David Desharnais

Habs make Desharnais a healthy scratch… again


The tough times continue for David Desharnais.

The Montreal center, already at the center of significant criticism, will be made a healthy scratch for the second time this season on Tuesday when the Habs host Tampa Bay.

(Desharnais was first dropped from the lineup last week vs. St. Louis.)

Montreal is opting to insert Daniel Briere into the lineup against the Bolts, his first action in 10 games after being sidelined with a concussion. Travis Moen and Gabriel Dumont will also draw in, leaving Desharnais and George Parros as the odd forwards out.

Yesterday, Desharnais was embroiled in a minor controversy after Montreal mayor Denis Coderre took to Twitter to blast the 27-year-old forward for his poor play this season (zero goals, one point in 17 games).

“Allo? Un billet simple pour Hamilton pour David Desharnais svp,” Coderre tweeted, which translates to “Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to Hamilton for David Desharnais please.”

Hamilton is, of course, Montreal’s American Hockey League affiliate.

Desharnais is under fire due to his lack of production, magnified by the face he’s in the first year of a four-year, $14 million extension.

The diminutive center burst onto the scene in ’11-12, scoring a career-high 60 points in 81 games, finishing 24th in the NHL with 44 assists (more than Patrick Kane, Jordan Eberle and Patrice Bergeron). That earned him the big-money extension, which has raised expectations and demands.

Teammate Max Pacioretty jumped to Desharnais’ defense on Monday.

“To bring down a player — such a great person, such a great player, such a hard worker … Davey’s a true competitor and he’s a great player and a great teammate,” Pacioretty said, as per CBC. “[Coderre’s tweet is] just so uncalled for … It’s only going to make matters worse.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?