It was a tough night to be a blue liner in the NHL last night as three, top-four defensemen went down with injury last night.
Matt Niskanen of the Washington Capitals suffered a lower-body-injury last night and did not return, according to the team’s official Twitter account. Capitals head coach Barry Trotz offered no further details after the game, only saying the 30-year-old blue liner would be reevaluated today. Niskanen comprises one-half of the team’s shutdown duo with Karl Alzner. He has posted nine points, all assists, in 21 games this season.
The Vancouver Canucks lost Alexander Edler last night after the 11-year vet blocked a shot during the team’s 3 – 2 shootout win over Colorado. Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun tweeted that Edler would undergo x-rays on his hand and added that Canucks bench boss Willie Desjardins that it “doesn’t look good for Edler.” Edler provides the Canucks with a steady, veteran presence on the blue line, particularly with Chris Tanev out of the lineup. On the season, the 30-year-old defenseman has three points and has a -8 plus-minus rating in 21 games.
Finally, Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the Sharks game against the Ducks last night after the second period and did not return. Curtis Pashelka, who covers the team for the San Jose Mercury News, added later via Twitter that the team’s head coach, Peter Deboer, provided no update on Vlasic after the game. Losing Vlasic for any length of time would be a blow to the Sharks. The 29-year-old defender is second on the team behind Brent Burns in average ice time and often lines up against the opposition’s top players.