When New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller suffered a frightening fall during Wednesday’s game against the Flames, many feared the worst. He was stretchered off after that incident, at least showing that he was able to give the “thumbs up,” but it was still a pretty scary scene.
From the sound of the latest update, maybe it looked worse than it really was?
Devils coach John Hynes said that, somehow, Mueller didn’t suffer a concussion nor a neck injury from that fall with Michael Frolik. Instead, Hynes described it as “basically a left shoulder injury right now,” according to Amanda Stein of the team’s website.
” … For as bad as the hit looked and what we all thought possibly could happen, there was really good news on that,” Hynes said. “It’s nice to see him not be too injured, and a left shoulder injury coming out of that is a real positive.”
Indeed, it’s pretty hard to believe that Mueller, 23, may only end up dealing with a shoulder issue from that moment. (You can see the collision and fall in the video above this post’s headline.)
Mueller, the 18th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, has been making some headway since being traded to the Devils from the San Jose Sharks in 2017. After generating four points and averaging 16:41 ice time per game in 28 contests last season, Mueller’s managed 10 points in 47 games this season, logging a career-high 18:09 TOI per game in 2018-19. Here’s hoping this injury isn’t too big of a setback for a defenseman who seems to be establishing himself as an NHL regular.
This isn’t the only bit of injury news for the Devils this week, as the team announced that star Taylor Hall underwent knee surgery.
New Jersey hasn’t officially announced that either Mueller or Hall are done for the season, but with little but pride to play for, it would be surprising to see either back before 2019-20.
Honestly, it’s promising that such a possibility is even being considered for Mueller, considering how bad his fall into the boards looked the moment it happened.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.