The Golden Knights suffered a blow to their back end as head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters including Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now that blueliner Zach Whitecloud has a broken bone in his foot and has been ruled out of their games this week at a minimum. The 25-year-old has quickly become an important part of the defense corps for Vegas as he is logging over 19 minutes a game while chipping in with a dozen points in 31 games. It’s the third time this season that Whitecloud has been injured after missing time with a wrist injury and back spasms.
Other injury news from around the NHL:
- The Canadiens announced (Twitter link) that center Christian Dvorak has been cleared to return from his upper-body injury and is expected to play on Tuesday against New Jersey. He sustained the injury against Minnesota two weeks ago and was placed on IR soon after. Montreal has two open roster spots at the moment but they also have wingers Cole Caufield and Joel Armia coming back from COVID protocol so they will need to make some sort of roster move in order to add Dvorak to the active roster.
- Senators winger Drake Batherson is targeting a return of either late March or early April from his ankle injury, notes Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. Batherson was injured on a hit from Buffalo goaltender Aaron Dell late last month. While normally, a return in early April would only bring a player back for a couple of games, the late finish to the regular season would still allow the 23-year-old to get into the final 15-20 games even with Ottawa extremely unlikely to make the playoffs.
- Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask won’t practice this week as he continues to battle a lingering lower-body injury, relays Conor Ryan of the Boston Sports Journal (Twitter link). The veteran has played in four games since signing with Boston last month but has posted a save percentage of just .844. There is no timetable for his return but it stands to reason that after not skating for at least two weeks once this week is finished, he’ll need some time to get back into game shape.