Brian Gionta Goes Splat.

Crikey, it’s getting old. Brian Gionta just got pushed off the puck hard, and it looks like he hit both shoulder and head against the unforgiving Detroit boards. He skated off on his own power, but has yet to return to the game, which currently sits at 2-1 Detroit after two periods, on the strength of a pair of Marian Hossa goals. Parise notched a deflection off an Oduya slapshot for the Devils only tally so far.

Edit: As the third period is starting, it becomes apparent that Bryce Salvador has not returned to the ice either. Salvador was hit by a puck in the second period, leading to Hossa’s goal. Sigh.

So, the updated injury counter:

Martin Brodeur, torn bicep
Brian Rolston, high right ankle sprain
Bobby Holik, broken pinkie
Andy Greene, broken hand
Paul Martin, upper body soreness
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, cracked orbital bone
Brian Gionta, unknown head/shoulder injury
Bryce Salvador, some kind of puck-to-knee injury

Add to that Matt Halischuk’s apparently serious leg injury suffered in the L-Devils game at Wilkes-Barre the other night, and the Devils are short EIGHT players, less than one calendar month into the season.

Ouch.

The Greene Monster goes down

The injury bug just won’t leave the Devils alone this season. First Brian Rolston’s ankle. Then Bobby Holik’s pinky. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond’s cracked orbital bone struck a blow to hyphen-lovers everywhere (see what I did there?). And now tragedy has even befallen the man, the myth, the monster…the Mister Andy Greene.

Andy apparently took a puck off the hand early in the Devils 6-5 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs Wednesday night. The Lean Greene Point-Producin’ Machine managed a career-high three assists despite the broken hand. Hell, maybe it was even because of the injury. Maybe it made Andy angry. You wouldn’t like Andy when he’s angry. Greene celebrated a birthday by getting his hand X-Ray-ed. That’s gotta suck, but Andy’s hardcore like that.

The puck that befell the Greene Monster came off the stick of Pavel Kubina, no less. Y’know, the guy who knocked Scott Stevens silly with a puck to the head a few years back. Greene’s injury is slightly less scary than Stevens’, though, and will shelve Andy for about a month, maybe more.

While the Devils must wait another four-to-six weeks to again Go Greene, one Sheldon Brookbank will be paired up with Mike Mottau as the Red n’ Black’s third pairing. Getcha Pepto Bismol ready.

So besides the terror-inducing duo of Mottau/Brookbank (inducing terror in Devils fans, I mean. Not so much the opposition), what else can we expect tonight? Welp, after taking part in his NHL debut and notching his first-career point with an assist, Matt Halischuk gets to take a cozy seat in the press box, as Niklas Bergfors gets to make his season debut for the Devils tonight. Since Niklas’ only other prior NHL experience was the season opener last year against Tampa Bay, and since he got hurt in that game and never made it back to the NHL, and since last season’s opener so thoroughly sucked – I say that game gets stricken from the record. Niklas Bergfors gets to start anew tonight, in his first ever NHL game. I don’t care what the record books show.

The Devils ride into tonight’s game on a three-game losing streak (yet still managing the charity point in two of the three), sitting at 5-2-2. The Thrashers come in as the second-worst team in the NHL, one point ahead of the Islanders and sporting a 2-6-2 record. The Thrashers recently fell victim to that evil injury bug themselves, losing No. 3 overall pick Zack Bogosian to a broken leg during a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Philadelphia last week.