NHL injury panic index: Which teams have been hit the hardest?

With Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara on the ice, the Bruins are one of the NHL's top contenders. Without them? Well, we're finding that out right now. Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire

Does it seem like injuries keep piling up for your team this season? You're not alone. The 2018-19 season has been especially cruel on the injury front, with stars missing ample time in the first quarter of the season.

To assess how your team might stack against the league -- and if you really have a right to lament -- ESPN presents our injury panic index, putting 13 particularly hard-hit teams into one of four tiers based on how much the injuries have derailed their 2018-19 seasons so far and the injuries' expected impact in the next 60-plus games.

Tier 1: The panic room

Anaheim Ducks

Who's hurt: LW Max Comtois (lower-body injury), RW Patrick Eaves (upper-body injury), D Cam Fowler (surgery for facial fractures), D Korbinian Holzer (wrist), D Hampus Lindholm (lower-body) RW Corey Perry (torn MCL and meniscus injury), RW Carter Rowney (upper-body)

Will this derail the season?

Yes. A team that was ravaged by injuries in 2017-18 hasn't been able to find its footing this season because of similar issues. The Perry injury, which occurred just before the season, was a brutal blow, and he's likely out until March. The injury bug bit the forward group especially hard; Ondrej Kase didn't make his season debut until last week. That tested the team's depth and forced Randy Carlyle to field a patchwork roster many nights. The 19-year-old Comtois, a bright spot, burned the first season of his entry-level contract ... before sustaining a lower-body injury. Now the team is without one of its best defensemen, Fowler, for an extended period. The window on the big three (Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler) might just close with a whimper.

Boston Bruins

Who's hurt: C Patrice Bergeron (upper-body), D Brandon Carlo (upper-body), D Zdeno Chara (left MCL), D Charlie McAvoy (concussion), D Kevan Miller (hand), D John Moore (lower-body), D Urho Vaakanainen (concussion)

Will this derail the season?

In the short term? This has potential to be disastrous. The Bruins did eke out a 2-1 win over the Coyotes on Saturday, and it might've been their most impressive win of the season considering the circumstances, including no Bergeron and a severely banged-up blue line. The defensive situation is bad. The Bruins have reached deep for replacements: Connor Clifton, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril, who all suited up on Saturday, have fewer than 10 combined games of NHL experience. The status of Bergeron (out for up to four weeks) and Chara (out at least a month) are especially concerning. This could allow the surging Buffalo Sabres to stay ahead in the standings.

Tier 2: Not great, Bob!

Dallas Stars

Who's hurt: D Connor Carrick (lower-body), C Martin Hanzal (spinal fusion back surgery), D Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), D John Klingberg (hand surgery), D Marc Methot (lower-body), C Devin Shore (lower-body)

Will this derail the season?

The Stars are adjusting to their third new coach in as many years, and they've been decimated by injuries. That they're in fourth place in the ultra-competitive Central Division is somewhat of a miracle. The blue line has been hit hard, and perhaps it would be a bigger deal if rookie Miro Heiskanen weren't playing so well; he's skating a whopping 22:49 per game, quite impressive usage for a 19-year-old playing his first season in North America. The biggest injury is to No. 1 defenseman Klingberg, who will be out for about a month. At this time last year, his name was among those in the Norris Trophy discussion.

Philadelphia Flyers

Who's hurt: G Brian Elliott (groin), G Michal Neuvirth (groin), C Corban Knight (collarbone surgery), LW Michael Raffl (left ankle), D Samuel Morin (ACL surgery), C Pascal Laberge (hip surgery)

Will this derail the season?

It hasn't been an ideal start for a team expected to make a big jump in 2018-19 and contend in the Eastern Conference. The good news: It's still early. Prized free-agent acquisition James van Riemsdyk made it to the first period of the second game before sustaining a lower-body injury. He missed about a month. The big issues right now are in net (it's Philadelphia, what else is new?). Neuvirth, perhaps more susceptible to the injury bug than any goaltender in recent memory, has played in only one game, forcing GM Ron Hextall to pick Calvin Pickard off waivers. Now Elliott, the starter, is sidelined for two weeks. Hextall has preached patience with top prospect Carter Hart, now with the AHL Phantoms. Hart seems to be still adjusting to the pro game (.884 save percentage through his first 10 games), so don't expect a call-up anytime soon. Raffl should return by the end of the month, which will boost a penalty kill that ranks last in the league (68.6 percent).

Vancouver Canucks

Who's hurt: LW Sven Baertschi (concussion), C Jay Beagle (fractured forearm), RW Brock Boeser (groin), G Thatcher Demko (concussion), D Alexander Edler (sprained MCL), G Anders Nilsson (fractured finger), C Brandon Sutter (separated shoulder)

Will this derail the season?

Let's begin with the elephant in the room: Nobody expected the Canucks to have this strong of a start. Everyone in hockey is waiting for the not-very-deep Canucks to regress, and unfortunately, that might be because of injuries. Boeser, last season's rookie sensation, is wading through a sophomore slump, and a groin injury doesn't help matters. How important is Boeser? Vancouver has one win in the seven games he has missed. He should be back soon, but the team is also without its No. 1 defenseman and best defensive depth forwards. That both backup goalies are out just adds insult to injury. Through a quarter of the season, the Canucks went 10-10-2, which is an 82-point pace and far above projections. That is going to be tough to maintain with this many names on the injury report.

Vegas Golden Knights

Who's hurt: C Paul Stastny (lower-body), C Erik Haula (knee injury)

Will this derail the season?

