Florida Panthers fourth-line center Derek MacKenzie is likely to be the shelf for at least a week with “a small fracture” in his foot, reports George Richards of the Miami Herald. He’s officially being called day-to-day.
McKenzie was injured blocking a shot in Saturday’s shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
It’s the second time that MacKenzie will miss a short stretch of time this season, though he’s found his way into 59 games with a total of six goals and 13 points. He’s put up a -2.59% CF%Rel with 0.44% ZS%Rel. It’s the second worst relative Corsi mark among team forwards who have played at least 26 games.
Where this will hit the Panthers hardest is on the penalty kill, where they lean on MacKenzie heavily. The 34-year-old plays the most shorthanded time of any forward on the team.
Despite some rough possession numbers, every loss for Florida matters right now, as they gear up for their first playoff hockey in some time. They’ve struggled to put together consistent stretches of win lately, going 7-7-4 since Feb. 6. Particularly alarming is that over that stretch all five of their regulation and overtime wins have come against non-playoff teams. Seven of their nine regulation and overtime losses in that span have come at the hands of playoff teams.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.