Last night was especially rough for the Montreal Canadiens as they saw Mike Cammalleri and Max Pacioretty leave the game with injuries while Brian Gionta, Jeff Halpern, and P.K. Subban also all fought off problems throughout the game.
Today, a report has popped up saying that Cammalleri and Pacioretty may miss up to a month each with their injuries. Cammalleri was shoved into the boards by Buffalo’s Mike Weber and suffered a shoulder injury. Pacioretty was hit with a puck shot by teammate James Wisniewski and taken out of HSBC Arena in an ambulance to be evaluated for what’s believed to be a rib injury.
Losing both of these players for any amount of time is a huge blow to the Habs offense as Cammalleri is one of the teams top goal scorers while Pacioretty has blossomed into one of their better offensive options since coming back up from the AHL. In the meantime, the team has called up young forward Andreas Engqvist to fill out part of their lineup. It’s possible the Swedish center is getting the call because Jeff Halpern is banged up a bit more than we know, but for now we’ll assume he’s just part of the reinforcements coming from AHL Hamilton to take the spot of either Cammalleri or Pacioretty.
The Habs are trying to keep pace with Boston in the Northeast Division and losing major contributors like this will make the task much more difficult if they’re out for a prolonged amount of time.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.