Habs will struggle without Andrei Markov

Markov.jpgPittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens

2:00 p.m. EDT, 2 May, 2010

Live on NBC

Don’t forget, we’ll have a live chat during the game on Pro Hockey
Talk at 1:45 p.m. EDT.

While the Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with an injury of their
own, the Canadiens are going to have to try to find some way to replace
one of their top defensemen. After taking out the Capitals in seven
games, trying to do the same with the Penguins without Andrei Markov is
going to be near impossible.

After a big, clean hit by Matt Cooke
that sent Markov awkwardly into the boards, the defensemen has been sent
back to Montreal for further testing and evaluating and there’s no word
on just how long he may be out.

For the Canadiens, a team that
relied on stellar defense, goaltending and timely power play goals, the
loss of Markov could prove devastating. After his injury in the first
period of Game 1, it was painfully obvious how disjointed the Habs’
defensive group became.

While the defense certainly paid a painful
price for not being able to makeup for the loss of Markov, it was on
the power play that his absence was felt the most.

Canadiens had a couple of chances to get back in the game on Friday
while on the power play, but without Markov running the point the Habs
threatened to give the Nashville Predators a run for their money for the
most hapless special teams unit of the playoffs.

The Penguins
will struggle to find ways to replace Staal, but I doubt the Canadiens
will be able to find a way to pick up for Markov on the blueline.

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    Kings’ AHL affiliate gives Emery PTO

    Ray Emery
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    Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.

    The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

    Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.

    The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.

    Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.

    The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.

    Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

    James Reimer
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    James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

    Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

    “I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

    Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

    Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

    Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.


    Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

    Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

    Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

    Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

    Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

    -Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

    Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

    -The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

    Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

    Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

    -The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

    -The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.