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 98 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.
Mika Zibanejad could play later this week, but keep an eye on this situation. The center was scratched at the last minute on Tuesday with an upper-body injury. He was not at a holiday Toys For Tots event, so again, monitor this closely. If he cannot go, David Desharnais will take his spot in the lineup. At the least, there is some value.
Evgeni Malkin is out with an upper-body injury. He is day-to-day. It is quite possible Malkin returns in the next game or two. This is not a serious malady. Do not be alarmed that he has been kept out a bit longer than expected. Pittsburgh has some other injuries, so the sooner Malkin returns, the better.
Jacob Josefson was placed on the injured reserve with an ankle injury suffered during Thanksgiving weekend. He is going to miss some time. The center just cannot stay healthy. His fantasy value was already next to zero, and this only makes things worse.
Brad Marchand returned on Wednesday night from a concussion, and David Backes came back as well. Backes’ return may be the more impressive of the two given he had part of his colon removed. That was just four weeks ago. Boston has been struggling of late, and both players give the Boston top six a real boost.
Evgeni Dadonov was off to a nice start for the Florida Panthers, but he injured his shoulder. The winger will now miss 4-6 weeks as a result. At least the shoulder does not need surgery. That is always a fear with separations, etc. A Christmas return is likely for the right winger.
Kyle Palmieri broke his foot the week before Thanksgiving and will be out at least another 3-5 weeks. The winger has had a bad time of it with leg and knee issues. Adding the foot to this has made this a bit of a lost season so far for the winger. He should be able to return by Christmas. New Jersey could use his ability to generate chances and offense, as the youth can only carry their success on for so long.
William Carrier and David Perron have now been added to the injury list for the Vegas Golden Knights. Both have upper body injuries, but Perron is the one that has been placed on the IR. So far, Vegas has been able to chug along, but at some juncture, injuries take a toll. Keep an eye on the Perron situation. This could be weeks.
Shea Weber is still out with a lower-body injury. The expected recovery time is questionable, yet he has not been placed on the IR. That is the question. He has been skating. However, full practices are not in the cards just yet. They may be soon. On the other hand, this will be one to keep an eye on with the beat writers. Weber is not getting any younger, and that groin has been sore for some time.
Brandon Montour is day-to-day with a hyper-extended elbow. He has missed a game already and could miss a game or two more. It is not a serious injury. This is more a matter of tolerating the pain until it subsides. Anaheim loses players at such a high rate that Montour’s news is good at least.
Matt Murray is expected to miss around four weeks or so with a lower-body injury. This was suffered when Jakub Voracek slid into Murray’s groin area skate first. It was fortunate that Murray was not injured much worse. The hope is that the Pittsburgh goalie misses less time, but check back week by week to make sure. After all, Pittsburgh has had some awful luck the past decade or so when it comes to injuries.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s head injury has not improved, and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to return to action. However, Malcolm Subban is back at least, so slowly but surely, Vegas is improving healthwise. This is great news for fantasy owners. Fleury is the bigger concern, as he has not made much progress. Information has been difficult to come by, as well.
Cam Talbot is day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered on Wednesday. This is being termed a minor tweak. Will he play tonight against Toronto? That is the question. The smart idea would be to hold him off until at least the weekend. Unfortunately, Edmonton needs wins, and Talbot gives the Oilers the better chance of winning.
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.