The two Bruins were hurt during last Thursday’s 7-4 loss against Buffalo. Paille took a Tyler Myers high stick to the face (resulting in an eye/face injury) while Thornton suffered a concussion during a first period fight with Sabres enforcer John Scott.
Paille took part in some drills at practice this week, but took himself out of the contact stuff so he didn’t re-injure his eye. Thornton, meanwhile, has resumed skating on his own but has yet to rejoin teammates.
It’s expected that AHL Providence call-ups Jamie Tardif and Lane MacDermid will play for the second straight game — both suited up in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Toronto, with Tardif registering two hits in just over eight minutes of action and MacDermid getting in a pair of scraps with Maple Leafs tough guy Mark Fraser, scoring this victory in the second scrap:
If there’s a silver lining for Paille and Thornton, it’s that they were hurt during Boston’s lightest part of the schedule. The Bruins played on Saturday in Toronto, tomorrow (Wednesday) in Montreal, then won’t play again until Saturday in a home date against Tampa Bay.
Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal
No one wants to hear “It could be worse” when injuries are really piling up, but … uh, it could be worse for the New York Rangers.
At least, it could have been worse for Rick Nash. The team announced that he’s only expected to miss about a week after undergoing an MRI related to a groin injury.
It’s been a redemptive season for Nash, so it’s nice to see that it isn’t getting totally derailed. Granted, injuries like these can linger even if a guy returns to the lineup, so we’ll need to see if he gets back to 100 percent.
The Rangers certainly aren’t at full-strength right now. Their laundry list of injured forwards is quite daunting, even for a team with vaunted depth at that position:
Nash (groin), Puempel (concussion), Grabner (personal), Vesey (upper body) all not skating today, in addition to Zibanejad and Buchnevich.
“I just think this is part of the NHL and it is what it is. It’s there and you deal with it,” Vigneault said . “You get a lot of players at different times that wish that they can get more ice time to prove that they can have a bigger role and that they can do more. Well, no better time than the present for us right now.”
Double whammy to Habs centers: Galchenyuk, Desharnais out 6-8 weeks
Thanks to two knee injuries, the Montreal Canadiens suddenly seem pretty slim at center.
The team announced two unfortunate and strangely similar timelines for important centers: both Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais are expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with their knee issues.
It will be a challenge for Michel Therrien to make everything work, to the point where you wonder if maybe he’ll move a player from the wing to center (hey, Max Pacioretty DOES want an elevated role, if you believe the rumors about discontent).
Tomas Plekanec becomes that much more important to the Canadiens, and one might assume that Andrew Shaw may go back to the middle. LNH.com’s Arpon Basu listed some options, in case you’re more of a visual learner:
Habs depth chart down the middle right now. Pick your own order: Tomas Plekanec Torrey Mitchell Phillip Danault Andrew Shaw Briian Flynn
It isn’t all bad news when you look at Montreal’s overall situation.
For one thing, they gave themselves a nice cushion, as they currently lead the Atlantic Division by five points. With four games in a row and six of seven at home, they may be able to manage these tough losses pretty well in the short-term.
The real challenges might come late in December and early in January. They play seven road games in a row – though with a break around New Year’s – and nine of 10 away from Montreal from Dec. 23 – Jan. 12.
While they’ve suffered some minor bumps in the road so far, this is their truest test of 2016-17. It should be interesting to see how they handle this.