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Beaten and Bruised

MashThink losing two straight and five of their first eight is bad?

Now the Panthers have to deal with the injury bug.

JM said today that Rostislav Olesz -- whose two goals is (seriously) tied for second on this offensively challenged team -- will need surgery on his injured right wrist/hand. Says there's a fractured bone, won't know how long he's out until he goes under the knife.

Got to think we're talking a month, bare minimum. Will talk to Rusty later today and see what he's thinking.

Also, sounds like Noah Welch is leaning toward doing the shoulder surgery, so he's out until March. Talked to him today, and it seems he doesn't want to rehab for a month, then get checked and wreck the shoulder again and then be forced into season-ending surgery. If he has surgery now, he'll be back for the final push. He's agonizing over the decision, says he'll let us know as the week goes on.

Also, Mike Van Ryn says his strained MCL isn't a big deal, but they are going to be cautious. MVR joins us in the booth tonight, Steve Montador in the lineup as the sixth d-man.

In the good news department, David Booth rejoined his teammates on the ice today and went through a full practice. He won't play tonight, but he's good to go he says; expect him back Friday against Buffalo.