Tuesday’s injury list is a doozy, with news about Connor McDavid headlining a trio of impact losses. Nazem Kadri and Shea Weber also stand out as injuries with playoff and/or trade deadline implications. The same goes for Evgeny Kuznetsov if his situation is worse than “day-to-day.”
McDavid injury estimated to sideline him for 2-3 weeks
Oilers GM Ken Holland delivered the bad news of McDavid being out two-to-three weeks:
“He’s two to three weeks. That’s a normal timeline for this injury,” Holland said. “We’re hoping less … It’s not long-term. We’ll double-back a week from now.”
Lower-body injuries can be tricky, however, so it’s fair to say they “hope” that isn’t long-term. For what it’s worth, the Oilers insist that McDavid’s quad injury is unrelated to recent knee issues. McDavid suffered the injury during Saturday’s win against the Predators.
Even in the short term, this is big. Merely glance at the ocean-sized gulf between McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the rest of the Oilers’ leading scorers:
Not ideal. Edmonton’s schedule makes things worse. While this view would reflect a pessimistic injury timeline, it’s still worth noting that the Oilers play nine of their next 13 games on the road (home games in bold):
| Feb. 11
| Feb. 13
||at Tampa Bay
| Feb. 15
| Feb. 16
| Feb. 19
| Feb. 21
| Feb. 23
||at Los Angeles
| Feb. 25
| Feb. 26
| Feb. 29
| Mar. 2
| Mar. 3
| Mar. 5
Glance at how tight the Pacific and West standings are, and despair (if you’re an anxious Oilers fan):
No, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Oilers lack a big buffer in standings points, but they hold two or three games in hand on the teams closest to them.
Still, they face plenty of bubble opponents down the stretch, including the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Things could unravel if they lose many of those McDavid-less games, particularly during regulation.
Weber injury situation sounds ominous
A cruel season of injuries continues for the Montreal Canadiens. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Shea Weber’s lower-body injury doesn’t look “encouraging.” McKenzie notes that the Habs haven’t been forthcoming with information about the situation.
Some of that might boil down to Weber’s status being murky at the moment. McKenzie explained further:
Often times, when a player is sidelined for a week or more without a definitive prognosis/announcement from the club, it’s because the doctors/club/player are weighing the options (rehab vs. surgery etc) or getting additional medical opinions on what can be complicated injuries.
This stings deeper because Weber had been enjoying a healthy, fantastic season after years of injury issues since joining the Canadiens. If Weber misses significant time, it would represent the third straight season derailed by ailments.
To me, this attaches a neon flashing sign to what was already probably true: the Canadiens should suck it up and sell at the trade deadline.
Injuries to Kadri, Kuznetsov
- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar told Altitude Sports Radio that Nazem Kadri is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Bednar stated that Kadri is expected to miss “weeks, not days.”
“I think that Kadri’s a big loss,” Bednar said, via Sportsnet’s transcription. “You’ve got a face-off guy, you got a power-play guy, you got a second-line centre down the middle that adds some experience and, like you said, that grit and sandpaper.”
The Avs were pushing the Blues quite a bit for the Central crown lately. Colorado’s on a four-game winning streak, and while St. Louis holds a three point standings edge (73-70), the Avs have played two fewer games. Losing Kadri makes it a tougher hill to climb.
Washington already lost three of its last four games and four of six. The Capitals lead the Metro with 77 points to Pittsburgh’s 73, but the Penguins hold two games in hand.
Overall, quite a few races could be influenced by Tuesday’s bad injury news.
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.