The latest injury news on TJ Oshie, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Getzlaf, Tomas Hertl and others
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Patrik Laine – I haven’t had the pleasure of owning the Finnish prodigy in any of my fantasy leagues, but this one pains me as a hockey fan. A concussion is going to keep the 18-year-old Jets forward out of the lineup for the foreseeable future. With 37 points in 42 games, Laine was putting together a remarkable rookie season, and the Jets will definitely miss him while he’s out. We all know how annoying concussions can be, because their severities can be so varied. Although no timetable has been released at this point in time, keep an eye out for more detailed updates!
T.J. Oshie – The Capitals have sent Liam O’Brien and Paul Carey back to the AHL, foreshadowing that they will have their shootout superstar back in the lineup Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Oshie has been skating frequently after suffering an upper-body injury, so it might be a good idea to get him off of your bench.
Steven Stamkos – Another week, another step in the right direction for the Lightning superstar. His targeted return in March is still very realistic, and he has been given the green light to increase his workload. Although we don’t know exactly when Stamkos will be back, everything looks promising at this point, and owners have every reason to remain optimistic.
Kris Letang – An ‘illness’ kept the Penguins defensemen off the ice during Tuesday’s practice, but Coach Mike Sullivan still expects him to be in the lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Capitals. With Letang’s injury history, I’m sure most of our heads turn when we hear he’s absent during a skate, but this doesn’t seem to be too serious.
Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay’s goaltender has been a regular participant in practice and could be healthy enough to play before the team’s California road trip (which begins on Monday January 16). The Lightning have a back-to-back before the trip, so Ben Bishop will likely see a start against the Sabres on the 12th, or Blue Jackets on the 13th.
Matt Murray – The Penguins net minder participated in practice on Monday, and could start in one of the team’s games this week. He has been very good this season, sporting a 2.18 GAA, and .928 SV%. His return could be bad news for Marc-Andre Fleury, who had been stringing together some quality starts.
James Neal – Missed his fourth consecutive game on Tuesday against the Canucks because of an upper-body injury. Nashville has been a weird team this season, with stars like Neal, Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, Roman Josi, and P.K. Subban all underperforming. Let’s see if the second half of the season is a little bit kinder to the Predators.
Ryan Getzlaf – A lower-body injury caused the Ducks captain to miss a fourth consecutive game on Tuesday against the Stars. He was a game-time decision which hints that the injury isn’t too serious, expect him to return to the lineup within the next couple of games.
Sergei Bobrovsky – Missed Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes with an illness. Bobrovsky has been spectacular for the Blue Jackets this season, with a 2.00 GAA, .931 SV%, and a league-leading 26 Wins. Let’s hope this is nothing serious.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Rick Nash – The New York Rangers forward has missed the past 8 games with a groin injury, and will get some much needed rest as the team enters their bye week. More updates in the coming days will give us a better idea whether Nash will be available for the Rangers’ next game on January 13th against the Leafs or not.
Brendan Gallagher – The injuries keep piling up for the Montreal Canadiens, the latest being the heart and soul of the team. Gallagher’s hand was the final destination of a Shea Weber slapshot, resulting in a fracture, followed by surgery that will keep him out of the lineup for the next eight weeks. The Canadiens depth will really be put to the test over the next couple of weeks.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Tomas Hertl – Tomas Hertl is recovering from his injury slower than a turtle. I was debating between this and a hurt-Hertl pun, but this seemed a little more outside of the box. The San Jose Sharks forward underwent a ‘minor procedure’ on November 22 in an attempt to prevent any future issues with his knee, and has been out of the lineup since. It seems like mid-to-late February is the current estimate for his return, but that’s far from set in stone.
Mika Zibanejad – Another Rangers’ forward that will benefit from the team’s bye week while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered on November 20. The coaching staff is definitely pleased with his progress thus far, both physically and mentally. He’ll need to get a couple of practices in before returning to the lineup, so although he’s getting closer, he’s not quite there yet. Zibanejad had an amazing 15 points in 19 games to start the season, so let’s see if he can pick up where he left off when he comes back.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<20% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Martin Hanzal – Definitely a talented center, but he’s been stuck on an irrelevant team through an injury-plagued career. His status remains day-to-day at this point, but he might be able to start practicing again on Thursday.
Niklas Kronwall – Currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury, so no timetable for his return. The Red Wings’ defenseman is on the tail end of his career and isn’t seeing the same fantasy relevance he once did.
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