The worry over Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov’s knee injury in Montreal is about to grow exponentially. Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out tweets today that Markov will be out “long term” for an undetermined amount of time. It’s been a mystery surrounding Markov about how long he would be out for since he was hurt on Saturday night against Carolina, but the Habs reporting at least this much can’t be good news for Montreal or its fans.
As for what the Canadiens will have to do now with Markov out for what we’re assuming to be a long time, the pressure for young defenseman P.K. Subban to continue to improve and play great will increase. Subban has had a solid season to this point and has played well as a offense generating blue liner. Asking him to step up into the role of the team’s lead power play quarterback might be asking a lot of the 21 year-old.
If you’re thinking that the Habs acted too soon in dealing Ryan O’Byrne to the Avalanche last week, you can relax on that talk. O’Byrne was buried on the Habs depth chart to the point he had two other defensemen ahead of him. Besides, O’Byrne’s and Markov’s style of play couldn’t be more opposite of each other. Playing without Markov is becoming a bit too regular for the Habs, and unfortunately for Markov it comes at a bad time as he’s due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. If he needed better motivation to try and hurry up and get back on the ice this season, a bigger paycheck next year could be it.