The Montreal Canadiens lead the National Hockey League in “mans games lost to injury.”
In other words, no other team has dealt with as many injuries as the Canadiens this season. It isn’t the only reason they have been terrible but it hasn’t helped.
A team can’t blame injuries on a 8-26-7 record. But that is where the Canadiens are right now. Last in the entire NHL with just 23 points in 41 games and on pace for a 46 point season which would be the lowest we have seen over a full season since the Atlanta Thrashers put up a 39 point season in 1999-2000.
The Canadiens second half would have to be as bad as their first for them to be that bad. But there are reasons to believe the second half will be better. Well, there is really only one reason and it is simply that they team just can’t be that bad at hockey based on their roster, can they? Oh, and they can’t be as unfortunate with injuries either, can they?
It sounds like they are starting to get some reinforcements soon.
First of all, Cole Caufield and Joel Armia have been trapped in Wisconsin since testing positive for Covid last week. The two players are skating together at Caufield’s college facility, but are not allowed to cross the border back into Canada until Friday. They could both play on Saturday night when the Canadiens host the Edmonton Oilers.
Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron also joined the team at full capacity at practice yesterday, shedding their non-contract jerseys and taking part in line rushes.
Gallagher has not played since December 30th in Carolina when he left the game with a lower body injury. Byron has not played yet this season after offseason his surgery.
That is four of the team’s regular wingers that could be back on Saturday after not playing tonight. That could be bad news for Michael Pezzetta, Laurent Dauphin and Cedric Paquette.
But it is ultimately good news for the Montreal Canadiens. Sure, the playoffs aren’t going to happen this season, but do we really want to watch this team lose 8-2 every night like they did on Monday against the Minnesota Wild?
No. That was painful. Bottoming out and finishing last is fine, but playing so bad two young goaltenders get blown up in the same game was a bit much.
Getting some regular NHLers back should help the goaltenders out a bit more and not have the Canadiens lose by half a dozen anymore.