More players placed on IR while others return to action

So things have been hectic for a couple of weeks, but finals are now complete and school is over for the semester and my stellar GPA is still in tact. Okay, so that part is no more true than my prediction that Norway will win hockey gold at the Olympics in February, but we can all dream big, right? Anyway, its time to get back to business and start doing what I do best – mediocre reporting on semi-critical issues for a sport that I love more than breathing air. It’s good to be back.

First up? Injury round-up across the NHL. Henrik Zetterberg became the latest Red Wing to make his way onto the injured reserve after a huge hit from Tampa Bay defenseman Mattias Ohlund last week. The hit resulted in a slightly separated shoulder for Zetterberg, who will be out for Phoenix+Coyotes+v+Los+Angeles+Kings+XrHF3fI3znclapproximately two weeks. He joins a growing list of Red Wings regulars who have hit the IR including Jason Williams, Dan Cleary, Johan Franzen and Valterri Fippula, who is probably closest to returning to the lineup for the Wings.

The Ottawa Senators lost a key player as center Jason Spezza went down with a partially torn knee ligament and will be out approximately 6-8 weeks. Spezza has had a trying season thus far with only five goals and 19 points in 30 games this season. His subpar play has been attributed to nagging shoulder issues, so the time off to heal his knee could certainly give his shoulder extra time to heal as well. However, his injuries paired with his subpar play may all but guarentee that Spezza will not be named to the starting roster of the Canadian Olympic team.

Good news for the Montreal Canadiens came this past Saturday as defenseman Andrei Markov returned well ahead of schedule from a severed tendon in his foot. Markov was injured in the first game of the season and missed the next 35 games. Markov, who had 64 points in 78 games last season. immediately went to work on theĀ  power play where he posted two goals in Montreal’s 3-0 win over the New York Islanders.

The floundering Philidelphia Flyers also got some help on the wing as Simon Gagne suited up for just his tenth game after missing the better part of the season with a hernia. Gagne opted to have surgery to repair the two small hernias at the end of October and missed 24 games as a result. After a red-hot start, the Flyers have cooled off considerably and have struggled to score goals recently. Gagne, who posted 74 points in 79 games last season, could help jump-start the Flyers’ offense.

Speaking on jump-starting offense, The Los Angeles Kings should also get a boost later this week when Ryan Smyth (pictured) returns to the lineup after missing several weeks. The Kings’s top line has suffered considerable in his absense. Anze Kopitar, who centers Smyth and Justin Williams on the Kings’s top line and was on pace for over 140 points this season, only has two goals and four assists in the past month.

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