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 69 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. The bye week may explain the drop in injuries somewhat.
Jacob Josefson suffered a lower-body injury and is again week to week. The silver lining here is that we have the bye week and All-Star break, which should cushion some of the impact. However, this is the same old song with Josefson. He seems to never stay healthy, which is unfortunate.
Alexander Wennberg was activated from the injured reserve and is expected to play this weekend at the latest, barring any setbacks. His back looks sufficiently healed, and though he did not participate in line rushes on Wednesday, just relax. Wennberg looked great before the injury, so it will be intriguing to see if there’s an adjustment period again.
Nino Niederreiter is out 10-14 days with a lower-body injury. Niederreiter hurt what was believed to be his groin, but some think it is another issue. That is the speculation anyway. Minnesota late-scratched the forward Tuesday evening and said he would be out until after the bye week at least. It appeared that Niederreiter re-aggravated the injury over the weekend, leading to the Tuesday decision. With streaming options in abundance, it is fine to stash the forward on injured reserve.
Josh Bailey and Andrew Ladd suffered lower-body injuries and are both day-to-day. Bailey was just named to the All-Star team and has time to recover this week, along with Ladd. Neither malady appears to be too serious. Bailey even returned to the area to rehab the minor ailment, so there should not be any worries. The Islanders do not play until the weekend.
Once again, players are succumbing to the flu bug. Unfortunately, at least a half dozen players unofficially are ill, along with several that are on this week’s injury report.
Jon Merrill and Luca Sbisa are out a few weeks with injuries. Sbisa injured his hand and required hand surgery. This will cost him at least several weeks. Merrill is a bit more of a question mark and was also placed on the injured reserve. Vegas seems to have injuries in clusters.
Jake Muzzin was placed on the injured reserve last week. However, the undisclosed injury does not appear to be serious. The fact that the move was retroactive to January 4 just means Muzzin could return right after the bye week. Do not panic. This gives Los Angeles time to rest a player that is just not quite 100%.
Marc Methot re-aggravated his knee a bit but is still day-to-day. It is just a small setback and nothing more. For now.
Jimmy Howard injured what looked like his groin last weekend. Howard is day-to-day at this time. The goaltender was starting to play better when again the injury bug struck. Howard expects to be back after Detroit’s bye week, but just wait on that.
Corey Crawford has not returned, and there is still little news as to when that will happen. Could Crawford have a head or back issue? No one is sure. A concussion is becoming the more and more likely diagnosis. Some suggest that the goalie could be out past the All-Star break.
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.