The latest NHL injury news on Anisimov, Lundqvist, the Stone brothers, Johnson and many more..
The Big Guns (>75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
John Gibson – The Ducks’ goaltender is currently on the shelf with a lower-body injury, and we don’t have a timetable for his recovery. This being said, coach Randy Carlyle did reveal that once Gibson starts feeling better on the ice, he’ll quickly find his way into the lineup. So keep your eyes peeled for any update of Gibson practicing or taking shots, because it means his return should follow soon after. Jonathan Bernier has handled the starting role well, posting four wins, a 1.78 GAA and .945 SV% in the last two weeks. I did cherry pick those stats a little, but Bernier still remains a solid option for your playoff run.
Nick Foligno – The Blue Jackets’ forward missed Monday’s game against the Flyers because of an illness. I’m honestly stunned that a mere illness was enough to keep Foligno out of the lineup during the playoffs, our fantasy hockey playoffs! In all seriousness, this doesn’t seem to be anything major considering Foligno has been skating. Columbus’ captain has put together a nice little comeback season, with 47 points in 65 games being a huge improvement on the 37 he compiled in 72 games last season.
Craig Anderson – Amidst a season of personal stress, Craig Anderson has been a pillar of strength for his team. In 30 games this season, Ottawa’s goaltender has posted a 2.23 GAA and .930 SV%, amassing 21 wins in the process. Although he’s currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury, I think it would be in your best interest to be patient as he recovers.
Henrik Lundqvist – It hasn’t been a spectacular season for the King, his 2.65 GAA and .913 SV% being far from impressive. He won’t really get a chance to improve on those numbers as a muscle strain in his hip will keep him on the shelf for the next two to three weeks. Antti Raanta is the obvious choice to replace Lundqvist on your roster, but keep in mind the gruelling schedule ahead for the Rangers (three back-to-backs and a California road trip followed by a date with the Penguins).
Patric Hornqvist – The Penguins’ forward is currently recovering from a concussion, and although there is hope for a speedy recovery, concussions are extremely unpredictable. Pittsburgh is a Cup contender, and the fantastic performance of their young guns (Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel) has given their ailing stars time to recover.
The Second Liners (40%-75% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Artem Anisimov – The Blackhawks forward looked like he suffered an ankle injury on Tuesday night against the Canadiens. He was down on the ice after getting tangled up with Alex Radulov, and seemed to be nursing his leg. As of right now we don’t know all the details of the injury, but keep an eye out for a better update later in the day. Considering he didn’t put any weight on his leg when leaving the ice, this injury might require a sizeable chunk of the last 13 games to recover from. With Chicago pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot, they have no reason to rush Anisimov back into the lineup.
Aaron Ekblad – The Panthers’ defenseman is expected to miss the next five to eight days with a concussion. I wouldn’t put too much stock into that timetable because of how unpredictable concussion recovery can be. If you feel like your fantasy team is strong enough to compete until Ekblad returns, then maybe you can hold onto him. However, I would recommend cutting bait on a player with only 21 points in 67 games, unless of course your league counts shots, he has an impressive 223.
Mark Stone – The Senators’ forward is week-to-week with a leg injury. The earliest he can return is March 21st against the Bruins. I would make sure to Mark (Stone) this date on your calendar. Stone has been having a pretty good season, with 50 points in 63 games, and he’s well known for his performance in the second half of the season. I would recommend being patient with him, or even taking a chance on him if someone in your league gave up on him.
Jacob Trouba – The Jets’ defenseman is dealing with an upper body injury, the severity of which is unknown. The team is hopeful that Trouba will be ready for Thursday against the Islanders, even if that isn’t the case, he should be back soon. This fight seems to be the cause of the injury.
Tyler Johnson – In an ideal world, the Lightning forward will be back against Toronto on Thursday. But we don’t live in an ideal world. By some miracle, Tampa Bay has managed to win games and stay in the playoff hunt. Despite the loss of Ben Bishop, Valtteri Filppula, and Brian Boyle to trades, and Steven Stamkos to injury. Johnson had seven points in his last six games before the injury, and the Lightning will need him to keep up these winning ways. A return early next week seems the most likely at this point.
The Depth Guys (10%-40% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Michael Stone – The Flames defenseman is close to a return, but still hasn’t fully recovered from an upper-body injury. Stone has seen a lot more fantasy relevance with the Flames than he ever saw on the Coyotes, posting four points in eight games with his new team as opposed to nine in 45 with the old one. Although Stone’s production came during an extremely hot run for the Flames, he could be the hidden gem that wins you your fantasy championship.
Martin Hanzal – The Wild’s newly acquired forward will miss Thursday night’s contest as he is dealing with strep throat. Keep an eye out to see whether Hanzal is feeling well enough to play on Saturday night against the Rangers. Although Minnesota is a much better team than Arizona, being behind Mikko Koivu and Eric Staal on the center depth chart doesn’t help Hanzal’s production.
Andre Burakovsky – The Capitals’ forward hopes to return from a hand injury next week. With this said, Washington is going all in for the cup this year, and they’re going to need a healthy roster to win it. Even though Burakovsky wants to be back for next week, the team won’t welcome him back into the lineup until he has fully recovered.
Michael Cammalleri – The Devils’ forward has been skating, but still doesn’t seem ready to return from a shoulder injury. We’ve passed the point in the fantasy season where you can waste a spot on your roster waiting for your depth players to return. Cammalleri’s 30 points in 55 games are not enough to justify wasting that spot.
Brock Nelson – The Islanders’ forward is day-to-day with an upper body injury. He had seven points in 10 games before the injury as New York’s offense has been heating up. However, there are other healthy players that can provide similar value to Nelson during this final stretch of your fantasy season.
Mark Streit – The Penguins’ defenseman suffered a lower-body injury in Monday’s loss to the Flames, and was apparently taken to the hospital. Details regarding the severity of the injury are currently unknown, so be on the lookout.
Loui Eriksson – Will be out for the next week with a lower-body injury. If this doesn’t get you to drop him, I’ll remind you that he has 24 points in 65 games this season. If you still haven’t dropped him, I beg of you to drop him. If he’s still on your team, you’re either a fantasy hockey mastermind or a buffoon. I’d bet on the latter J.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<10% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Ryan Spooner – The Bruins’ forward could return from a concussion on Wednesday night against the red hot Flames. He has been skating with the team, and had four points in six games before the injury, so he could provide some sneaky value down the stretch.
Ryan Murray – Out four to six weeks with a broken hand, drop him if you can. Columbus’ 2012 second overall pick hasn’t been fantasy relevant this season, but I’m curious to see if that changes in the coming years.
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