Bruises and teeth everywhere.
Starting goaltenders, captains, No. 1 defencemen and scoring leaders—NHL playoff teams are being forced to carry on without them.
‘Tis the season of “undisclosed,” “game-time decision” and “suck it up.”
Here is the latest painful roundup of key NHL injuries to the playoff teams still standing, which we’ve ranked from healthiest to sickest. (Of course, these are only the injuries we know about, right, Henrik?)
San Jose Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) and winger Matt Nieto (hand) both missed the final 12 games of the regular season but were ready in time to help the Sharks dethrone Los Angeles.
“We’ve got all hands on deck,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “No issues here right now.”
The St. Louis Blues have been overcoming injuries all season long, but are now quite healthy. Defenceman Carl Gunnarsson missed Game 4 with an upper-body injury but was back on the Blues’ third pairing for Game 5.
Craig Smith left Tuesday’s Game 3 with a lower-body injury and hasn’t been seen since. Smith, a three-time 20-goal scorer, will be missed on the Predators’ second line. He’s listed as day-to-day. Coach Peter Laviolette tapped Colton Scissons to fill in for Smith in Game 4’s loss.
Barry Trotz called these Washington Capitals the healthiest team he’s ever coached entering a post-season. Then they traveled to Philly.
Flyers checker Ryan White charged Brooks Orpik and took the Washington defenceman out of Game 3. Orpik, a crucial component of the Caps’ top four, left the ice dazed and with help. His injury is listed as “upper body,” and Orpik has not returned to practice. He was replaced by Taylor Chorney in Game 4’s loss.
Captain Willie Mitchell’s future has been put in doubt with a concussion.
Vincent Trocheck’s best season (25 goals) was chopped short with an ankle injury. The second-line threat is hopeful to return at some point in Round 1. Coach Gerard Gallant said Tuesday that Trocheck — spotted in a walking boot last week — should be back “in the near future.” He’s a game-time decision for Game 5.
Top-line forward Jonathan Huberdeau appeared to tweak his knee Wednesday night crashing into the Islander crease. He left for repairs but returned to the game. He is now ruled 100 per cent after this:
Defenceman Michael Del Zotto’s season ended with wrist surgery in February and will be missed. Worse, though?
Alex Ovechkin ended two-way forward Sean Couturier’s series with this body check in Game 1. The Flyers, who trail their series 1-3, announced last week that he will miss two weeks:
A stretcher was required to take Flyers forward Scott Laughton off the ice Wednesday after his scary crash into the boards. He spent one night in the hospital. Thankfully, all tests were negative.
Forward Brandon Pirri (upper body) and defenceman Clayton Stoner (undisclosed) have yet to make their 2016 post-season debuts.
Defenceman Dan Girardi has been out since Game 1 with an undisclosed injury. He participated in Wednesday’s optional skate but may not return for the series. He practised with the team Friday.
“If it was up to Dan, he’d be playing,” Vigneault told reporters. “I think he’s been unfairly criticized.”
Superstar Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and rookie Bryan Rust returned to action in Game 2. Malkin has put up points in each game since his return.
No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (day to day) suffered a concussion at the end of March and rookie backup Matt Murray (head) was injured in the regular-season finale.
Murray returned to start games 3 and 4 for Pittsburgh and won them both.
Fleury skated Friday (without gear) after taking two days off. His agent, Allan Walsh, told Sportsnet that he has not suffered a setback.
Key defenceman Kris Russell (illness) sat out the Stars’ Game 3 loss Monday in Minnesota but returned to make an impact in Game 4’s win.
Star forward Tyler Seguin sat out Game 1 to nurse his Achilles, then made his return in Game 2 and registered just one shot on net.
He remained in Dallas for rehab, however, skipping games 3 and 4 in Minnesota. Seguin is listed as day-to-day but isn’t even skating. He will not play Game 5 in Dallas. Some concern here for Stars fans.
From healthy scratch to unhealthy scratch, shooter Thomas Vanek has missed every playoff game so far due to a lower-body injury and is listed as week-to-week.
Zach Parise has reportedly re-aggravated a herniated disk in his back, putting his Round 1 status in question. He has missed games 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Some serious wreckage in Brooklyn. When he broke his leg, forward Anders Lee joined a list of the long-term injured that still includes No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak (groin), forward Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), and defenceman Brian Strait (upper body).
Halak has been ruled out for all of Round 1, while Travis Hamonic returned just in time for the post-season.
Defenceman Ryan Pulock will miss one to two weeks with an upper-body injury, coach Jack Capuano announced Friday.
Captain Steven Stamkos underwent successful blood clot surgery but is out one to three months as he recovers. Some experts said Monday that Stamkos’s road to recovery is a long one.
Defenceman Anton Stralman, whom teammate Ben Bishop calls “our best player the last two years,” broke his leg. That the Lightning finished off the Red Wings and await a New York–Florida series that will go at least six games buys Stralman a few bonus days to recover.
Checking forward J.T. Brown (upper body) is out indefinitely after blocking a Mike Green shot in Game 2 and was replaced in the lineup by Erik Condra.
“He won’t light the scoreboard up in points, but you’re not going to find too many more bigger gamers than J.T. Brown,” coach Jon Cooper said.
“That’s a tough loss for us. But in the mantra of the Stamkoses and Stralmans, let’s just keep this going and make sure that wasn’t J.T. Brown’s last game.”