Mike Green is missing in action in Washington.
Not only is Green not playing due to an injury, Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com tells us that Green missed his third straight day of skating today. Green has been hurt more often than he’s played this year and his injury status has remained mostly a mystery since he went out of action weeks ago. Last we heard in mid-November was that he was out with a strained groin.
Green’s absence has been a source of issues for the Caps as they’ve been juggling players along the blue line opting to switch between John Erskine, Roman Hamrlik, and Jeff Schultz while rookie Dmitry Orlov was brought up from the AHL to try and figure things out. Dennis Wideman has helped out a bit offensively but Green is the guy that makes it all go.
The Caps are improving and looking stronger as the days go on with Dale Hunter in charge, but without Green they’re not as strong of a team. While teams like Philly and Toronto have had issues with being clear about player injuries, there’s been a virtual blackout about Mike Green’s status.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.