If it weren’t for the Benn-sized ray of sunshine, the primary focus of today’s Daily Dose would have been some really troubling injuries. Simply put, Steve Downie’s season-ending surgery isn’t the only stomach-turning update from the last few days.
Scott Hartnell suffered a broken foot from Kimmo Timonen’s wayward shot, and the verdict is not good. He’ll be out 4-8 weeks, which is the kind of vague window that is sure to make owners unhappy. The shortened season is basically three months and change, so he could miss up to two-thirds of action. Hartnell was just starting to settle in to a very lucrative role as Claude Giroux’s running mate, so this stings for a guy who jumped from a 40-40 point, 100+ PIM to a truly rare power forward.
For a Philadelphia Flyers that just eked out its first win on Thursday and owners who likely drafted him in the top 30 or 50, let’s hope he comes back closer to late February than late March.
Speaking of former Flyers employees with broken appendages,* Joffrey Lupul’s news isn’t particularly promising either. The newly-extended winger suffered a fractured forearm thanks to either a Dion Phaneuf shot or Brooks Orpik slash (perhaps both?). He could miss up to six weeks, which represents another frustratingly vague window.
On the bright side regarding prominent injuries touched upon on Thursday, it at least sounds like Mike Smith won’t miss much time with his lower-body injury (which I assume is probably a groin injury since it had the feel of a “routine stretch during a save gone wrong”). We’ll keep an eye out for updates on Smitty, however, as the Phoenix Coyotes will likely miss him - some might say they already did on Thursday as Phoenix coughed up a 3-1 third period to eventually lose 5-3 to the scorching San Jose Sharks.
With a busy Thursday, I’m skipping the under 50 feature for some general player notes … Nail Yakupov is a fun fantasy pick because he was the No. 1 pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, but he’s also just plain fun. He invoked comparisons to Theo Fleury’s famous goal celebration (and made me think of the possibilities of human curling) when he tied Edmonton’s game against Los Angeles with just four seconds left on Thursday. The Oil eventually won … If Erik Karlsson’s start ranks as “regression,” sign me up. His blistering goal was a beauty, but not a fluke; he’s already hammered a forward-like 13 shots on goal in just three games … Derek Roy won’t get top line duty once Benn rolls in, but a likely role alongside Ray Whitney and/or Michael Ryder isn’t too shabby, either … Another goal for Steve Sullivan last night. Hmmm … Speaking of more scoring, Andrei Markov, Vladimir Tarasenko and Marian Hossa also stayed hot … No one’s hotter than he combo Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, though. Jumbo Joe’s one-goal, three-assist night reminds of his last post-lockout season, when he won the Hart Trophy … The struggles continue for the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings. I expect the Kings in particular to bounce back, but things are at least coasting toward being disturbing … Eric Staal (hat trick) and Jordan Staal (two assists) finally had a big night on Thursday ... Wade Redden returned to NHL action, receiving 17:23 minutes of ice time ... Life is good for Jaroslav Halak, who needed just 13 saves for a shutout.
MORE INJURY NOTES (Full list)
Speaking of that Hart Trophy year, the guy who arguably deserved it that season came up lame on Thursday. The severity isn’t clear yet, but Jaromir Jagr didn’t finish Thursday’s game against the Blackhawks. The early word isn’t negative, yet we’ll see … This isn’t technically an injury bit, but note that Benn probably won’t play on Saturday because of visa issues. Stay tuned just in case, though … Valtteri Filppula's knee is bugging him. Not good ... Willie Mitchell has received medical clearance but hasn't opted to return to action yet. That sure seems troubling, but let's wait a few days before it gets ugly … Jared Spurgeon is day-to-day with a foot injury ... Andrej Meszaros could be in trouble again. He suffered a shoulder injury. We'll find out the extent of the injury fairly soon ... Stephen Weiss and Cam Atkinson are day-to-day with respective lower-body issues.
* - Now that’s a clumsy segue, ladies and gents.