“When it rains, it pours” is a rather tired cliche.
So thank goodness for the Montreal Canadiens, who have spiced up the old line:
“When it rains, it pours…then there’s Montreal, where the deluge takes out half the hockey team.”
The Canadiens will be without six regulars tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli and Ryan White are all on injured reserve. Scott Gomez got the green light to return to action, but he’ll be a scratch. Andrei Kostitsyn will miss his second straight game with a lower body injury and Mike Cammalleri will also be held out, also with a lower-body injury.
That leaves Montreal with forward lines looking something like this:
Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Mathieu Darche – David Desharnais – Erik Cole
Travis Moen – Lars Eller – Aaron Palushaj
Michael Blunden – Petteri Nokelainen – Yannick Weber
Palushaj was called up from Hamilton of the AHL on Wednesday. Weber is a defensman lining up at forward. Blunden has only played in seven games this year. Yikes.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes have won three of their last four at home, are close to full health and have two of the league’s hottest players in Radim Vrbata (nine points in his last five games) and Mike Smith (6-2-2, 2.36 GAA, .926 save percentage.)
Did we mention Phoenix has also enjoyed a five-day break, having not played since beating Edmonton 4-2 last Saturday?