The unofficial start to the second half of the NHL season has begun with the NHL All-Star game in our rearview mirror. Today, we are going to take a look at the current injuries for each NHL team that may affect your Fantasy team.
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks: For the second consecutive game he was forced to leave early due to injury. Both injuries were to the lower body, so while we don’t positively know that they are the same injury, it does seem likely. The Ducks have yet to place him on injured reserve, so the injury may be minor. However, one would think that the team should play it cautious with their No. 1 netminder. as the break didn’t seem to be enough time for him to recover.
Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins: One of the leading candidates for the Calder Trophy is out of the lineup after undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heart rhythm. He should return to the team no later than mid-February.
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks: There was some hope that he would travel with the team on their current road trip, but that was not to be. He is suffering from vertigo (second time in his career) and until he participates in a full practice, there really is no timetable for him to return to the crease. Anton Forsberg is the choice to start if you need a goaltender, but Chicago will likely ride the hot netminder, which will keep Jeff Glass in play also.
— Tracey Myers (@Tramyers_NHL) January 29, 2018
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: He was injured while trying to deliver a check during the game Tuesday. It’s a shoulder injury and the Avs are hoping that he will return to the lineup at some point next week.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche: He has been out of the lineup since Jan. 4 with another groin injury. This type of ailment is tough for a goaltender because there really is no way of telling if he’s 100-percent healthy until he plays in a game. You just can’t replicate the explosive motion of going post to post in practice. The good news is that Varlamov is expected to return to the lineup within the next week. This is bad news, however, for those Fantasy owners who have Jonathan Bernier. He has played well but will return to a backup role.
Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings: Abelkader returned to action and scored the winning goal in a shootout against the Sharks Wednesday night.
Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings: Although we don’t know what the injury is, it isn’t expected to be serious. It may not matter, though, as he only has three points, all assists, in this calendar year.
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings: Since he didn’t attend the All-Star game, Quick was suspended for the first contest afterward on Tuesday. Even if he wasn’t injured, it was unlikely that he would’ve played as he has been dealing with a lower body injury. In some ways that suspension may have been a good thing, as it forced the Kings to give their star netminder a couple of extra days off to heal. The Kings placed him on injured reserve on Monday, but he is eligible to come off the list as soon as Thursday.
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens: He has been out of the lineup since Dec. 19 with a foot injury. Although he does seem close to a return, the Canadiens are in no rush to push him as they have little to gain with the team not likely to make the playoffs this season.
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators: He was close to returning Tuesday versus Chicago but the Preds decided to play it safe and keep him out for at least one more game. Forsberg did have a conditioning skate Tuesday, which means they are more worried about the hockey shape he is in rather than the hand injury that had been keeping him out of the lineup.
Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils: Another groin injury here and one that may have been bothering Schneider off and on for about a month. The Devils want him in net but don’t have to rush Schneider with Keith Kinkaid playing so well. Schneider should return no later than this weekend.
Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators: Stone is on IR and has missed the past four games with a knee injury. The Sens have yet to announce the exact nature of the injury, but it isn’t one that is expected to keep him out long term. We do know, however, that the earliest we will see a return to action for Stone is next week. He’s out this weekend.
Brian Elliott, Philadelphia Flyers: He has a lower body injury and was placed on IR on Tuesday. Once again, this injury is not expected to be serious. Teams can’t play with only one healthy goaltender, so it’s just easier once they know a goalie won’t be able to play for a couple of games to place him on IR, as the player only has to sit there for seven days. Elliott is also likely to see his playing time curtailed a bit as Michal Neuvirth is not only healthy but also playing well.
Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning: We won’t see Palat until mid-March thanks to a lower body injury. Palat was slightly disappointing this season with only eight goals in 46 games, but any injury to a wing can hurt a Fantasy team.
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs: Wednesday will mark the fifth straight game that he has missed with an arm injury. His return should be sooner rather than later as he is pushing the coaching staff to allow him to play.
Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets: An ankle injury will sideline Trouba until at least mid-March.
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets: He has been out of the lineup since Dec. 29 with an upper body injury. He is getting closer to a return, however, as he joined the team for practice Wednesday in a non-contact jersey. Assuming all goes well, his next step will be a full practice followed by a return to game -action perhaps in the next 7-10 days.