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 92 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 hurt his shoulder at the worst possible time for fantasy owners. The center could be sidelined for up to four weeks. Toronto’s other lines will see their fantasy values go up. Also, Mitch Marner should see a boost. For some reason, the forward averages over a point per game when Matthews is not in the Toronto lineup.
Patrice Bergeron fractured his foot and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. He tried to block a shot, and apparently, the contusion was a break. Keep an eye on this situation, as this injury could last 2-4 weeks or longer. Also, expect each center’s value to go up a notch, as Bergeron’s responsibility will be spread out.
Florida’s Denis Malgin suffered an MCL sprain of his knee. The injury occurred just as his ownership numbers were seeing a major increase. Unfortunately, the malady will cost him at least 2-4 weeks. Nick Bjugstad could be plugged in as a possible replacement.
Nikita Kucherov injured his shoulder and missed Wednesday night’s game. It is believed that the right winger is day-to-day. This did not appear to be serious, as there was some talk that he might play Wednesday. Those hopes were dashed. Look for him to return around the weekend unless there is a setback.
Josh Anderson sprained his MCL apparently and will miss at least 2-4 weeks. This may be a Grade 2 sprain, which would mean closer to four weeks. Columbus was enjoying his top six production, which means Cam Atkinson should get a little more ice time once again. It has been a tough season for Blue Jackets players, as they seem to get injured in small bunches.
Michael Ferland hurt his lower body last Friday. He was monitored and tested over the last 24 hours or so. The good news is that this doesn’t appear to be overly serious. On the other hand, this may be a bit of a lingering injury. Some suggested that this was a groin issue, but that could not be confirmed. The best idea is to see who gets plugged in as the RW1 option for Calgary. That role will have some fantasy value.
Shea Weber injured his foot early in the season. This lingered on and on. Now, the defenseman is out for the season after having foot surgery. The best bet in dynasty leagues is to hold onto him, then see how he progresses next season.
Tobias Enstrom is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury after blocking a shot in practice on Monday. Paul Maurice joked that it was the three block shot rule, but apparently there was some kind of contusion. It does not appear all that major. That said, Enstrom did not carry much fantasy value. He was decent in a few peripheral categories, but offense is not his forte anymore.
Matt Murray and Andrew Hammond suffered upper-body injuries (concussions, basically). Hammond is day-to-day right now, while Murray is likely out 10-14 days at least. Pittsburgh has decent depth in net, but Tristan Jarry and Casey de Smith are not quite the same caliber as a two-time Stanley Cup winner. Hammond joins Bernier on the injury list with the same injury. Two goalies on the same team with concussions. What are the odds?
Cory Schneider, who was sent to Binghamton this week for a rehab start, could return as soon as Friday, or possibly next week. New Jersey’s No. 1 goaltender hurt his groin over a month ago. The Devils have managed to tread water without him. Unfortunately, they play the toughest schedule in the league the rest of the way (.585 winning percentage). Fantasy owners need Schneider to be 100% when he returns.
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. Twitter will be a bit crazy on Monday and all the injury impacts and trades will be covered.