While the Habs are floundering to start the year and the cries for coach Jacques Martin to suffer for those shortcomings grow louder by the day, help is coming for the ailing Canadiens. While Montreal has been dealing with injuries to three of their starting defensemen, they’ll be getting some major reinforcements back this week starting tonight.
RDS’ Renaud Lavoie reports that Jaroslav Spacek will be back in the lineup tonight against Florida meaning Alexei Emelin gets a seat in the press box. Emelin is one of three mostly inexperienced blue liners that have been pressed into action due to injury. With Yannick Weber and Rafael Diaz also in the lineup, they’d both better play their tails off tonight because one of them may be coming out of the lineup later in the week.
Long injured alternate captain Andrei Markov is also slated to return to action later in the week and for Montreal, he’s the rock on the blue line they need to settle things down. Markov’s two-way play on defense makes him one of their most valuable players when he’s healthy. Of course staying healthy has been his major issue the last two seasons.
If Markov can come back and play the way he used to, Montreal’s issues in stopping opponents from generating quality chances may come to an end. If Markov and Spacek can contribute like normal, the Canadiens’ woes may soon be at an end and Jacques Martin can get the ship righted.
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