Losing a top point producer is never ideal but especially so in the midst of a playoff race. However, it appears that the Coyotes are in that situation as Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider reports that winger Conor Garland suffered a knee injury at practice on Tuesday and that there is internal concern that he will miss significant time. The 25-year-old is tied for second on Arizona in scoring with 10 goals and 22 assists in 45 games while logging over 17 minutes a night so any extended absence would significantly hurt their chances of snagging the last playoff spot in the West Division; they sit one point up on St. Louis but the Blues have three games in hand. Garland isn’t playing tonight and the team should know more about his status over the next day or two.
More from the West Division:
- Sharks winger Matt Nieto could return this season, or not. That’s certainly an odd way to update the status of a player but head coach Bob Boughner told Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News (Twitter link) that it’s possible that Nieto can play next week but at the same time, “it might be a marginal call whether he goes back in or not”. Nieto has been dealing with a lower-body injury for the last month and it appears that they are going to ere on the side of caution when he is cleared and if there isn’t enough time left in the year (or they fall out of the playoff race entirely), he could just be shut down. Nieto has five goals and two assists in 28 games this season.
- While Bowen Byram is now off the CPRA list, he will not accompany the Avalanche on their three-game road trip to St. Louis, reports Peter Baugh of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 19-year-old rookie has played in 19 games so far this season, recording a pair of assists while logging 17:31 on the back end. Assuming he’s able to suit up after this trip, he’ll have a couple of weeks to work on his conditioning before the playoffs get underway. Meanwhile, Baugh adds that winger Logan O’Connor, who suffered a lower-body injury at the end of March, is on the trip. Initially an injury fill-in, O’Connor has three goals and two assists in 22 games this season.