Injuries Piling Up Across NHL

Pekka Rinne

The Blackhawks announced yesterday that defenseman Mike Kostka will miss the next 4-6 weeks because of a lower-body injury, but they aren’t alone. Injury woes are starting to pile up all over the NHL, and will impact the Hawks competition in some significant ways.

On Saturday and Monday, the Hawks will face the Wild in a home-and-home scenario, and Minnesota is missing a few key pieces. Mike Rupp and Charlie Coyle are both already on IR, and just yesterday the Wild announced that defenseman Jonas Brodin is out indefinitely with a broken cheekbone suffered in their game against Nashville.

Updates on Coyle and Brodin here.

The Hawks will play Winnipeg twice in four days in early November (2nd in Winnipeg, 6th in Chicago), and they’re without a few players as well. Defenseman Jacob Trouba was taken off the ice on a stretcher last week and is out indefinitely with a sprained neck. Jim Slater and Mark Stuart are also dealing with injuries and are listed as questionable for the Jets game against Nashville tonight.

Brodin was hurt against Nashville, but the Preds were dealt a tough blow of their own. On Thursday morning, the Predators announced that goaltender Pekka Rinne will miss at least four weeks because of a spontaneous bacterial infection. The Hawks will visit the Preds on Nov. 16 for the first time this season.

The Oilers visit the United Center on Nov. 10, and their list of injuries is as significant as any in the NHL. They recently lost Taylor Hall for four weeks with a knee injury, and are already without Sam Gagner (broken jaw). Edmonton already has four other players, including Corey Potter and Steve McIntyre, on IR.

And a still-developing injury of note, defenseman Erik Johnson reportedly needed help off the ice at practice on Wednesday after taking a shot off his foot. The Hawks begin their November road trip in Denver on Nov. 19, so the status of Johnson will be worth watching moving forward.

Health is always an important factor in the NHL, but a rash of significant injuries are starting to impact every corner of the league. And, looking at the upcoming schedule, the Blackhawks will face some teams missing key players in the coming weeks.

13 thoughts on “Injuries Piling Up Across NHL

  • October 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

    From the NHL 10/24/13:
    In the spirit of good sportsmanship the Chicago Blackhawks shall sit at least one of their “star” players when they play these teams. This is an effort by the league to “share the sacrifice” equally. Chicago must submit a list of eligible “star” players for approval by the NHL. Chicago may also be required (at the leagues discretion) to lend the sitting “star” player to these teams when they play them.
    Also effective immediately all NHL coaches, players & Committed Indians contributors MUST enroll in the ACA (obamacare).

    (Uh-oh, I feel some added scrutiny by the NSA & IRS coming my way……..)

  • October 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Joey’s comment wins the internets today.

  • October 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Rangers also have injury problems, though we don’t see them until January 8.

  • October 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    maybe shorter camps etc as in 2012 are actually beneficial to players ??

  • October 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    It is a long season. Everyone comes out of the gate in first place. Early season injuries have always plagued the NHL, other hockey leagues as well. This year seems especially cruel. This is just one reason depth is so important. Fourth liners like Bollig must be on the ice more than 6 or 7 minutes in what are frequently 65 minute games.

    Counting on a fourth line to pitch in 10 minutes + is HUGE. Playing with a lead is HUGE. You could hear it in the concern from Q and players about how the Hawks are blowing 3d period leads. They have been outscored 8-0 in the third the last 4 or 5 games. That causes lines 1 and 2 to play 7-8 minutes in the 3d (plus OT)when they are already tired. Leads to injuries. Right now I think they are more concerned about holding leads even more than their PP.

  • October 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    BTW, I am sure some players, even fans, would like a shorter season. But with TV money being relatively scarce, owners and players rely on the crowds to pay their wages. Would the players and owners trade 33% of their salaries and revenues to have a 55 game schedule?? Maybe games should be shortened to 48 minutes, don’t know.

  • October 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I was just thinking about the shortened schedule and how “fun” last year was. Not being held hostage by the owners at the beginning of the season, but the addage that every game counts really rung true. It was a lot easier to understand game 1 of 48 counting rather than 1 of 82. Yes, both opportunities count in the standings; but in the 48 game schedule there less separation of teams at the end of the season. Multiple playoff berths weren’t wrapped up with a month to go in the season. While last year’s final week so all the playoff teams decided, the seeding was up for grabs through the final game. It made the season more relevant and exciting to me as a fan. I probably won’t be fully committed to hockey until the final two months of the season where last year I was watching multiple “non Hawk” games monthly.

    But if there is one takeaway from this post, and another point of agreement between us, roll 4 lines with the 4th line getting between 8 – 12 even strength minutes a night depending on special teams opportunities.

  • October 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I’m sure if you looked through the injury list, a fair amount of the people hurting are probably in that position due to opposing player stupidity. So while having less games might mean there is less chance of people being stupid, stupid is always going to stupid.

    After the garbage hit that John Scott pulled last night, can anyone still argue that “enforcers” belong in the league?

    Not sure why the NHL doesn’t actually clean up the crap… Probably because the only time they actually get national spotlight is when some garbage line brawl happens.

  • October 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Because there are people that to this day say fighting or cheap shit like that is part of the game. When the Olympic games are played you won’t see this crap and the games will be some of the most exciting games people will see.

  • October 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    The fact is Q doesn’t trust the 4th line to play more mins, if he did they would be playing more. Until he has that trust we will see the mins dished out the same way. It’s the same reason he keeps playing Zues on the 2nd line.

    I think he needs to bite his tongue and played them the extra mins and let the chips fall were they lie.

  • October 25, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Reduce cheap shot injuries by
    1) Guilty party sits out until injured player is cleared to play and THEN his suspension starts
    2) Guilty party’s team dresses a player short until said party completes his down time.
    3) Guilty party’s team loses a draft choice for each suspension. 1st suspension costs a 7th round pick, 2nd suspension costs a 6th round pick, …

    So, how many teams will be lining up to sign Scott, Laperierre, Torres, … with those consequences in mplace.

  • October 25, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Guilty party sits until injured player is cleared – nice theory, will never happen.
    Guilty party’s team dresses a player short – laughable idea.
    Guilty party’s team loses a fraft choice for each suspension – now we’re talking. But let’s hit em closer to home.

    FINE THE ORGANIZATIONS. Taking player money away – who cares. Taking a 4th line player off the ice for a week – who cares. But when you start taking $10-25,000 out of the owners’ pockets, that’s when GMs have to ask for permission to write up a contract for the Torres, Scott & Kaleta-types. Hit em where it hurts – their wallets.

  • October 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Not sure why 2) is “laughable”.

    And, I meant for the punishments to be stepped up to 1, 2, AND 3; not 1, 2, OR 3.

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