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NHL injury news: Flyers lose Couturier; Islanders’ Varlamov hurt during warm-up

Injuries: Flyers lose Couturier; Islanders' Varlamov injured during warm-up

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 26: Sean Couturier #14 of the Philadelphia Flyers plays the puck wide before shooting it in the net for a goal against goaltender Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders in the first period of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Arena on August 26, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Let’s take a look at a few NHL injury news stories, including concerns for Sean Couturier of the Flyers and Semyon Varlamov of the Islanders.

Flyers lose Couturier for at least two weeks due to rib injury

For good reason, the Philadelphia Flyers generated some early optimism, in part because of positive signs from depth players. Top players still drive the bus for the Flyers, so it’s rough news that Sean Couturier is expected to miss at least two weeks with a rib injury.

Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia notes that the Couturier’s injury is a “costochondral separation, which is when one of the ribs comes apart from the sternum.” Sounds nasty, and makes you wonder if two weeks may indeed be the low-end.

It sounds like Couturier will miss at least seven games for the Flyers, then.

Varlamov hurt during Islanders warm-up, and other NHL injury news

  • People have been intrigued to see how Ilya Sorokin might look behind that Isles’ system, but not like this. Semyon Varlamov took a Cal Clutterbuck shot up high during Islanders warm-ups, and did not return to Saturday’s game.

Things did not go well for Sorokin and the Islanders in Varlamov’s absence.

After the Isles cruised in their season-opener against the Rangers, their rivals flipped the script. The Rangers beat the Islanders 5-0 on Saturday, with Artemi Panarin and Pavel Buchnevich collecting two goals apiece.

It’s not yet clear how long the Islanders will be without Varlamov.

  • The Winnipeg Jets canceled Saturday’s practice, adhering to COVID-19 protocols. They’re practicing -- wait for it -- “an abundance of caution.” During Sportsnet’s Saturday Headlines segment, Chris Johnston speculated that Tucker Poolman might be among those with potential positive COVID-19 tests.
  • That same Headlines segment is worth watching to give you an idea of the headaches the Edmonton Oilers might go through regarding Mike Smith.

Smith went on LTIR, and Mikko Koskinen’s struggled early on for the Oilers. The Canadiens smoked Koskinen and the Oilers on Saturday, taking that one 5-1.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.