Friday, January 22, 2010

A Couple Nights of Sheet Scratches

If you're an Atlanta Thrashers fan, you would have to be pleased to hear that Kari Lehtonen is now making progressive steps towards a return to the Thrashers this year. Lehtonen was sent down to the AHL on Friday to start a conditioning stint, which should result in a return to the Thrashers line-up within the next couple of weeks. Lehtonen has been dealing with back problems all year and has not seen any action with the team in the regular season.

The Oilers were down a man on Friday night against the Stars, as they lost Box 14 defenseman, Ladislav Smid, on Wednesday night against the Canucks. Smid suffered an arm injury after taking a big hit along the boards from Mason Raymond. For now, we can just consider Smid out day-to-day for the time being, unless more news is to surface.

Box 30 defenseman, Randy Jones, fell victim to the press box on Thursday night, where he has spent a few more nights than he would probably be comfortable with, but he hasn't had too much success in games that he's been in of late, so there is little to back his presence in the line-up of late. Until the Kings get a good winning streak put together, there might be a few more regular changes on the blueline for Los Angeles.

It appears that the Minnesota Wild will be without their main back-up goaltender for the foreseeable future, as Josh Harding left Thursday night's game with an apparent lower-body injury. On Friday, the word is that Harding will miss the next couple weeks with a recurrence of his hip injury. This will likely mean even more work for Niklas Backstrom, who was already getting the bulk of the minutes.

The Nashville Predators had to make Joel Ward a scratch tonight, thanks to a groin strain. The Box 6 forward has been in and out of the line-up all year and has yet to really make good on some of the potential he was showing late last season and early on this year. He's a pretty big kid with some big hands, but he has to stay healthy to really be effective.

After being hit from behind earlier in the week, Pascal Dupuis was not fit to play against the Capitals on Thursday night, dealing with a facial injury. Fortunately for Dupuis, that seems to be the worst of the injury news, in what could have been a much worse incident, in terms of the final result. He's currently listed as out day-to-day and there is no mention of concussion in any reports, so he may even be back early next week.

In the midst of some new trade rumours, Blues forward, David Backes is dealing with an upper-body injury at the moment and he was not able to participate in the game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. There is nothing to suggest that the injury is major, so he's currently listed as out day-to-day for the moment.

Sami Salo has been lost to the Canucks again after he left Thursday night's game against the Dallas Stars with a groin injury. Salo is a big injury risk in any season and since the team has called up Nolan Baumgartner from the AHL, I would imagine that Salo will be out at least a week and Salo will be put on the IR.

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