The Montreal Canadiens had an incredible run to the Eastern Conference finals last season, but they had to make half of it without their go-to powerplay quarterback and best defenseman Andrei Markov. The Russian blueliner sustained an injury from a rugged, yet clean check from Pittsburgh Penguins agitator Matt Cooke.
Here is video of that hit from the second round of the 2010 playoffs.
Now, as you may know, “getting back on skates” and “being ready to withstand body checks from 220 lbs. power forwards” are two very different things. Still, Markov has more than a month to get back to game speed, so if he can participate in the Canadiens’ training camp – or at least a portion of it – that would be a big boost to a team that will be under a lot of pressure to succeed without Jaroslav Halak.
Markov didn’t play much in the regular season either (only 45 games), so hopefully the team will proceed with caution regarding its offensive catalyst. He produced an impressive 34 points in those 45 games, though, so when healthy he can really make things happen.
The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.
It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.
That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.
“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”
‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster
Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.
“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.
“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”
Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.
As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.
He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.
His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.