As if times weren’t already trying for the Montreal Canadiens defensive corps with Andrei Markov out and with P.K. Subban and Yanick Weber in a battle for the affections of the home fans, they were dealt a wicked blow today. Defensive defenseman Josh Gorges will be out for the rest of the season after it was announced that he will need surgery on his injured knee.
Gorges emerged last year as one of Montreal’s top shutdown defensemen with his tough play and ability to shadow the game’s top stars. His work was very apparent during the playoffs in working against Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and helping both of their teams exit the postseason sooner than they intended. With aging veterans like Jaroslav Spacek and Roman Hamrlik on the team, having Gorges breakout last year the way he did it provided a break for the Habs.
With Gorges out now, the battle between P.K. Subban and Yanick Weber for ice time will disappear. Those two were set to fight each other to get on the ice after the Habs acquired James Wisniewski from the Islanders. Now, it’s a return to how it was before his arrival except that Wisniewski’s defensive abilities are lacking in comparison to Gorges. With the Habs battling Boston atop the Northeast Division, the pressure is on everyone to tighten things up.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.