Predators' RW Martin Erat was helped off the ice after getting hit in the left leg by teammate Shea Weber's slap shot a little less than 1:30 into the second period and didn't return. Trotz said Erat likely had a fractured leg and would be out for at least four weeks.
I expect Mike Santorelli to be recalled from Milwaukee. Legwand, Arnott, Jones, and Belak are all out for Tuesday. Santorelli with a hat trick plus an assist tonight to help Milwaukee clinch the AHL Western Division title.
Mike slumped after his demotion, but after getting called out in the media by both Trotz and Lambert late last month, he has lit it up in March with 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists).
That was our first thought as well. I have two other thoughts to throw out there, though. You guys know more about the team that we do....so let me know if you think these are possibilities:
#1) If Legwand's reevaluation on Monday shows no broken bones, it may be possible for him to play Tuesday and Santorelli could stay put.
#2) Is it possible that Koistinen dresses as a forward for a game or two again?
Obviously, the needs of the Preds takes precedence here. But losing Santorelli would be a crippling blow to Milwaukee.
1) Legwand is out indefinitely and will not be back until closer to the playoffs at the earliest. Arnott has set a target date for his return, but it is barring any setbacks and isn't until late this week at the earliest.
2) No, Koistinen is done for the Predators barring any injuries. He will not be dressed as a forward unless we completely expend our reserve forwards in Milwaukee (which for both of our sakes, I hope we do not). Klein's wife is due with their first child tomorrow, so Koistinen is on standby to fill in on defense if Klein is called away at any moment.
Barring a setback, Jones should return later this week and that would send Hornqvist back to Milwaukee, however I wouldn't expect either O'Reilly or Santorelli back until we see either Arnott or Legwand return to the lineup. Personally, I think that O'Reilly might be here until we are done playing if he keeps up his current pace.
I was once a FSTH in Hartford, I know very well how tough it is to be a fan of an AHL team and how easy it is to root for them to fall out of the playoffs to get your team back ASAP. Now that I'm here though, I'm hoping we are playing long after the Calder Cup is awarded.
This isn't fair. Every year at this time we lose a top line player or two. And not just with little 2 gm injuries, but with broken bones and/or concussions. If we make the playoffs it will be our 5th time but our 4th in a row going in with major injuries. This sucks!
This is a pretty major blow. Erat has been on his game down the stretch. As someone else mentioned, we really only have 5 top 6 forwards. We have now lost three of those five and both of the centers.....