Montreal Canadiens: Paul Byron’s Nightmare Season Continues

MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 19: Paul Byron #41 of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 19: Paul Byron #41 of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens might actually be cursed this season.

I don’t know what kind of witchcraft it took to get them to win three playoff series last spring, but they are certainly paying for it this season.

According to @NHLInjuryVIz, a Twitter account that keeps close track of the number of players’s injured in the NHL all season, the Canadiens are on pace to set some unofficial records for man-games lost to injury.

They are approaching 600 man games lost this season which is an almost unfathomable number. That means, on average, the Canadiens are missing just over seven NHL players per game this season. That includes injuries, Covid related illnesses or other sicknesses that forced a player on the NHL roster to miss a game.

The same account mentions that 40 different players have missed time with injury on the Canadiens roster this season. The next highest is 31 Buffalo Sabres having missed at least one game with injury or illness.

One player who has been quite unfortunate when it comes to injuries is Paul Byron.

The veteran winger played every playoff game for the Canadiens last spring, but needed surgery immediately after the postseason. He was placed on long-term injured reserve to begin the season and finally activated on January 30th.

He made his season debut that night, but was injured again and placed on injured reserve on February 26th. He was back in the lineup on March 9th and stayed healthy for about a month and a half.

Unfortunately, Byron left the game on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild early and head coach Martin St. Louis announced yesterday that the veteran will not be playing tonight when the Habs take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

There was no further update on Byron’s status, only that he will require more tests in the coming days. With just five games remaining on the schedule. it doesn’t sound great that he will be able to finish the season.

So far, Byron has only been able to get into the lineup for 27 games. It took him a while to start looking like his usual speedy self, but he was rounding into form after shaking off his latest injury.

Unfortunately, that momentum will stop in its tracks as Byron sits out tonight, and sounds unlikely to play Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.

It has been a season just filled with injuries for the Canadiens, and Byron has been affected more than most. Hopefully he can shake this one off quickly and play again before the end of the season but we will have to wait and see if that is possible.

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