It is never easy to foresee the unforeseen. Injuries happen every day in the NHL, and here at Fantrax, our goal is to help you try to stay on top of those maladies with our weekly Injury Report. Counting all the latest bumps, bites, and bruises, there were 96 players held out of lineups. Several of those are long-term injuries from a previous year. Those players are likely not going to return or have retired. Here are some of the more notable maladies out there and their possible prognosis. The bye week may explain the drop in injuries somewhat.
Sean Monahan suffered an illness that could keep him out a little longer. The flu has been relentless this year among hockey players. That goes for sinus infections, bronchitis, etc. Just be mindful that Monahan could struggle a bit in his first game back due to a little weakness and rust.
Ryan Johansen suffered an upper-body injury on Tuesday night against Vegas. He is being listed as day-to-day for now. There is some that think Johansen may not be out long. He did skate with the team on Wednesday. His situation will continue to be monitored, as the entire Nashville top line is out right now.
Viktor Arvidsson is out at least a week with a lower-body injury. Arvidsson hurt what was believed to be his leg, but some think it is another issue. That is the speculation, anyway. Nashville placed him on injured reserve Tuesday and said he could be out longer than a week. It appeared that Arvidsson re-aggravated the injury Tuesday after Monday’s misstep, leading to the decision. With streaming options in abundance, it is fine to stash the forward on injured reserve.
Sonny Milano suffered a torn oblique muscle and will be out 4-6 weeks. He was just starting to play better and then this occurred. It will mean another Columbus player has a chance to crack the top six and provide some much-needed scoring. Columbus may have to explore the trade route sooner rather than later given all of the team’s injuries.
Shane Prince injured his leg early in the week and is now day-to-day. This is yet another malady on an Islanders team that now has eight players on the injury list. Then there’s Bobby Ryan, who maimed his hand yet again (fourth time in less than two seasons). The Ottawa forward is snakebit, literally.
Sebastian Aho hurt his leg and suffered a concussion on the same play. He is likely headed to the injured reserve list but is currently day-to-day. The best bet is to wait and see just how long Aho will be out. It doesn’t appear this will be a short-term issue. The Carolina winger heated up after a poor start goal-wise.
Once again, players are succumbing to the flu bug. Unfortunately, at least a half dozen players unofficially are ill, along with several that are on this week’s injury report.
Marc Staal injured his lower body, and the Rangers had one of their best games of the year. It has been a rough year for the defenseman and for most of New York’s defensive corps. Ryan McDonagh has yet to score, for example. Staal will be looked at over the next day or two to determine how long he’ll be out.
Victor Hedman was placed on the injured reserve last week. However, the MCL sprain will keep him out another 3-5 weeks (Grade 1). The fact that the injury looked so much worse was scary. Do not panic. The All-Star Break will also help cushion some of the impact, too. At least it was not an ACL tear like first feared.
Nathan Beaulieu succumbed to illness but is still day-to-day. It is just a small setback and nothing more. For now.
Cory Schneider succumbed to the flu bug on Tuesday. Schneider is day-to-day. The goaltender was struggling mightily when again the illness bug struck. Schneider expects to be back on Thursday, and if not then, then the weekend. Add Steve Mason to the list. He has been sick since last Thursday and could return over the weekend. Mason’s bug was persistent, as he’s lost 7-10 pounds in the last seven days. Mason has struggled most of the season, and this does not help.
Corey Crawford has not returned, and there is still little news as to when that will happen. Could Crawford have a head or vertigo issue? No one is sure. A concussion is becoming the more and more likely diagnosis. Some suggest that the goalie could be out past the All-Star break. Some have gone further and have speculated that this could be a season-ending malady.
Chris Wassel is on Fantasy Hockey X every week and on various places throughout the internet. Follow him on FanTrax and Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. A special thanks this week to nhl.com, Brian Metzer, Pete Jensen, Eric Stephens, Dan Rosen, and Selene Parekh of The Fantasy Doctors for all their information. Also, thanks to all the beat writers that make this column possible each week.