Montreal will be icing a decidedly different-looking lineup in Chicago on Wednesday — at least compared to what it’s had the last few weeks.
The big news, first and foremost, is that rugged defenseman Josh Gorges will return from a 15-game absence due to a hand injury to take on the ‘Hawks, his first action since early March.
The other news — mostly for poolies and those that like to wager — is that Montreal will be without starting goalie Carey Price and two of its top defensemen in Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin. The Habs will also be without Douglas Murray (suspended) as well as injured forwards Travis Moen and Brandon Prust.
These moves aren’t that surprising, given Montreal’s clinched a playoff spot and has dealt with a myriad of injuries this season. It’s also not surprising to see the club rest Markov — the oft-injured 35-year-old’s played a ton of hockey by his standards this year, appearing in all 79 games — or Emelin, who got a late start to this season after undergoing major knee surgery during the summer.
That said, there’s still the matter of first-round home ice advantage.
Montreal and Tampa Bay are all but guaranteed to meet in the opening round (that scenario can be clinched tonight, in fact) and the Bolts can still catch Montreal for second in the Atlantic. Tampa heads into tonight’s action four points back of the Canadiens, but with a game in hand.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.
The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”
Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.
From the club:
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.
Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.
Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.