The Carolina Hurricanes are going to be without starting goaltender Petr Mrazek for longer than initially thought. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour said today that the injury suffered against the Dallas Stars on Saturday is “more serious” than they originally believed and Mrazek may even require surgery. That’s terrible news for a goaltender who was leading the league with a .955 save percentage and 0.99 goals-against average through his first four appearances. Mrazek had already recorded two shutouts on the year and looked to be playing at an entirely different level in the early going.
For the Hurricanes, it means James Reimer will take most of the load, while minor league netminder Alex Nedeljkovic will get a chance to serve as the primary backup. The 25-year-old Nedeljkovic was placed on waivers earlier this season but the Hurricanes managed to hold onto him. He has just six appearances at the NHL level but won the AHL Goaltender of the Year award in 2019, leading the Charlotte Checkers to a Calder Cup.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t have Kris Letang in the lineup tonight as the star defenseman continues to be evaluated for an injury he suffered on Saturday night. The Penguins have lost almost all of their defensive depth to injury this season, but at least one silver lining continues to grow. Pierre-Olivier Joseph has been a shining light for the team in the early going and logged nearly 26 minutes against the New York Rangers on Saturday in just his fifth NHL game. He’ll be asked to carry a heavy load if Letang is out long-term, given the lack of offensive upside many of the other options possess.
- Joe Thornton and Nicholas Robertson were both on the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs today as they continue to work their way back from injury. Head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters including Kristen Shilton of TSN that nothing has changed in the recovery timelines originally given, which were a minimum of four weeks. The Maple Leafs have a few days off before resuming the grind of the condensed season on Thursday in the first of three straight games against the Vancouver Canucks.