Blackhawks Injury Updates: Jake McCabe OUT, Tyler Johnson's Waiting Game, and Kevin Lankinen's Return

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Blackhawks Injury Updates: Jake McCabe OUT, Tyler Johnson’s Waiting Game, and Kevin Lankinen’s Return

Chicago Blackhawks

Following today’s practice, the last before tomorrow night’s game between the Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils, there were several injury updates provided by interim head coach Derek King. Notably, defenseman Jake McCabe will not play tomorrow night, Tyler Johnson won’t be in the lineup, and Kevin Lankinen’s first start after dealing with a hand injury could be tomorrow night or Sunday afternoon.

McCabe played just 13:26 minutes on Sunday night against the Florida Panthers. He has been away from the team over the last week of practices and will be out at least for Friday night’s home game.

McCabe has skated in 46 games for the Blackhawks this season, his first of a four-year deal with Chicago at a $4M AAV cap hit. He has three goals and ten points this season while averaging 19:59 minutes per game, the third-most per game among Blackhawks defensemen. For Friday night, we’ll likely see Erik Gustafsson return to the lineup in McCabe’s place.

Tyler Johnson continues his return to action after having ADR neck surgery in early December. He’s been a full participant in practices for several days now in Chicago and has rotated into the line-rushes at practices. He is cleared to play, but the Blackhawks will still be giving him some time to be fully ready to go.

Johnson had the same surgery that Jack Eichel had, just a few weeks apart. Eichel has already returned to the ice with the Vegas Golden Knights, and Johnson is likely not too far away from doing the same for the Blackhawks. After coming to Chicago from the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Johnson played in the first eight games of the season for Chicago, recording three points. He has not played since October 29, and Chicago has missed his versatility in the lineup, especially lacking depth at the center position.

Kevin Lankinen has been out for the past month with a hand injury that he suffered on January 22 against the Minnesota Wild. With Lankinen out, Marc-André Fleury has made nearly every start for the Blackhawks in net. Lankinen returned to the ice a few days ago, and yesterday was announced as the starter for Sunday afternoon’s game. Today, that may or may not still be the case.

Lankinen was activated off IR yesterday, so he will return to action this weekend one way or another; just unsure now whether that will be tomorrow night or for Sunday’s matinee game.

Not a physical injury, but maybe a bruised ego; Alex DeBrincat and Marc-André Fleury got tangled up at today’s practice…

We’ve seen players get sticks stuck in their skates before, but not sure how often you see a goalie stick get caught in a player’s skate. Thankfully, no flowers or cats were harmed in the process.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.