2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: December 19
Gabriel Farnesi takes a look around the NHL and gives his take on the top injuries around the league.
Fantasy Alarm Injury Report (Week of December 18)
Each week of the National Hockey League regular season, we will take a look at some of the most important injuries that have occurred in the last seven days, as well as key players that have returned from injury and updates on the conditions of other fantasy-relevant players (when applicable). Here is this week's batch:
1. Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild (lower-body injury, out indefinitely)
Minnesota's playoff chances may hinge on Dubnyk's return date, as the Wild have lost two of the first three games since his injury. Journeyman Alex Stalock has inherited Dubnyk's job and performed very well in his stead. However, he may not be able to handle the full load of a replacement No. 1 goalkeeper, so keep an eye on Steve Michalek (a 24-year-old rookie who has yet to make his National Hockey League debut).
2. Shea Weber, D, Canadiens (foot injury, out indefinitely)
Oh boy. This spells trouble for the Canadiens, as their No. 1 defenseman had to be sent home from their current six-game road trip due to a festering foot injury. Weber, who leads Montreal defensemen with six goals and 16 points in 26 games, also leads the team in average ice time (25:21 TOI/game). His absence means both rookie Jakub Jerabek and journeyman Joe Morrow will play regularly--though the Habs are still looking for D.
3. Brock Boeser, RW, Canucks (foot injury, day to day)
One of the best rookies of 2017-18, Boeser's foot injury was feared to be broken. However, an MRI found no fracture in his foot. Phew! So, the American sniper will be out day to day but could return soon. That is great news for a Canucks franchise currently dealing with injuries to Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Chris Tanev, Brandon Sutter and the returning Erik Gudbranson. Nikolay Goldobin may see more minutes for the time being.
4. Mika Zibanejad, C, Rangers (returning from a concussion)
The Rangers will welcome the big Swede back in the lineup on Tuesday night after missing nine games due to his concussion. The Broadway Blueshirts went 5-3-1 without Zibanejad in the lineup, but that does not diminish his importance to the club. During his absence veteran center David Desharnais went from healthy scratch to productive playmaker, but his stock is clearly on the downswing with Zibanejad back in the lineup.
5. Logan Couture, C, Sharks (concussion, day to day)
The Sharks were without their best all-around forward against Edmonton earlier this week, but Couture might not miss an extended period of time. In fact, there is even some question as to whether he actually suffered a concussion in the first place. Without him, San Jose moved Czech winger Tomas Hertl back to his natural center position but that seems to be a temporary situation. Couture fantasy owners may breathe a sigh of relief.
6. Patric Hornqvist, RW, Penguins (upper-body injury, day to day)
A member of Pittsburgh's vaunted No. 1 power-play unit, Hornqvist was sent back home early from the team's current road trip after suffering his upper-body ailment against Arizona last week. This is bad timing for the 30-year-old Swede, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2018. He has been hot for much of '17-18, so Hornqvist needs to get back in the lineup quickly to keep the momentum (and his overall value) up.
7. Nikita Zaitsev, D, Maple Leafs (lower-body injury, IR)
The Maple Leafs might miss the Russian rearguard dearly. Zaitsev plays the second-most minutes on Toronto (D partner Jake Gardiner currently leads the team in TOI/game) and was on pace for a 10-goal campaign. He is not a prolific point-getter but is good and trustworthy in his own end and a true minute muncher. With Zaitsev out, Connor Carrick will get another opportunity to showcase himself in the NHL. His fantasy value is minimal.
8. Brandon Dubinsky, C, Blue Jackets (fractured orbital bone, IR)
Largely considered to be the heart and soul of the Blue Jackets, Dubinsky was injured in a fight with Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian last week and will miss significant time. Usually a winger, Boone Jenner has moved back to center to help replace Dubinsky in the lineup. Dubinsky's absence should help Pierre-Luc Dubois as he continues to establish himself as a top-six forward as a National Hockey League rookie this season.
9. David Krejci, C, Bruins (upper-body injury, day to day)
The Bruins' oft-injured center has been dealing with his upper-body ailment (suspected to be a recurring back issue) since late October. He missed 11 games then, returned for five contests, sat another game out, came back for seven in a row and is once again out of action. This has enabled Ryan Spooner, who is on the trading block, to play his natural center position once again. Spooner may be a decent, short-term fantasy pickup.
10. T.J. Oshie, RW, Capitals (returning from an upper-body injury)
The Capitals are expected to get Oshie back in the lineup this week, six games after he first sat out due to his upper-body problem. Washington will be happy to have him back, even though the Caps won five of six games without Oshie in the lineup. Alex Chiasson, who had been playing on the second line, will be demoted to the fourth line with Oshie back in action. Devante Smith-Pelly may sit out a lot now that the team is healthy.