The season is nearing the half way mark, and the injuries are taking a toll on some teams. It can be a revolving door, someone returns to the lineup and then someone else gets hurt.
The Blackhawks are on an unbelievable 24 game unbeaten streak, but the injuries may have caught up to them. Winger Marian Hossa has late scratch before last night’s game with an upper-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful that he’ll be able to go tomorrow night against the Avalanche. In the second period of last night’s game, forward Andrew Shaw took a shot to, or close to the head. He didn’t return for the third period. To make matters worse, forward Patrick Sharp took a hit from Avalanche Ryan O’Byrne in the third period and left clutching his left arm. It is being reported this afternoon that he’ll be out for two to three weeks.
New York Rangers center Brad Richards remains out after being crossed checked into the boards by Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta. Richards said that he’s just experiencing soreness and that he doesn’t have a concussion. He’s not expected to be out long-term, but there is no timetable on when he might return.
The Rangers defense also experienced a scary injury as Marc Staal took a deflected slapshot around the eye area. Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timomen let a shot got that was tipped by forward Jakub Voracek. Staal was able to skate off the ice under his own power and didn’t got to hospital after the game. He did see a couple of specialists and the Rangers released this brief statement afterwards: “The injury has improved significantly and both doctors are optimistic that Marc will make a full recovery.”
The Panthers were dealt a blow with center Stephen Weiss having season ending wrist surgery. Weiss is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and may have played his last game in a Panthers uniform. The Panthers may have been considering trading him at the deadline, and would have been able to get a nice piece or two back for him. There is still the chance he’s dealt to a team that may want to get an early jump on signing him.
Video of Marc Staal taking the puck to the face, not for the faint at heart.