Three superstars could be poised to miss some time due to injury.
Calgary Flames superstar Johnny Gaudreau broke his finger in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild, in which he scored the only goal in the game. The Wild played Gaudreau very hard, with several big hits and, according to one observer from the Canadian Press, 21 slashes over the course of the game.
John Shannon of Sportsnet tweeted that Gaudreau will require surgery on the broken finger, and the Flames have now confirmed. Though the team will give an update on recovery time later this week, Elliotte Friedman has heard that it may be 4-6 weeks.
It’s been a disappointing season for Gaudreau, who missed all of training camp while holding out for a new contract. He ended up signing a six-year, $40.5MM contract two days before the start of the regular season. Gaudreau has 11 points in 17 games, which is far off from his career average of 0.9 points per game. The Flames have struggled under a new coach, sitting fifth in the Pacific Division with just six wins in 17 games. They’ll have to put some consecutive wins up soon if they hope to remain in the playoff race, and now they’ll be doing it without their leading scorer.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos left his team’s win in Detroit last night with a right knee injury. The team announced on Wednesday morning that Stamkos has returned to Tampa Bay for “further evaluation” on his injured leg, which will include an MRI, according to Bob McKenzie. The Lightning are two games into a five game road trip, with Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Nashville still to come. Unless he rejoins them on the road, he’ll be out of the lineup until at least November 23 when the Flyers visit Tampa Bay.
With free agency no longer hanging over his head, Stamkos has been off to a hot start; before leaving the game he scored his 20th point in 17 games. The Lightning are off to a good start, sitting tied for second in the Atlantic Division with 21 points.
Stamkos won’t be the only star getting an MRI on Wednesday: New Jersey Devils leading scorer Taylor Hall will also be getting his knee checked out. Hall missed Tuesday night’s game with a “lower-body injury” that McKenzie now labels as a knee injury.
According to Andrew Gross of Fire and Ice, Devils coach John Hynes said yesterday that Hall “came to the rink [Tuesday] morning and something was bothering him a little bit so the trainers took a look at him.”
Hynes did not say when the injury occurred, and when asked if Hall’s injury was serious, replied “we don’t know.”
Hall has played very well for the Devils after being acquired in a summer blockbuster as part of the busiest day of the summer, which also included Stamkos re-signing in Tampa Bay.