Ten days into the year and the injuries start to pile up for each team, well at least some of them. The Hurricanes are injuring themselves into the sweepstakes for the number 1 and number 2 draft picks this year. As Gunner has said on a podcast previously, if the Canes steal the first pick from the Sabres that will be twice the Canes have stolen from the city of Buffalo.
At the time of publishing there had been a max of 6 games played, that is Calgary leading the way there, might be the only thing I write about all year that Calgary lead the league in. It is too early to take away any meaningful trends on teams so far this season, lets wait until we hit 20 games to see who looks for real and who is slipping.
One thing you do not need to wait for is injuries; they crop up and do not need trends to set in to have an impact on a team. Teams that adjust well to the loss of manpower are the ones that will succeed through the year. Organisational depth, whether expected or surprise, is what will get teams into the playoffs.
Below is a look at each division and the significant injuries through the division. If your team isn’t mentioned it’s a great thing, I would rather have a small list here, it means more quality players are on the ice and not the IR.
This division is pretty healthy in reality. Detroit woul love Datsyuk back of course and the impending retirement of Alfredsson due to his back is not only a loss to Detroit but to hockey in general. The other ‘big’ news in the Atlantic in relation to injuries is Jonathan Drouin returning to the ice for a conditioning stint. This could be big for the Lightning, if Drouin can come back and fill at worse a third line role, a Tampa team that many are expecting big things from may just live up to those expectations.
When Evander Kane went down I thought that would be the biggest injury to happen to the whole division in the week, well I was wrong. As important to the Jets as Kane is, Varlamov is more important to the Avalanche. A team that gives up as many shots as the Avs do, really do need a Vezina quality guy in net, the game against Ottawa proves that. The Stars are dealing really well with Mr Nichushkin off the ice; this little eastern swing could really set the season up for them.
This division feels like the one division that has the most impact players missing from their rosters at the moment. The Rangers slow start can be put down to Stepan and Boyle being gone for a while, but also to a bad decision on whom to keep on the blueline. The Staal duo cant stay on the ice, The Flyers already shaky D are going to have to deal without Coburn for a little while. The big injury for me though is Grabo from the Islanders, lets hope he can get back on the ice without missing a game the Islanders are flying. A quick mention to Pascal Dupius, it looks as though he is going to be ok and have no serious repercussions from his injury against the Stars. Him missing shows the lack of depth on that Penguins roster, he is far from their best player, however his impact is felt with the lack of depth up front on that roster.
Pat Maroon can have the same effect on the Ducks as Dupuis does, he may not be he best players but with Heatley out the Ducks depth down the wings can be severely tested. The Pacific is damn healthy, and that is great, there are a truckload of great players in this division, lets hope it stays that way. Disappointing for Sam Bennett having to go through a shoulder rehab, and the Oilers getting dinged up already this early, it is one of the issues you have with your best players being considered ‘small’ teams run them and try to put the hurt on, it will take its toll.
Well there it is, the weekly update on the league and their injuries, I hope you enjoyed, well kinda, I mean it is injuries......
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