2018 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: February 27
Gabriel Farnesi takes a look around the NHL and gives his take on the top injuries around the league.
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. Auston Matthews, C, Maple Leafs (shoulder injury, IR)
This week, it is a star-studded cast of injuries led by Toronto's franchise center, who has now missed the team's last two games because of his shoulder issue. The 20-year-old is a massive part of the Maple Leafs' long-term future, so the club will likely take every precaution necessary before he returns to action. With Matthews out of the lineup, linemate William Nylander will continue to receive an extended audition at the center position.
2. Matt Murray, G, Penguins (concussion, out indefinitely)
Perhaps the biggest reason why Pittsburgh is still one of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup this season, Murray is once again on the sidelines. He missed six games last month due to the death of his father, missed one game in late December due to an upper-body injury and also missed six games earlier that month because of a lower-body issue. The 23-year-old may be the best fantasy player in the game, but his health is a worry.
3. Nikita Kucherov, RW, Lightning (upper-body injury, day to day)
While there is no official word on Kucherov's injury, it appears as though the Lightning and the NHL's leading scorer may have dodged a major bullet. The Russian sniper left Monday's game versus Toronto because of an upper-body injury, but reports after the game suggest Kucherov might not miss significant time (and may be able to play this week). That rather large sigh of relief heard around the fantasy world was from Kucherov owners.
4. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins (fractured foot, out indefinitely)
This is a bit of a strange one, as the two-way center injured his foot last Saturday in the road contest at Toronto. Tests on his foot proved negative, so Bergeron was allowed to play the following night in Buffalo. Now, more tests have revealed a slight fracture in his foot, meaning the 32-year-old veteran is expected to miss at least the next two weeks. Third-line center Riley Nash is expected to be promoted to the top line in Bergeron's place.
5. John Gibson, G, Ducks (lower-body injury, IR)
Despite the fact the 24-year-old Gibson has been placed on Injured Reserve, there is a chance he could return to action later this week. Anaheim is in the middle of four days off before the team's next tilt (at home vs. Columbus), and there is a chance Gibson will be able to dress for that game. Veteran Ryan Miller has been good since taking over for Gibson four games ago, but the Ducks' playoff chances depend largely on Gibson.
6. Nick Foligno, W/C, Blue Jackets (lower-body injury, IR)
The Columbus captain has now missed four games because of a lower-body injury suffered at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month. That said, the 30-year-old Foligno is making progress and could play during the team's upcoming road trip to California. It has been a down year for Foligno but he might have a strong finish to the 2017-18 campaign. The Blue Jackets will need him in order to squeeze into the playoffs.
7. Denis Malgin, W/C, Panthers (lower-body injury, out indefinitely)
This is a blow for the Panthers, especially since the slick Swiss forward was finally establishing himself as a legitimate top-six winger at the National Hockey League level. Malgin was playing right wing alongside Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau on a superb second line. Veteran Radim Vrbata, who was (somewhat surprisingly) NOT traded before the February 26 deadline, is expected to replace Malgin in Florida's lineup.
8. Carey Price, G, Canadiens (concussion, IR)
In what has been a lost season for Montreal virtually from the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Price's latest injury is a concussion that might keep him sidelined for the rest of the regular season. Veteran Antti Niemi and rookie Charlie Lindgren will fill in for Price, possibly sharing the load. Like Pittsburgh's Matt Murray, Price's fantasy stock is hurt only because of the frequency of his injuries. This is simply the latest setback for the All-Star.
9. Josh Anderson, RW, Blue Jackets (lower-body injury, out indefinitely)
Columbus earned a huge victory over the Washington Capitals on Monday, but it came at a price. The 23-year-old Anderson left the game early because of his lower-body injury, and he might miss some time as a result. Fortunately for the Blue Jackets, they acquired veteran winger Thomas Vanek before the trade deadline and captain Nick Foligno should return soon. That said, Columbus will miss what Anderson brings to the table.
10. Micheal Ferland, LW/RW, Flames (lower-body injury, day to day)
First, Ferland lost his spot at right wing on Calgary's terrific top line alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. Then Ferland got hurt. Then, the Flames decided to claim winger Chris Stewart off waivers from Minnesota. Stewart is going to be given an audition right away on the Monahan-Gaudreau line. Furthermore, veteran Kris Versteeg may soon be back from injury, as well. Ferland's fantasy value is starting to plummet.