In the latest edition of "Let Me Ruin Your Sunday," we have some big names and usual suspects struck down by the injury bug. Adjust your lineups, negotiate with the Fantasy Gods, and get comfy on the couch for seven games of NHL action today.
Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim): The 28-year-old Ducks captain suffered a lower-body injury after blocking a shot in Saturday's game against the Coyotes. He left in the second period and did not return. Don't freak, his X-rays came back negative. His status for today is up in the air, but be prepared for him to sit for "precautionary reasons."
Jimmy Howard (Detroit): Not again. Although he beat the struggling Kings on Saturday night, Howard sustained a hip flexor injury in the game and will not play today. He plans to serve as back-up, though, so he can't be THAT injured. Howard only returned five games ago from knee surgery. Between his injuries and inconsistency in net, he has become a headache for fantasy owners this season.
Sami Salo (Tampa Bay): The oft-injured defenseman has been, yes, shockingly injured. Again. He was struck by a puck, left the game in the first period, and did not return. He could not even put weight on it as he left the ice, so plan for him to be out for at least a few games.
Paul Stastny (Colorado): After playing just over 10 minutes and assisting on the Avalanche's first goal, Paul Stastny left the game with a leg injury and did not return. He has 13 goals, 21 assists, a +9 rating, 10 power play points, 85 shots on goal, and 33 hits this season. Consider him day-to-day for now, but have no fear, he could play as early as Tuesday.
Daniel Alfredsson (Detroit): Injuries keep racking up for the Red Wings (and for my Laich a Virgins). The veteran winger, who has a delightful 30 points in 38 games this season, was out yesterday with back spasms. Unfortunately, this is a nagging injury that will probably come-and-go for the rest of the season.
Tyson Barrie (Colorado): The defenseman is out today with a shoulder injury and the Avalanche have called up Ryan Wilson and Karl Stollery from the AHL. Consider Barrie day-to-day for now.
Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay): The goalie missed his third game with a sprained right wrist, but could return as early as Monday.
Johnny Boychuk (Boston): A mystery! He flew home for ambiguous "personal reasons," so we should probably partake in unfounded speculation until we know more. A source told me that this weekend is his annual garage sale, when his Ukrainian village gathers for folk songs, gerbil racing, discounted porn, and storytelling from his large collection of English-language Babysitter's Club books. But another person connected with the team mentioned chlamydia and a regrettable weekend of gambling at a senior center. So household treasures or an STD, we may never uncover the truth. Update: Dammit. He flew home because his wife is only having twins. Sigh.
BACK IN ACTION
Radko Gudas (Tampa Bay): My favorite enforcer/goon (2 goals, 10 assists, 90 penalty minutes, +8 rating, 68 shots on goal, 152 hits this season) returned on Saturday with an assist, +4 rating, two penalty minutes, and five hits in nearly 19 minutes on the ice. If you are looking to toughen up your team, Gudas is still only owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues and 58% of ESPN leagues.
Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado): After injuring his shoulder on Monday night while celebrating a goal, O'Reilly returned with two more goals on Saturday. Impressively, he now has 16 on the season, along with 14 assists, and could easily surpass his career highs.