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 110 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.
Paul Stastny injured himself during warm-ups and is day-to-day. The nature of the injury was undisclosed. More information should be out soon. If he is out for any significant time, it will make the Mark Scheifele impact that much worse for Winnipeg. Surprisingly, the Jets are near the top 10 in man-games lost to injury on the season (11th).
Patrice Bergeron fractured his foot a couple of weeks ago. He tried to block a shot, and apparently, the contusion was a break. Results of the re-evaluation should be available soon enough. In the meantime, Riley Nash has been performing at an unbelievable level on the top line. Fantasy wise, one is not missing a beat with Nash in the lineup.
Travis Zajac returned from a shoulder ailment on Wednesday night, but Pavel Zacha is still out. Zacha injured his shoulder, as well, and it could be a hair worse than an AC joint sprain. It will be one to keep tabs on. Maybe Zacha returns after the long road trip. It will all depend on the rehab.
Jake De Brusk injured his shoulder (upper body) and did not return on Tuesday night against Carolina. Like the other Bruins’ walking wounded, he will be evaluated today. The second line winger was enjoying a nice rookie campaign and had nestled himself on many fantasy hockey rosters. Hopefully, the seriousness of the injury is minimal.
Matthew Tkachuk banged his upper body pretty good and is still day-to-day. This doesn’t appear to be serious, and the feisty Flames forward could be back in the lineup very soon. Do not expect this to be something that lingers long.
Anthony Duclair buckled his knee after colliding with Brad Marchand. By now, most everyone has seen the video a million times. The good news is that Duclair will miss only a week or two with a mild sprain. He was fortunate, as the injury looked season ending. His fantasy value decreases, however, to almost zero.
Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug are day-to-day and are being monitored. Expect more news later today.
Nikita Zaitsev fell ill last week to flu-like effects. This has lingered on and on. Now, the defenseman is out until at least the weekend. It may take some time for him to get his strength back. There is a sneaking suspicion that this could be worse than the flu. Stay tuned!
Eric Gudbranson is out for the year after having season-ending shoulder surgery. Vancouver players are dropping like flies. Expect him to miss about six months and be ready for training camp come mid-September or so. He carries little or no fantasy value.
Jared Spurgeon tore his hamstring partially on Tuesday night and will miss about 4-6 weeks. This could be longer, so keep an eye on this. Minnesota loses one of its best defenders and will have to rely on Ryan Suter to play more minutes. Matt Dumba will see a little more ice time, as well, and may have a bit more fantasy value.
Jonathan Bernier suffered another concussion and is day-to-day. Yes, he just came back from one, played almost 2 1/2 periods, and had another. This is not a joke. The hope is that he returns to the lineup soon, as Colorado is well entrenched in a playoff race. Bernier could spell Sergei Varlamov, who has been oft-injured himself.
Carter Hutton injured his neck last week and is still day-to-day. It appears like he may be ready to return soon. Activate him when he does because goaltenders are scarce during the fantasy hockey playoffs.
Cory Schneider potentially tweaked his groin again, though no one is saying anything. The play of Keith Kinkaid is masking this. Some have suggested goalie fatigue and a few other theories, but Schneider still does not look 100%. His next opportunity to start will be over the weekend. He could play somewhere during the California leg of the road trip. Keep an eye to see how he practices, as practice time will be limited.
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.