A quick look at each injury, and the impact they will have on each team.
First, for the Ducks, Beauchemin suffered a torn ACL in Anaheim's 4-3 loss to Nashville on Thursday night, and is expected to miss the next six months. The 28-year old defenseman has been a steady 25-minute per game player for the Ducks since being acquired in a trade with Columbus during the 2005-06 campaign.
Aside from being second on the team in ice-time, Beauchemin was also one of the team's best shot blockers and penalty killers. His injury, combined with the early season trade of Mathieu Schneider to Atlanta (for salary cap purposes) has left the Ducks once vaunted defensive unit rather depleted. Let's face it, no disrespect to Kent Huskins and Bret Hedican intended, but it's not exactly the unit that hoisted the Stanley Cup two years ago.
If you're looking for a positive for the Ducks, Beauchemin's injury and ensuing placement on the long-term injury list has cleared enough space under the league's salary cap for the team to bring up top prospect Bobby Ryan. Ryan, a former No. 2 overall pick, had registered 19 points in 14 games for the Iowa Chops of the American Hockey League.
Meanwhile, Boston also suffered a significant blow to its blue line when the team lost its best puck-moving defenseman, Andrew Ference, to a broken leg in the Bruins 6-1 win over Montreal on Wednesday. Ference suffered the injury when he took an Andrei Markov slapper directly to his right leg, knocking him out of the lineup for two months.
To help replace Ference, the Bruins will turn to players such as 23-year old Matt Hunwick and veteran Shane Hnidy.
General manager Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien on Hunwick:
"[He's] got a lot of characteristics of Andrew (in terms of) skating, moving the puck," said Chiarelli. Head coach Claude Julien spoke about the loss after morning skate, but before the announcement by Chiarelli. "It's an opportunity for Hunwick to get back in the lineup," Julien said. "Good clubs find ways to compensate for losses of good players."Finally, the St. Louis Blues lost their leading scorer thus far, Andy McDonald, to a broken leg when he awkwardly slid into the corner boards during their 3-2 loss to Montreal on Sunday.
McDonald had registered 18 points in 16 games for St. Louis, and had picked up six points in his previous six games. It's been a rough season for the Blues as their 14 points has them, once again, near the bottom of the NHL's standings. They've also had a few tough-luck injuries, ranging from Erik Johnson's preseason golf-cart incident, to Paul Kariya's lingering foot injury, to Sarah Palin's red carpet sabotage of Manny Legace, to McDonald losing an edge and crashing into the boards.
The positive for the Blues? A very, very strong possibility for John Tavares or Victor Hedman next June. Always looking for that light at the end of the tunnel.