on his latest list of top fantasy prospects.
The Good News
Florida’s Tim Thomas has been practicing as of late, and the veteran goaltender should be ready to return to the lineup sooner rather than later. (Update: He is slated to start Thursday) The Panthers could use Thomas, as Jacob Markstrom has been less than spectacular in goal for Florida this year (.882 save percentage, 3.60 goals allowed average). Expect Thomas to get the lion’s share of starts in net for the team once he’s healthy enough to return.
According to recent reports, New York Rangers winger Carl Hagelin is on track to make his season debut on Oct. 29. He is currently recovering from a shoulder injury.
Niklas Backstrom sustained a knee injury last week Tuesday when his right leg was slammed up against the goal post following a collision with Nashville’s Eric Nystrom. The Wild have turned to Josh Harding and Darcy Kuemper in Backstrom’s absence, but Minnesota’s No. 1 netminder participated in a full skate on Monday and is nearing a return.
James van Riemsdyk is off to a hot start for the second consecutive season, so it was disconcerting to see him miss Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild with an upper-body injury. He was back on the ice at practice on Wednesday, but it remains unclear if he’ll be ready to go Thursday evening for a home matchup against Carolina. Stay tuned, but it doesn’t look like van Riemsdyk will be out for very long.
It seems Detroit Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard is questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. Howard has been nursing a bruised hand, an injury that has kept him out of action since this past Saturday. Jonas Gustavsson has been a capable replacement thus far, but it appears Howard’s return to the lineup is imminent.
Don’t sweat it… Michael Del Zotto missed Wednesday night’s game against Washington because he’s sick with the flu. There’s no injury here. He should be good to go in a day or so.
Underrated defenseman Fedor Tyutin made his season debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets this past Saturday. He saw about 19 minutes of ice time. Tyutin notched 22 points in 48 games a year ago, but won’t see as much power play time as he did in 2013 due to the return of oft-injured blue-liner James Wisniewski (who missed 18 games last year). That being said, Tyutin is more than capable of putting up numbers similar to those he registered last year when he saw more total power-play time than any Blue Jackets defenseman not named Jack Johnson.
Tuomo Ruutu is back… He made his season debut on Sunday after missing most of the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign with a serious hip injury. While he was eased back into action, there’s no doubt he’ll see significant action as a top-six forward for the Carolina Hurricanes. That means he’ll see action one a line with Alexander Semin and Eric Staal or on a line with Jordan Staal. Either way, he’s a solid depth option in deep leagues.
Tampa Bay netminder Ben Bishop’s lower-body injury caused him to miss just one game. He should be good moving forward.