Saturday turned out to be a costly night for NHL defensemen as four defenders had to leave their teams respective games with injuries.
A quick rundown of the injuries.
Blue Jackets lose game and Werenski. The Blue Jackets were unable to beat the Islanders’ goaltending duo of Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov in a 2-0 loss (Greiss had to exit the game because he was not feeling well) on Saturday, but the biggest loss may have been the injury suffered by Zach Werenski, one of their top defensemen and top overall players.
He left the game with an upper-body injury after he was involved in a collision with Islanders forward Anders Lee early in the first period and was in immediate discomfort.
That came on just his third shift of the game. He did not return. Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella had no immediate update after the game, and with the Blue Jackets off on Sunday it may not be until Monday when we learn more about his status.
(UPDATE: Werenski is expected to miss the next four weeks.)
Another significant injury for the Penguins. This team can not keep its top players on the ice. Already playing without Sidney Crosby, Justin Schultz, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust (he was injured in the morning skate before Friday’s game in Columbus), they lost Brian Dumoulin on his very first shift during Saturday’s loss to the St. Louis Blues with an apparent leg injury. After hobbling to the bench he needed assistance in getting to the locker room and did not return.
Coach Mike Sullivan was unable to give an update only to say that Dumoulin is dealing with a lower-body injury. His injury comes just a couple of games after the Penguins’ top defenseman — and Dumoulin’s regular partner — Kris Letang returned to the lineup and perfectly sums up the team’s injury situation this season — when one top player returns, another one immediately exits. Between the current injured list, as well as previous injuries to Evgeni Malkin, Rust, Jared McCann, Alex Galchenyuk, and Patric Hornqvist the Penguins have been one of the most injured teams in the league this season.
(UPDATE: The Penguins announced on Sunday that Dumoulin will be out for at least eight weeks after surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his left ankle.)
Edler exits with upper-body injury. Entering the game having lost two in a row, including an incredible third period meltdown against Pittsburgh in their previous game, the Vancouver Canucks were able to rebound with a strong performance in Edmonton on Saturday.
That performance came with a big price, however.
Top defenseman Alexander Edler exited the game after two periods with an undisclosed upper-body injury and was immediately ruled out for the third period.
The 33-year-old veteran has been having a really strong season for the Canucks, entering Saturday’s game with 15 points in 26 games and helping to push the pace of games with positive possession numbers. He has spent most of the season skating next to Tyler Myers.
Canadiens also lost Victor Mete.
[Update: We initially forgot about this one]
The Canadiens not only lost their seventh game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but they also lost defenseman Victor Mete to a lower-body injury.
He will not travel with the team to Boston as it continues its current road trip and looks to snap its losing streak.
He recorded an assist in the loss before exiting the game. It is another significant injury to a Canadiens team that really can not afford one right now, already playing without Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron at forward.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.