Another week has gone by, bringing with it another group of players checking into the Hockey Hospital for evaluation. Let’s see who’s going to be out of action for a while and get updates on some players.
Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens: Last week against the Rangers, Price returned from a lower-body injury. Unfortunately, at some point during the game (see video below), Price aggravated the injury that kept him out for the past few weeks and he did not return after the second period. The word is it’s a meniscus tear in his right knee and he’s projected to miss at least six weeks before he can start playing again.
Price’s injury hurts the Canadiens, but vastly increases Mike Condon’s stock. In the seven games Price was injured earlier in the season, Condon posted three wins and played well. With Price out again, Condon will get more starts for the hot Canadiens and should provide good value. The Habs aren’t afraid to use Condon a lot as evidenced by the fact that they started him in seven straight games.
Derek Stepan, C, New York Rangers: On Friday, Stepan was hit into the boards by Boston’s Matt Beleskey (in a check that could result in disciplinary action) and didn’t return to the game. Later it was discovered that Stepan broke his ribs and will be out for 4-to-6 weeks.
His injury creates a big hole on the second line that will most likely be filled by Kevin Hayes. If Hayes takes over for Stepan, he should see a significant increase in ice time and power play time. Hopefully Hayes can produce in this situation but if he can’t, Oscar Lindberg or J.T. Miller will get the next shot on the second line.
Kevin Klein, D, New York Rangers: This definitely hasn’t been a good week for the Blueshirts. Klein exited Monday’s contest against the Hurricanes because of a strained oblique. Currently, it looks like he will be out of action for 2-to-3 weeks.
The Rangers defense has been questionable at best so far this season and Klein’s injury will only increase the load on Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. However, this creates an opening in the lineup for Dylan McIlrath. While he won’t put up points, he’ll definitely get you a lot penalty minutes and some hits.
Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas Stars: Lehtonen is eligible to come of injured reserve Wednesday, so he should be making his return soon after suffering an upper-body injury last week.
With Lehtonen returning, Antti Niemi won’t be getting all the starts for Dallas anymore. While Lehtonen was out, the Stars didn’t seem to trust their third string goalie so Niemi started all of Dallas’s games. Lehtonen, who has given up just 23 goals on 290 shots this season, coming back should take away some if not most of Niemi’s starts.
Tyler Johnson, C, Tampa Bay Lightning: Although Johnson missed Saturday’s game against the Islanders because of an undisclosed injury, it looks like he will get back into the lineup soon, possibly even Wednesday. Tampa Bay’s offense — struggling this season — can ill afford to lose him long-term, but what it really needs is for him to get going this season after enjoying a breakout in 2014-15.
Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers: While McDavid is still a ways away from returning to the lineup, it’s reported that he’s ahead of schedule and may return in January.
The star of Team Canada’s last WJC entry still won’t be returning any time soon but it is good to hear that he is making progress. McDavid’s return will help the Oilers and all their players.
Justin Schultz, D, Edmonton Oilers: Schultz was activated off injured reserve on Saturday and was able to play against the Penguins, reportedly moving well. With Schultz back, Griffin Reinhart was sent down to the AHL. Schultz’s return also cut into Oscar Klefbom’s PT and Fantasy value.
Shane Doan: RW, Arizona Coyotes: On Tuesday, Doan missed his fourth straight game because of a lower-body injury. However, it’s reported that both he and teammate Steve Downie are very close to returning.
Zach Parise, LW, Minnesota Wild: Parise was able to return from his knee injury on Friday against the Jets. He took one shot on goal and played for 18 minutes and by Tuesday he looked back in the groove with four shots and an assist in over 19.5 minutes of action.
Jaromir Jagr, RW, Florida Panthers: Although Jagr was injured Friday against the Islanders, the future Hall of Famer was able to play on Sunday against the Red Wings.
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins: Don’t worry folks, thankfully Crosby wasn’t injured after Brandon Dubinsky cross-checked him in the neck. He did leave the game for a little but he was able to return. Dubinsky was suspended for one game for the cross-check.
Crosby meanwhile, continues to look much better, despite having his five-game point streak snapped on Tuesday.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which Fantasy hockey injuries are affecting your team.
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