The big news coming from the Canadiens today was that Andrei Markov needs additional surgery and is out until January at the earliest. That not only makes my previous post moot. It was a setback and he will miss a lot longer than expected, it means that Markov will go over a year between his first surgery and his attempt to return to the ice. It may be the optimist in me, but there might not be a better acquisition in the second half of the season than any other team can expect to make.
Don’t look now, but even with a four game losing streak and a bad feeling around most of the team, the Canadiens are very close to a playoff spot while playing with a lot of injuries to depth players that is forcing players that no one thought would get a sniff of the NHL this year into the lineup. Frederic St. Denis and Louis Leblanc were not expected to contribute, and while St. Denis is close to being sent back down to the Bulldogs once Jaroslav Spacek or Chris Campoli come back from injury Leblanc may stay up with the big club even when Max Pacioretty returns from his suspension and Aaron Palushaj may be the person to sit out or be sent back. Leblanc has not looked out of place with Lars Eller and may just be a key member to the Canadiens top-nine for the present and the future.
The Canadiens have not had an easy beginning to the season, and even the biggest optimists are counting the days until the team falls apart completely. I’m not sure that they will just yet and it would be a welcome sign from the recent seasons of quick starts that come crashing back to earth. I’m not saying the Canadiens will ride a wave to the top of the division or the conference but I’m also saying that as of this writing, they are in a playoff position (albeit losing the tiebreaker because the other teams have played less games.) However, the Canadiens have overcome their slow start. All that means is that they have to have a better rest of the season than the teams around them. Not a fair accompli but given how things have been going, it’s possible and regardless on your opinions on Jacques Martin or Pierre Gauthier, this team is not drowning but they are also not out of the water just yet.