The Golden Knights had so much magical juju in their inaugural season that it's almost as if karma is catching up. Vegas did withstand a brief absence from Max Pacioretty (upper-body) but has not been able to make ground in the wide-open Pacific Division. The offseason addition of Stastny was so significant because the team needed a No. 2 center to fortify the middle of the lineup. Now that the player replacing Stastny, Haula, is considered "month-to-month" with a knee injury, the second and third lines are much thinner. The defense, however, should improve now that Nate Schmidt, the bona fide No. 1 defenseman, has returned following a 20-game suspension for PEDs.

Tier 3: It could be worse

Arizona Coyotes

Who's hurt: D Jakob Chychrun (upper-body), D Jason Demers (knee injury), C Christian Dvorak (pectoral surgery), D Alex Goligoski (lower-body) G Antti Raanta (lower-body)

Will this derail the season?

Raanta is due to return this week, which bumps the Yotes down a tier. Although Raanta struggled to stay healthy in his first full season as a starter, it's evident that the team is much better when he's in net (with Raanta in the lineup in 2017-18, the Coyotes were four games above 500). Hopefully, this is the last of his injury concerns this season. The Coyotes haven't been able to get a healthy lineup all season. It doesn't help when you have a guy such as Chychrun, who made his season debut after recovering from knee surgery, back on IR after one game; fortunately, his absence isn't projected to be prolonged. The outlook for Demers, however, is much grimmer. The top-pairing defenseman could be out for the season. That's a significant blow for an already bruised blue line.

Los Angeles Kings

Who's hurt: C Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder), G Jack Campbell (torn meniscus), D Paul Ladue (upper-body), C Trevor Lewis (fractured foot), G Jonathan Quick (lower-body)

Will this derail the season?

Injuries aren't the reason the season is already jacked up for the Kings. But injuries aren't helping. Los Angeles is in rough shape to meet the unofficial Thanksgiving benchmark (in the salary-cap era, nearly 80 percent of teams that have been in playoff position on American turkey day have gone on to make the playoffs). Through Monday, the 6-12-1 Kings have the lowest point percentage in the league. The biggest issue here, and one that might keep the Kings floundering for a bit, is goaltending. The top two netminders are injured, leaving Los Angeles with journeyman Peter Budaj and Cal Peterson, a rookie expedited to the NHL. Buckle up.

New Jersey Devils

Who's hurt: C Brian Boyle (upper-body), C Nico Hischier (upper-body), D Steven Santini (broken jaw), D Sami Vatanen (lower-body)

Will this derail the season?

The Devils are not off to a great start. After surprising everyone last season, they sit in seventh place in the Metro Division, while their local rivals -- the New York Islanders and New York Rangers -- are this season's underdog darlings. It's problematic that Hischier has had a prolonged absence, but coach John Hynes said Sunday that the sophomore center and Santini are close to returning. There's no timetable for Boyle, though his replacement, Pavel Zacha, plays a similar game and has put up goals in back-to-back games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Who's hurt: D Anton Stralman (upper-body), LW Ondrej Palat (lower-body), G Andrei Vasilevskiy (foot fracture)

Will this derail the season?

It's not going to completely derail the season. The Lightning are going to make the playoffs because their roster construction and coaching are top-tier. That said, playoff seeding is in question, especially with the Toronto Maple Leafs hovering (and about to get Auston Matthews back) and the Sabres lurking not far behind. Louis Domingue is capable in net and has had an incredible recent journey: He almost quit hockey after the Coyotes cut ties last season. Now he's being relied on by the top team in the NHL for at least a month. But there's a significant drop off from Vasilevskiy, who is Vezina Trophy-caliber. Meanwhile, Palat and Stralman are important role players whose absences should not be minimized.

Tier 4: Keep calm

Colorado Avalanche

Who's hurt: LW J.T. Compher (concussion), LW Matt Nieto (lower-body), D Conor Timmins (concussion), C Colin Wilson (lower-body)

Will this derail the season?

The Avalanche were a playoff team last season because the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog willed them there. All three of those players are healthy and producing well. Colorado has its top defensemen in the lineup, as well as improved goaltending (Semyon Varlamov has been especially good). This team should be OK and exactly where we expected it to be: fighting for a spot in the Central Division. That said, none of the above injuries is great for business, and the fact that two young, ascending talents are battling the effects of concussions is scary and something to monitor.

Nashville Predators

Who's hurt: LW Viktor Arvidsson (broken thumb), D P.K. Subban (upper-body)

Will this derail the season?

Look, it's not ideal. But the Predators are going to be OK. Subban's injury doesn't appear too serious, so he should return soon. Arvidsson, meanwhile, is out six to eight weeks. He is one-third of one of the most talented (and fun to watch) lines in hockey. Nashville has a tendency to be one-dimensional, relying too much on that top line for production. Craig Smith gets the promotion to skate with Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen, and since Austin Watson has returned, the team doesn't need to make any call-ups for now. David Poile's team is built to withstand minor bumps such as this.

Washington Capitals

Who's hurt: G Braden Holtby (upper-body), C Evgeny Kuznetsov (head injury), D Brooks Orpik (lower-body), RW T.J. Oshie (head injury)

Will this derail the season?

That's a lot of star power on the injury report, though nothing appears too permanent. The defending Stanley Cup champions might not thrive in this rough patch, but they'll make it through. Holtby's return is imminent; coach Todd Reirden indicated that the goaltender should be back Wednesday after a brief absence. Orpik is eligible to return this week. Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan reports that Oshie and Kuznetsov are both likely dealing with concussions, so it's difficult to peg a time frame for their returns.