The Montreal Canadiens played their first game in 11 days last night. You almost forgot what they looked like and then they reminded you exactly what they are by losing 5-1.
The long season continues tonight with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks in The Windy City. The season has been a long one for the Blackhawks as well, but perhaps not quite as dreary as the Canadiens run.
The Habs loss last night dropped them to 7-24-4 on the season and they will take on the 13-18-5 Blackhawks, who are well ahead of the Canadiens in the standings. Or, at this point, they are behind the Canadiens in the race for last overall and the best chance of drafting first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The Canadiens loss on the scoreboard wasn’t their only loss of the night. After allowing two Brad Marchand goals, Jake Allen also left the game with an injury late in the first period and did not return. The Canadiens were starting to get kind of healthy, which is a big improvement from what we have seen as injuries and Covid outbreaks have decimated the lineup this season and led to nine games being postponed.
It also led to the team needing to shuffle the lineup around quite a bit today.
With Allen out tonight, the Canadiens activated Cayden Primeau from the team’s taxi squad. That means Primeau could start tonight, or Samuel Montembeault will play for the second consecutive night after facing the Bruins for 43 minutes after Allen was injured last night.
The Canadiens also recalled Michael McNiven from the Laval Rocket and placed him on the taxi squad.
Kale Clague was activated from the Covid-19 protocol list making him eligible to play tonight. Someone is going to have to take Chris Wideman’s spot on the blue line as the defender is certain to be suspended for head butting Bruins centre Erik Haula last night.
The team also sent Brandon Baddock and Louis Belpedio back down to the Laval Rocket.
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