In Chicago tonight, the Flames are expecting to have Mikael Backlund making his season début with the club, after having been out since the preseason with a broken finger. This would put him right in around the 5-to-6 week mark since his injury, which is right on target, since the injury was posted at the beginning of October.
Backlund is expected to centre the team's top line with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay, looking to revitalize the team's offense, which may be needed against a potent Blackhawks team.
This is a welcome arrival for Leon G.'s team, who picked him a week before his injury, which was terrible luck. Backlund was taken 268th in the pool, down in the 13th round, so it wasn't the biggest loss, in comparison to his expectations. On the bright side, 268th in pool scoring only has 6 points, so he could be made relevant in no time, especially if he's playing on the top line. Upon Backlund's return on Friday night, Leon sits in 14th spot with 108 points, 26 points out of 3rd place.
It appears that Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has cleared all of his concussion tests and has been cleared to return to the Senators line-up on Friday night, as they take on the Sabres in Buffalo. Alfredsson has been out since the beginning of November with his concussion and has missed five games with the concussion, which is fairly limited considering the injury.
In the draft, the loss of Alfredsson, along with a number of other players, did hurt Clayton C. in the end, who dropped down from 2nd at the time of Alfie's injury to 5th on the eve of his return (after last night's action). Clayton currently sits 6 points out of 3rd, 13 points out of 2nd and 22 points out of 1st. There's lots of ground to be made up here.