News broke only 20 minutes ago that Calgary Flames forward Troy Brouwer is going to be out week-to-week after sustaining a facial fracture against the New Jersey Devils. It’s hard to tell exactly when the injury occurred - he was missing from the bench in the first period, but played the rest of the game and didn’t look any worse for the ware. The team announced the injury via Twitter.
The team has him listed as week-to-week, but said that he’ll be re-evaluated in ten days. That doesn’t necessarily sound like a lot, but the Flames play ten games in between now and then. That puts Brouwer out for six percent of the season.
From a human perspective, this is awful. Broken bones are never pleasant and a broken face seems about as painful as can be. If he only misses ten games, that would mean that Brouwer is either a remarkably fast healer, the injury was rather minor, or the team is rather stupid parading him out that quickly after such an injury.
From a pure hockey standpoint, Flames fans have clamored for Brouwer to be out of the lineup for some while now. The only forwards that have played better with Brouwer than without him since he’s arrived in Calgary are Linden Vey, Andrew Mangiapane, Marek Hrivik, Freddie Hamilton, and Curtis Lazar. The only one of those individuals with a sample size of over 100 minutes with Brouwer is Lazar and his performance has been poor enough that he hasn’t warranted playing time himself.
Presumably this will reunite Garnet Hathaway with Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski. That line started off well enough, but their performance diminished over time and the lineup was shaken up. While that line was still a net positive at the time of the break up, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hrivik or Lazar drew in there instead given the way Glen Gulutzan has managed his lineups.