New Jersey Devils reporter Amanda Stein tweeted today that forward Erik Haula did not practice with the team today after suffering an injury on Saturday night. Haula was forced to leave the Devils 7-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres with an undisclosed ailment. The 32-year-old did not join the team on the bench for the third period leading to speculation about what might have happened to the native of Pori, Finland.
Haula has found a home in New Jersey after bouncing around to four different teams between 2019-2022. In 18 games this year Haula has six goals and six assists which is well above his average point production per game. His hot start can be credited to a shooting percentage of 17.1% which is well above his career average of 12%.
Star-Ledger reporter Ryan Novozinsky tweeted that Devils head coach Lindy Ruff told reporters that Haula probably won’t be available for the team’s game tomorrow night which would be another blow to a Devils team who have already sustained injuries to much of their forward group, including Timo Meier and Tomas Nosek who were also absent from practice this morning as they continue to deal with ongoing ailments.
In other Metropolitan notes:
- Mollie Walker of the New York Post is reporting that New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox was an active participant in the team’s practice this morning and is eligible to return to the Rangers lineup on Wednesday night when they take on the Detroit Red Wings. The native of Jericho, New York was placed on the injured reserve after suffering an injury on November 3rd when he was hit by Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho. Fox had been on a torrid pace to start the season with three goals and eight assists in the first 10 games of the Rangers season. The 2021 Norris Trophy winner will add a jolt to a Rangers team that sits tied for first in the league with a 15-3-1 record to start the season.
- Matt Vensel of Post-Gazette Sports is reporting that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust was a full participant in Penguins practice this morning and he attempts to work his way back into the lineup after missing the team’s last three games with a lower-body injury. Rust practiced on the team’s top line along with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel and took reps of the Penguins’ first power play unit signalling that a return could come sooner than later. Shelly Anderson of Pittsburgh Hockey Now is reporting that Rust told reporters that he could play tomorrow night when Pittsburgh visits the Nashville Predators, but nothing is official yet. The Penguins could certainly use Rust back as they’ve had Drew O’Connor filling in during his absence. O’Connor did have an assist in Saturday night’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he lacks the offensive upside that Rust brings to the Penguins top-6 forward group.