The New Jersey Devils will be without their leading point producer against the New York Rangers on Tuesday, as both teams resume their schedules following the All-Star break.
Mike Cammalleri, who has a team-best 38 points in 42 games, has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 26 with what that club called an upper-body injury, the Devils announced Monday.
However, according to Tom Gulitti of The Record, Cammalleri is dealing with a right hand injury and it remains unclear as to how long the 33-year-old forward will be out of the lineup.
“It started acting up on him again, so we’ve got to shut him down here for a little bit and give him a little bit of time and see how quickly he can get back,” said Devils head coach John Hynes, as per the Fire & Ice blog.
That’s difficult timing for the Devils, who are in the thick of the Wild Card race in the East. They’re tied in points (55) with Pittsburgh, but the Penguins have two games in hand.
The New York Rangers will emerge from the All-Star break with a match-up versus the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and it appears they’ll do so without Rick Nash in their lineup.
As per the Rangers, he’s still dealing with a bone bruise on his left leg, despite a week off. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the injury occurred when Nash lost an edge and went hard into the boards during a game against the Hurricanes on Jan. 22.
Nash’s goal totals are down this season, but he had been on a three-game point streak prior to the injury.
From the Rangers:
Head coach Alain Vigneault explained that Nash underwent another CT scan Monday morning, which did not reveal any more serious damage to the leg than the original diagnosis if a bone bruise.
“It’s a bad bone bruise and it’s taken longer our medical crew thought it would,” stated Vigneault. “He’s still feeling pain and he’s having a tough time walking.”
The Rangers have three games on their schedule this week. They’ll play the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, so it remains to be seen exactly when Nash might return to the lineup.
In 45 games, Nash has 12 goals and 33 points. The Rangers are currently second in the Metropolitan Division and three points ahead of the New York Islanders.
The Islanders do have two games in hand.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Brad Stuart has played in only six games all season, and he’ll spend even more time out of the lineup.
On Monday, the Avalanche announced that the 36-year-old Stuart underwent back surgery. As for a time line for a possible return, they would only deem Stuart to be out long-term.
His last game was on Nov. 10. Last month, Colorado’s coach Patrick Roy said Stuart “still has pain in his leg, coming from his back.”
Stuart signed a two-year, $7.2 million deal with the Avalanche in the September of 2014.
During his time as a depth defenseman with the Vancouver Canucks, Alex Biega has earned the praise of his coach and those in management.
On Monday, that culminated with the 27-year-old Biega reportedly inking a two-year, $1.5 million deal, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports. The Canucks have yet to officially announce the deal.
Biega was a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He was recalled to Vancouver from the AHL last season, spending seven games with the Canucks, scoring his first NHL goal.
This season, he’s been in Vancouver for 25 games. He’s clearly left a favorable impression on those in the organization, even if he’s not a point producer with four assists.
“He has continued to improve and when we sent him down last year it was: ‘I deserve to be here (NHL) and belong here,’” Canucks president Trevor Linden told The Province last month.
“He worked extremely hard and was a leader there (Utica) and he has proved it. He plays hard and wins pucks battles.
“He has come in the hard way. I had it kind of handed it to me — you can screw it up — but here you go and I knew that. But he has worked his tail off to be here and he’s a guy you want in your room.”
On Thursday, the Columbus Blue Jackets will face the Vancouver Canucks on the road, in what is slated to be John Tortorella’s first return to Rogers Arena since he was fired from the Canucks two years ago.
There will probably be more on that in the coming days, as the Blue Jackets and their head coach make their way through Western Canada, starting with Tuesday’s game in Edmonton.
But the main Tortorella storyline right now centers around his return to the Blue Jackets after missing three games with broken ribs suffered in a collision with Rene Bourque during a recent outdoor practice.
“I had no question as far as how everything was going to be handled,” said Tortorella, as per the Blue Jackets website on Monday.
“It’s not like I was missed or anything, it’s just selfishly, for me, I want to be with the team. It was frustrating because you’re not there and you want to be there. I would not have helped – it would have been more of a distraction. I’m just happy I’m back with the team now.”
In his absence, the Blue Jackets collected five of a possible six points.
The Blue Jackets entered the All-Star break 30th in the league’s overall standings, with 43 points in 51 games, but with back-to-back 5-2 wins over the floundering Montreal Canadiens.