The New Jersey Devils go into their game against the Chicago Blackhawks with a few question marks in terms of injury. Anton Volchenkov missed the last game with “total body soreness.” Ryan Carter has been out since Nov. 30 with a knee injury that he obtained in a fight, and Adam Larsson has also been out with his own knee injury since Nov. 23. Any of them could be back at any time as they have all started skating again.
Possibly the most important injury of all is the one to Patrik Elias. He was hurt when the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ Tanner Glass knocked him off balance before he slammed shoulder first into the boards. He is now out with total body soreness himself.
Elias is too important to the future of the Devils’ season to rush back for a game against the Blackhawks. They won the last game even without a healthy Elias on the ice by the score of 5-2. It isn’t worth rushing him back and causing possible further injury.
In fact, keep him out until he is 100 percent. Even if he has to take a week or two off, make sure he is at his best. You don’t want a nagging injury to hurt his status when he could be the second most important forward on the team. He only trails Jaromir Jagr in points despite the fact that he already missed eight games.
After the Blackhawks, the Devils play the Buffalo Sabres, the worst team in the NHL. Hopefully, there won’t be a need for Elias in that game. Just keep him out until the Philadelphia Flyers come to town on Tuesday which would be a week since he last played. If this is as insignificant an injury as the Devils are making it seem, that should be plenty of time to make sure Elias is 100 percent when he comes back.