Today's injury updates bring far better news than usual, so enjoy your coffee in peace this Sunday as I try to torture you as little as possible.
Ville Leino (Buffalo): Who? This is about as serious as we get this week, as the Sabres winger did not return for the third-period after suffering an upper-body injury early in te game. He stuck around long enough to assist on Matt Ellis' goal, but minutes later as the victim of a huge hit.
Drew Stafford (Buffalo): Fine, this is somewhat more serious, but there is no information to report. Stafford sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday night, which is hopefully not an aggravation of the injury that kept him out a few weeks ago. He has five points in five games since returning.
Mikhail Grabovski (Washington): After suffering a leg injury in Friday's loss to New Jersey, Mikhail Grabovski sat out Saturday's contest. He crashed into Bryce Salvador, causing his left leg and knee to twist under both players as they fell to the ice. Grabovski was slow to get up, but started the third period before heading back to the locker room. He was a game-time decision, so consider him day-to-day for now.
BACK IN ACTION
Johan Franzen (Detroit): Out since December 15th with a concussion, The Mule is set to return on Sunday, so set your rosters accordingly. He has not felt any dizziness in three days and should provide an immediate boost to Detroit's lineup. To make room for Franzen, Detroit has placed Mikael Samuelsson on waivers.
Jimmy Howard (Detroit): The goalie is planning to return on Tuesday, so get your lineups ready.
Alex Ovechkin (Washington): Ovechkin returned from his groin injury to dazzle and blow your mind, as per usual. He finished the game with a magical, SportsCenter Top 10-like juggled goal, an assist, a +3 rating, five shots on goal, and four hits in 22:41. He has 36 goals and 14 assists this season
Evgeni Nabokov (New York): We may see the Islanders' netminder as soon as today or tomorrow, as he has finally recovered from a leg injury. Nabokov hasn't played since January 6th but returns just in time for big games against the Bruins on Monday and the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
Alexander Steen (St. Louis): After leaving Thursday's game with a lower-body injury, Steen was back in action on Saturday night with two assists and six shots on goal in over 23 minutes on the ice.
Lubomir Visnovsky (New York): The elderly defenseman, out since October 19th, could return as soon as Monday. He began practicing without a non-contact jersey on Friday and has been gradually progressing to full-strength over the past week.