Jeff Petry

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WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry – Canadiens at Bruins

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PROJECTED LINES

Montreal Canadiens

Max PaciorettyPaul ByronCharles Hudon

Artturi LehkonenTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukJacob De La RoseJonathan Drouin

Nicolas DeslauriersByron FroeseDaniel Carr

Karl AlznerJeff Petry

Jordie BennJakub Jerabek

Victor Mete — David Schlemko

Starting goalie: Carey Price

[NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Canadiens vs. Bruins; Penguins vs. Ducks]

Boston Bruins

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronDavid Pastrnak

Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciRyan Spooner

Danton HeinenRiley NashDavid Backes

Tim SchallerSean KuralyNoel Acciari

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

Matt GrzelcykAdam McQuaid

Starting goalie: Tuukka Rask

WATCH LIVE: New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Anders LeeJohn Tavares – Alain Quine
Anthony BeauvillierMathew BarzalJordan Eberle
Michael Dal Colle – Brock NelsonShane Prince
Jason Chimera – Tanner Fritz – Cal Clutterbuck

Nick LeddyScott Mayfield
Adam PelechSebastian Aho
Thomas HickeyRyan Pulock

Starting goalie: Thomas Greiss

PREVIEW FOR ISLANDERS-CANADIENS

MONTREAL CANADIENS
Alex GalchenyukJonathan DrouinDaniel Carr
Max PaciorettyPaul ByronCharles Hudon
Artturi LehkonenTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher
Nicolas DeslauriersByron Froese – Jacob De La Rose

Karl AlznerJeff Petry
Jordie BennJakub Jerabek
Victor Mete – David Schlemko

Starting goalie: Cary Price

Tough injury news for Predators’ Forsberg, Canadiens’ Weber

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Shea Weber and Filip Forsberg were once All-Stars together for the Nashville Predators. In the case of the 2018 All-Star Game, they seem likely to share a bond in being injured beyond that point (on Jan. 28).

The Montreal Canadiens provided an update that Weber is still in a protective boot and is “doubtful until after the All-Star Break.”

The 32-year-old hasn’t played since Dec. 16, when the Canadiens fell to the Ottawa Senators during the 100 NHL Classic. Habs Eyes on the Prize notes that Weber would miss 16 games in a row if he manages to play in Montreal’s first game after that break, which would be on Jan. 30.

Hockey players sometimes beat such timelines, yet there are also cases in which unexpected setbacks happen.

The Canadiens play seven of their 10 remaining January games in Montreal, so it’s a shame that they probably won’t have their top defenseman available to try to make the most of that home-cooking.

While the Predators play their next two games on the road, they’ll miss Forsberg in a similar way. The talented scorer is out four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury, which has to be a bitter pill to swallow in the highly competitive Central Division.

Nashville has a generally home-heavy schedule for the next two months, so the Preds might struggle to gain ground without Forsberg, an underrated scorer.

Lineup implications for both teams

At the moment, the Predators are going with a top line of Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson in Forsberg’s absence, with Jarnkrok in Forsberg’s spot. Nashville might have to mull over splitting up the impressive second(?) line of Kevin Fiala, Kyle Turris, and Craig Smith over the next few weeks, or maybe move up someone like Scott Hartnell if Jarnkrok can’t cut it with that top trio.

Either way, Forsberg will be missed, although it might be useful for Nashville to experiment with different combinations. Freak injuries to Fiala and Johansen during the 2017 Stanley Cup Final should impress upon the Predators the need to be flexible.

With Weber out, Left Wing Lock projects a Habs top pairing of Karl Alzner and Jeff Petry at the moment. Not ideal for a team trying to fight its way back to playoff relevance, but sometimes things break that way, especially for defensemen with the sort of mileage (not to mention the rugged style) as a player like Weber.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Is it time for the Canadiens to blow up their roster?

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The 2017-18 season isn’t even two months old, and the Montreal Canadiens already find themselves at a crossroads. Is it time for them to start rebuilding?

The Canadiens, who are 8-11-2 after three straight losses to Columbus, Arizona and Toronto, have over $7 million in cap space, but they have nowhere to use it. They already traded a blue-chip prospect in Mikhail Sergachev over the summer, and it’s not like their prospect pipeline is overflowing with quality either.

Clearly, losing Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov (for nothing) hurt this edition of the Canadiens.

The team just completed a six-game homestand  that they should have used to make up for their incredibly poor start to the year. Instead, they finished the stretch at the Bell Center with a mediocre 2-3-1 record (they barely beat Vegas and Buffalo, who were both playing their second game in two nights when they took on Montreal).

During the six-game home stretch, they managed to find the back of the net just 10 times (four of those goals came in the 5-4 loss to the Coyotes).

Up until this point, general manager Marc Bergevin has been unwilling to trade away his veterans for prospects and/or draft picks. That might be about to change, per Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.

On Saturday’s “Headlines” segment, Kypreos mentioned that ownership and the front office will have a discussion about the direction of the team.

The one player that was singled out on the broadcast was Max Pacioretty, who has one year remaining (after this season) on his current contract.

Would the Canadiens be willing to move him? Maybe, but would they do so with the idea of a rebuild in mind? That remains to be seen.

You have to believe that Bergevin’s on thin ice. Despite being under contract until 2022, he has to be feeling the pressure right now. Montreal is a demanding hockey market, and although they have plenty of cap space, this team clearly isn’t better than it was last year.

The core is far from terrible. Pacioretty, Shea Weber, Carey Price and Jonathan Drouin are all quality hockey players, but they don’t have much depth up front and their defense might be one of the worst in the league after Weber. Jeff Petry has struggled, the contract they handed out to Karl Alzner appears to be a mistake, Jordie Benn, Joe Morrow and Brandon Davidson are all depth players, and Victor Mete is a promising 19-year-old that’s had his ice time cut lately.

When it comes to the center ice position, the Canadiens are still searching for answers. Drouin has been forced to learn on the job, which is far from ideal for a number one center. Behind him, there’s Phillip Danault and Tomas Plekanec, who are both better suited to be third liners.

In order to become one of the elite teams in the NHL, the Canadiens have to take a step back over the next couple of years. They might not have to rebuild from scratch because they do have key pieces, but the roster definitely needs a lot of work.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Kings place Carter on injured reserve

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Just a few days after undergoing surgery, L.A. Kings forward Jeff Carter has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 18.

The 32-year-old Carter was cut by the skate of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry during last Wednesday’s game and underwent an operation the following day to repair the injury.

Carter has been listed as out indefinitely, with this development prompting the Kings to sign Brooks Laich to a contract after he initially went without a deal following a professional tryout during training camp in L.A.

The Kings, who visit the Ottawa Senators tonight, are off to an impressive 6-1-1 start to the new season. They are looking to regroup following their first regulation loss, which came Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Carter had recorded three assists in six games, while playing alongside Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson prior to his injury.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.