David Clarkson (Toronto): Writing another chapter in this disappointing season, Clarkson was lost to a left-leg injury only minutes before Carl Cunnarsson went down for the Maple Leafs. Consider him day-to-day for now. Between injuries and suspensions, Clarkson has been basically useless this year with only three goals and five assists.
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit): Datsyuk did not practice on Friday, he DID practice on Saturday, but then the 35-year-old missed last night's game with what is loosely being called a lower-body injury. Since the Red Wings do not play again until Thursday, he will have plenty of time to rest his elderly body.
Eric Gelinas (New Jersey): Although he did not succumb to injury, the rookie defenseman was demoted on Saturday after cooling off significantly over the past few weeks. He is still second among rookie d-men in scoring and should not stay in the AHL for long, but it is a disappointing turn of events.
Carl Gunnarsson (Toronto): After a Carl Hagelin hit, Gunnarsson left with an upper-body injury - not that he would have been much help anyway during last night's embarrassment. This looks like a prime opportunity for Jake Gardiner to move up to the first line; he has been quietly productive this season and should see even more opportunities going forward.
Eric Staal (Carolina): First, that bastard Jonathan Quick returns and I lose my rookie stud Martin Jones. And then I lose one of my top forwards in the second period to an ambiguous lower-body injury. Staal did not return and is questionable for today's game. This would be a huge blow for the Hurricanes (and me) as the Carolina captain was heating up with five points in the past two games. Impressively, Staal has missed only one game since the start of the 2010-2011 season.
Jaroslav Halak (St. Louis): After leaving the December 28th game against Chicago with flu-like symptoms, the Blues goalie remained out, missing his fourth game in a row. He is expected back on Tuesday, so prepare your rosters accordingly.
Jared Spurgeon (Minnesota): The defenseman was placed on Injured Reserve with a lower-body injury, while right-wing Brett Bulmer was recalled from Iowa to take his place. Bulmer, the 39th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has five goals, nine assists, 24 penalty minutes, and a -4 rating in 24 AHL games this season.
RETURN & REJOICE
Shane Doan (Phoenix): Out since December 4th with a weird mystery illness, Doan finally returned to action on Saturday, logging over 18 minutes on the ice with just one hit. He looked rusty and will need some time to get his legs back under him. Doan had been plagued by unexplainable headaches, severe fatigue, and painful cramping. Once pregnancy was ruled out, he was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Fever, one of the most deadly bacterial diseases in the United States. The illness is found in all states, so do not run from your pot-loving snowy regime, Coloradans. Notoriously hard to diagnose, Rocky Mountain Fever infects the lining of blood vessels cells. It is often associated with tick bites and can cause strange rashes, forgetfulness, joint pain, paralysis, loss of bowel or bladder control, language disorders, and even amputation. So welcome back from what sounds like the worst Christmas ever, Shane Doan.
Ed Jovanovski (Florida): Playing for the first time since hip surgery, Jovanovski saw just under 16 minutes of ice time wherein he had a +3 rating and a shot on goal. The Panthers' captain missed 83 games dating back to last season.
Jordan Leopold (St. Louis): Out for the past 26 games with a torn ligament in his right hand, Leopold returned from injured reserve, along with teammate David Backes, who had missed the past three games with an upper-body injury.
Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles): As begrudgingly mentioned above, the All-Star Olympic Conn Smythe Stanley Cup wizard returned for the first time since hurting his groin on November 12th. Although he gave up an early goal, Quick looked really sharp, made some heart-stopping saves, and helped the Kings get a much-needed win. This makes Martin Jones' eventual demotion to the minors all but a certainty.