The New Jersey Devils will open the season with their all-time leader scorer on the injured reserve list, per NHL.com.
Patrik Elias is dealing with a sore knee that’s kept him off the ice since the start of the Devils’ training camp. It was declared that he wouldn’t play in any preseason games last week, but he wasn’t ready to dismiss the possibility of playing in the opener at that time.
The question now shifts to how long New Jersey will be without Elias’ services as they haven’t provided a timetable for his return.
The 39-year-old forward is entering the final season of his three-year, $16.5 million contract. Although he’s been fortunate enough to be fairly durable over the course of his lengthy career, he has been limited to less than 70 games in each of his last two campaigns.
Meanwhile, Kyle Palmieri sustained an undisclosed injury during a preseason game on Wednesday, but the Devils expect him to be fine for the opener.
Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill had high hopes for the defensive pairing of Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green, but an injury might keep those aspirations on hold.
DeKeyser hurt his lower-leg when he absorbed an awkward hit late in Wednesday’s preseason contest, according to the team’s website. On Thursday he was seen wearing an immobilizing boot and using crutches.
While that naturally sounds bad, the Red Wings aren’t sure how serious his injury is. He underwent an MRI this afternoon, but the team doesn’t have the results of it yet.
If he won’t be available for the start of the regular season, then Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko, or Brian Lashoff might be included on Detroit’s opening game roster.
Meanwhile, Mike Green is expected to play on Friday after missing four games with a groin injury, so the timing of this latest setback is particularly unfortunate as it further limits the duos ability to work together in a game setting. Instead, Green will likely be paired with Kyle Quincey for now.
Noah Juulsen’s first training camp with the Montreal Canadiens has largely past him by as he worked his way back from a concussion. The silver lining is that he’s gotten healthy in time to make his preseason debut tonight against the Ottawa Senators.
“They’re treating me well,” Juulsen said, per NHL.com. “It’s a great feeling just getting back here.
“It’s not an ideal scenario, but I’ve got to go out and play my game.”
The Canadiens took Juulsen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The defenseman established himself as an offensive force with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips last season by scoring nine goals and 52 points in 68 contests.
At the same time, this isn’t the first concussion the 18-year-old has suffered, although he didn’t want to disclose how many he’s had. He also didn’t specify the cause of his latest injury, except to say that it occurred “off ice.”
He missed the Canadiens’ rookie camp as well and only resumed skating with the team on Saturday. On the plus side, he hasn’t experienced symptoms in a couple weeks.
Juulsen is expected to be paired up with Alexei Emelin on Thursday. He’s likely to spend the season in the WHL.
Who is the Detroit Red Wings’ number one goaltender? That’s a question that might not be answered by the end of training camp.
“I think both have played really, really well, which is what my thought process was going in,” Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said, per the Detroit Free Press. “We have two guys that both have proven at different times to be elite and both can be elite.
“We’ll keep watching them and either create separation or as it has been so far, both played really well.”
A year ago, Jimmy Howard was the team’s clear starter and he certainly played like a top-tier goalie in the first half of the 2014-15 campaign. However, he suffered a groin injury and while he was able to return from that, he was inconsistent. The Red Wings consequently went with Petr Mrazek in the playoffs instead.
Mrazek had a strong campaign and largely held his own against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, posting a 2.11 GAA and .925 save percentage in seven playoff contests. That coupled with his success under Blashill when they led the AHL Grand Rapids to the Calder Cup in 2013 puts him in an interesting position, but Blashill also thinks highly of Howard.
“The first half of last year he was an All-Star for a reason, he was having an elite year,” Blashill said. “You never know how guys come back from injury, you never know how they feel. What I see right now is a guy who looks confident. He is patient in the net and pucks are sticking to him. He looks confident and he is making big saves at big moments.”
It’s worth noting that Detroit has four sets of back-to-back games in October and another two in November, so both goalies are likely to get a healthy number of starts early. If either netminder has separated himself at that point then we might have the answer to our question.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
James Neal went into detail about what it takes to be a sniper in the NHL. (The Players’ Tribune)
On the benefits of using four forwards with the man advantage. (Hockey-Graphs.com)
If you missed the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Kraft Hockeyville game last night, here are the highlights:
Bob Costas also interviewed Hanson Brothers as part of the Hockeyville festivities:
Looking back at the 1992 NHL Strike and the role of hockey cards had in that work stoppage. (The Hockey News)
Derek Roy, who is attending the Capitals’ training camp on a tryout basis, feels “it’s been pretty good” so far. (Washington Times)
The New Jersey Devils might include Pavel Zacha on their opening game roster, but if they do it will have to be for a reason other than a desire to provide the promising 18-year-old forward with some NHL experience. (The Record)
Carl Gunnarsson missed Tuesday’s preseason game due to a groin injury, but the good news is that Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) should be back on Thursday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)