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The Daily Puck: The NHL's Head Injuries Problem

Kevin King

Kevin is a suffering Tottenham supporter living in Buffalo, New York, where also suffers from being a Buffalo Bills fan. He covers Major League Soccer and the English Premier League for Rotowire.

The Daily Puck
by Kevin King

  • This
    concussion thing is not going away. While it is getting more attention because of Sidney Crosby, A LOT of good young players have had their seasons ruined by concussions, Peter Mueller and Matthew Lombardi just to name two. The NHL has to do something profound to change the culture of head injuries in this league.
  • The Eastern Conference playoff race is going to be pretty ridiculous over the next couple months. Trade deadline deals are usually over-blown, but a good deal at the deadline could be the difference this year for a team like Atlanta or Carolina. And what top team in the Eastern Conference wants to see the Canes in the first round?

Boston (Tim Thomas) vs. Carolina (Cam Ward), 7 p.m

Boston injuries:

Andrew Ference (D) - Officially questionable for tonight with upper body injury, but sounds more like doubtful with coach Claude Julien saying they would use Ference only "in a pinch."

Carolina injuries:


Washington (Michal Neuvirth) vs. Philadelphia (Sergei
Bobrovsky), 7 p.m

Washington injuries:

Eric Fehr (RW) - Out for three-to-four weeks with shoulder injury.
Karl Alzner (D) - Will be in lineup Tuesday night despite going head-first into the boards on Sunday against Ottawa.
Tom Poti (D) - Out and did not accompany the Caps on their road trip.
Mike Green (D) - Questionable for Tuesday after missing practice Monday with a cold. Most likely a game-time decision.
Alexander Semin (LW) - Out, and also has not accompanied the Caps on their road trip.

Philadelphia injuries:

Chris Pronger (D) - Still out, but is agonizingly close to returning from a foot injury that has kept him out for a month. Thursday looks like his likely return date.

Detroit (Joey MacDonald) vs. Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00 p.m

Detroit injuries:

Tomas Holmstrom (LW) - Out; broken hand will not require surgery however, and he could be back in three weeks.
Jimmy Howard (G) - Out for Tuesday but should be back between the pipes for Detroit's next game on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh injuries:

Sidney Crosby (C) - Out for the sixth straight game with concussion.

Montreal (Carey Price) vs. Buffalo (Ryan Miller), 7:30 p.m

Montreal injuries:

Benoit Pouliot (C) - Questionable after missing Monday's game against Calgary with the flu. With a quick turnaround and a road game consider him closer to doubtful Tuesday night.

Buffalo injuries:

Patrick Kaleta (RW) - Will be back in the lineup Tuesday night after missing seven games with broken hand.

Anaheim (Jonas Hiller) vs. Ottawa (Brian Elliott), 7:30 p.m

Anaheim injuries:


Ottawa injuries:

Jason Spezza (C) - Out; making progress recovering from shoulder injury and could be back in three weeks.

Columbus (Steve Mason) vs. Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson), 7:30 p.m

Columbus injuries:

Rostislav Klesla (D) - Practiced on Monday and should be in the lineup for Tuesday's game in Tampa.

Tampa Bay injuries:

Mike Smith (G) - Out for at least another week with knee injury.

Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick) vs. St. Louis (Jaroslav Halak), 8:00 p.m

Los Angeles injuries:

Wayne Simmonds (RW) - Out for Tuesday night's game in St. Louis, but MRI results showed no structural damage to his knee after injuring it over the weekend.

St. Louis injuries:

Barret Jackman (D) - Should be all set for Tuesday night after taking a puck to the ear in practice on Monday night. Jackman is tough, and a bit nuts, so it's hard to envision a puck to the ear would keep him from taking the ice.
T.J. Oshie (LW) - Questionable for Tuesday night. Oshie is itching to return to the ice after ankle surgery in November, and while he's very, very close, it seems unlikely to be Tuesday night.

Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) vs. Colorado (Craig Anderson), 9:00 p.m

Vancouver injuries:

Alexandre Bolduc (C) - Out and will miss four-to-six weeks after sustaining a shoulder injury on Friday night.
Andrew Alberts (D) - Out for Tuesday night and could miss two-to-three weeks after injuring his shoulder on Sunday night.

Colorado injuries:

Ryan O'Reilly (C) - Out and could miss two weeks with a shoulder injury that he suffered on Friday night.

Nashville (Pekka Rinne) vs. Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov), 9:00 p.m

Nashville injuries:

Steve Sullivan (LW) - Out; will miss at least the next week with lower body injury.
Francis Bouillon (D) - Out for Tuesday night after suffering upper body injury in Sunday night's loss to Chicago.
Marek Svatos (RW) - Questionable for Tuesday night with lower body injury; likely to be game-time decision.

Phoenix injuries:

Vernon Fiddler (C) - Out; is being called week-to-week after sustaining upper body injury Saturday night.
Ed Jovanovski (D) - Questionable for Tuesday night after sitting out the last two games for Phoenix with a lower body injury. He sat Monday, and at his age, it's hard to see him being ready to go tonight if he couldn't go 24 hours ago.
Michal Rozsival (D) - Questionable if not doubtful for Tuesday night after sitting on Monday with an oblique injury.

Minnesota (Anton Khudobin) vs. Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk), 9:30 p.m

Minnesota injuries:

Marco Scandella (D) - Out for Tuesday night as he battles a "minor" concussion and a nasty injury to his ear that required 25 stitches to repair on Friday night.
Jose Theodore (G) - Out, but practiced on Monday for the first time since injuring his hip a little more than a week ago.
Niklas Backstrom (G) - Out for Tuesday night, but also practiced Monday night and should be back for a start very, very soon ... just not Tuesday.

Edmonton injuries:

Jordan Eberle (C) - Out for Tuesday night.
Jim Vandermeer (D) - Doubtful for Tuesday night as he continues to battle right ankle injury.
Gilbert Brule (C) - Out with ankle injury. Even if he was healthy enough to play, he is so far in coach Tom Renney's doghouse that he probably would be scratched anyways.


Luke Adam (LW) Buffalo - Sent to Portland (AHL)
Ben Eager (LW) - Acquired by San Jose from Atlanta in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2011 NHL Draft.
Kyle Wellwood (C) - Claimed off waivers by San Jose
Andrew Desjardins (C) San Jose - Sent to Worcester (AHL)
Justin Braun (D) San Jose - Sent to Worcester (AHL)
Brandon Mashinter (LW) San Jose - Sent to Worcester (AHL)
John McCarthy (LW) San Jose - Activated from IR
Chris Summers (D) - Recalled to Phoenix from San Antonio (AHL)


Who's Hot

Jordan Staal (C) Pittsburgh - Somebody has to pick up the scoring in Sid the Kid's absence, and it has been Staal, at least over the last two games for the Pens. Staal had two goals, three assists and was a plus-1 over the weekend for the Pens.
Drew Miller (C/W) Detroit - Currently going better for Drew Miller than they are for big brother Ryan in Buffalo. Drew has two goals and two assists for the Wings in their last two games, and it is sorely needed as they have a rash of injuries in their forward ranks.

Who's Cold

Jimmy Howard (G) Detroit - Yeah, it's unfair to call an injured player cold, but goalie injuries can absolutely kill your fantasy roster on it's own. He wasn't playing great before the injury, but now he's a guaranteed zero in your lineup when he's capable of winning the entire week for your team.
Chris Drury (C/W) N.Y Rangers - I listed him on Sunday as well, and maybe I'm jaded up here in Buffalo because Drury's "I'm going to stay in Buffalo" then signing in New York a week later act ... but he's been terrible. One of the most disappointing players in the National Hockey League since his return from injury.

Recommended Pickup

Joey MacDonald (G) - If only a temporary fix, grab MacDonald and start him tonight if you are in a daily league. He's also not a bad handcuff to have for Jimmy Howard owners.