LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 14: People dressed as Darth Vader and Spiderman arrive for the Stanley Cup victory parade on June 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings are celebrating their first NHL Championship in the team’s 45-year-old franchise history. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The Blackhawks face the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, and they’ll do so without captain Jonathan Toews.
Toews will miss a fifth straight game because of a reported back injury.
On Sunday, per CSN Chicago, coach Joel Quenneville provided an update, saying the Blackhawks forward will now be kept off the ice for the next few days because the injury essentially isn’t getting any better.
The Blackhawks are coming off a 3-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, and they’re going through a difficult time with injuries to key players. Not only is Toews out, but goalie Corey Crawford has been sidelined for two to three weeks after undergoing an appendectomy.
Scott Darling will start in net tonight for Chicago, which has a three-point lead in the Central Division.
The Buffalo Sabres aren’t known for their depth on defense, so when they have to deal with injuries at that position, things can get complicated.
Well…I guess things are about to get complicated.
On Sunday, the Sabres announced that Josh Gorges (pictured) will miss “weeks” because of a non-displaced fracture in his foot. The injury occurred after he blocked a shot in Thursday’s game against the Rangers.
Bogosian has been out since Nov. 3 with sprained ligaments in his knee, and he’s still 10-to-14 days away from getting back into the lineup.
The news is a little better for Kulikov, who returned to practice on Sunday. He’s missed 11 games because of a back injury he suffered in the preseason. He tried playing through it, but obviously he was still in some discomfort.
“Kulikov has now skated two days with some physicality and now been skating for seven days,” coach Dan Bylsma said, per the Buffalo News. “Hopefully, that means we’ll see him in practice soon – in the next week hopefully.”
Now, some of the replacements for these guys are starting to get hurt.
Taylor Fedun missed Sunday’s practice and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play against the Capitals on Monday night. If he can’t go, Buffalo will need to call someone up from the minors.
Things got so wacky last week that the Sabres called up Brendan Guhle from junior on an emergency basis. By rule, he can stay on the roster as long as he keeps playing. Once he stops playing, the emergency tag is removed and he has to go back to his junior team.
Playing against your old team is always special, but Devan Dubnyk takes it to another level when he goes up against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers drafted Dubnyk in the first round, 14th overall, in 2004 and he spent parts of five seasons with them.
Since leaving Edmonton in 2014, he’s won six of seven games against his former team.
To make matters worse for the Oilers, his individual stats are better against them than they are against any other team in the league. He has a 1.28 goals-against-average and a .949 save percentage in those seven games.
His numbers in 2016-17 aren’t as good as his career numbers against Edmonton, but he still has a fantastic 1.67 goals-against-average and a .946 save percentage this season.
Like the Wild, the Oilers played last night, as they won an OT decision against the Ducks.
—Ben Bishop turned in a solid performance against the Capitals last night, but the Lightning still haven’t announced who their starter will be this afternoon. Cam Ward is likely to get the nod for the Hurricanes.
–Look for Connor Hellebuyck to be between the pipes for the Jets, but that hasn’t been confirmed. With Corey Crawford hurt, don’t be surprised if Scott Darling gets his second start in two nights for Chicago.
Some good news if you’re a fan of the Calgary Flames.
Johnny Gaudreau, who missed 10 games with a finger injury, will be back in their lineup for Sunday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Flames forward was injured in a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 (he was slashed by Eric Staal), and after he underwent surgery, the team announced that he’d be out six weeks.
In the end, he missed less than three weeks of action.
“I’m ready to play,” Gaudreau said, per NHL.com. “I think the finger’s healed up pretty well there. I’m just excited to get things going here.
“I think they did a great job with my finger and we did a great job rehabbing it. They keep tell me it’s going to be harder to break the nine other fingers than to re-hurt this one. It feels good. It feels good when I shoot. I’m excited to finally get out of there.”
He’ll be playing with some added protection, as Calgary’s equipment manager made this glove for him:
Before Gaudreau got hurt, the Flames had a 6-10-1 record. But thanks to improved team play and some strong performances from goalie Chad Johnson, they managed to go 6-3-1 in, while Gaudreau was out.
The 23-year-old has five goals and six assists in 17 games, but he had scored three goals in three games before getting hurt.