This article is part of our Crashing the Crease series.
The NHL goaltending landscape is constantly being influenced by injuries, which way too often force people like me to be the bearers of bad news. Investigating the injury front doesn't always have to be a sad endeavor, though, as there are plenty of positive revelations to report this week. By this time next week, a number of currently missing, familiar faces should be back to manning their respective creases.
While Lightning fans were clamoring for the hot-starting Andrei Vasilevskiy to see more work early on, the results were disastrous when he got the chance after Ben Bishop went down with a lower-body injury on Dec. 20. Luckily, Bishop could be back as soon as Thursday against Buffalo after being a regular participant in Tuesday's practice. The 6-foot-7 veteran has a very unspectacular 2.79 GAA and .907 save percentage, but he can't get back soon enough given how poorly his replacement has performed under a starter's workload.
Just like Bishop, Pittsburgh's Matt Murray has been out since late December due to a lower-body injury. The 22-year-old won't be out much longer, though, as he returned to practice Monday and could be back in uniform as soon as Wednesday. While Marc-Andre Fleury has played well in Murray's absence, getting back a goaltender who's 13-3-1 with a 2.18 GAA and .918 save percentage is never a bad thing.