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 88 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.
Auston Matthews suffered an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. The center could miss another game or two. This will be something to monitor closely. It seems like Toronto keeps on winning. Matthews and his fantasy impact is significant, but the team has persevered.
Brandon Dubinsky is out after taking the worst of a fight on Tuesday night. A broken orbital bone in his eye will keep him out 6-8 weeks. The surgery required means that the center will likely not return until early February. His scars look like something out of a horror movie. Dubinsky probably will think twice about dropping the gloves next time, even down 7-2.
Dennis Malgin succumbed to an upper-body malady and is day-to-day. Fortunately, this was after Aleksander Barkov returned. However, the depth loss is never a good thing.
Kyle Palmieri is getting closer with his foot injury. Marcus Johansson has a deep ankle bruise that has landed him on the injured reserve, retroactive to December 9th. Taylor Hall has been added to this list for New Jersey with a knee contusion after a knee-on-knee hit Tuesday night. The Devils’ leading scorer is expected to miss at least a game or two. Hall suffered no knee ligament damage, and, again, it is just a bruise. Palmieri could be back as soon as Friday, and Hall possibly by Monday.
Corey Perry suffered a knee injury and is currently week-to-week. Information has been iffy with the Anaheim forward, as the expectation is Perry will miss several weeks. Just when Ryan Getzlaf returns and Ryan Kesler is very close, that is just how the Ducks’ season has gone. Perry may be out longer than expected, too. It is an injury to keep a keen eye on going forward.
Sven Baertschi fractured his jaw and is likely out a couple of weeks at least. Part of this malady involves pain tolerance, but the degree of fracture is important. Baertschi will miss 4-6 weeks, and no surgery is required. With Bo Horvat out long term, that is basically 2/3 of Vancouver’s top line out of action.
Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester are both out with injuries for St. Louis. Pietrangelo is out a couple of weeks at least and is on the injured reserve. His foot ailment is significant enough. He was the Blues’ leading offensive defenseman. Bouwmeester missed a vast part of the season, came back, and is now day-to-day again. Pietrangelo’s fantasy hockey injury impact is high.
Dustin Byfuglien is week-to-week with a lower-body (knee) injury. He has missed a game or two already and will miss a few more weeks. It is not serious. This is more a matter of getting back to 100%. It was reported that Byfuglien had been nagged by this for some time. That weakness could affect him in the first few games back. At least now, the defenseman could get some speed back on his slap shot.
Devan Dubnyk is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. It appears to be a groin issue, so keep this in mind. Minnesota and the fantasy hockey world have wondered what is going on with the goaltender. His numbers have been off, along with the Wild in general.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s returned on Thursday night. However, do not expect him playing next week unless he passes every baseline test. Then, Fleury will have to be 100%. Consider that the goaltender has missed almost two months now with the concussion. Hopefully, there is even better news next week.
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.