Monday could have been a bad night for Craig Smith. It’s definitely a bad one for the Montreal Canadiens.
The losing kept going, for one thing (you can read about their shootout loss to the Nashville Predators here).
There was some frustration, too, including a missed penalty on Nathan Beaulieu. The trade deadline may be a time of selling for Montreal.
If that all wasn’t enough, the Habs will lose Tom Gilbert for the rest of the season thanks to a left knee injury that requires surgery.
The Habs recalled Victor Bartley in Gilbert’s absence:
Gilbert isn’t the presence he once was, but it’s another slap in the face for a Habs team dealing with what’s often been a painful season.
The Montreal Canadiens aren’t that far removed from their ultra-rare three-game winning streak. It just feels like it.
They were absolutely embarrassed by the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night, dropping a 6-2 defeat. It’s the second straight loss in which they’ve allowed six goals (the Buffalo Sabres beat them 6-4 on Friday).
These letdowns likely wash away most, if not all, of the good feelings from that fleeting run. The bigger picture doesn’t help their cause:
It’s tough not to wonder if the Habs are tuning out Michel Therrien, even if GM Marc Bergevin gave him a vote of confidence fairly recently. At least one observer believes that Therrien deflected some blame:
The Coyotes never really needed to worry about Anders Lindback‘s off-the-ice injury, as Louis Domingue was fine with his team in control. It may be a concern going forward, however.
Some might cling to playoff hopes for the Canadiens, yet beyond the Therrien question, there’s a tough call to make perhaps even sooner: should the Habs be sellers at the trade deadline?
Zack Kassian never played a regular season game for the Montreal Canadiens. But unless he is held out of Edmonton’s lineup on Saturday, he’ll face his old team as a member of the Oilers.
The Habs acquired Kassian from the Canucks in the summer, after the 25-year-old forward essentially wore out his welcome in Vancouver under the team’s new management. However, an October car accident that Kassian was involved in set forward a number of events that appears to have ultimately changed Kassian’s life for the better.
He told reporters that car accident might’ve been the best thing to happen to his career.
After the accident, he was placed in Stage 2 of the Substance Abuse program and suspended without pay. He was reinstated in December and immediately waived by the Canadiens. A couple of weeks later, he was traded to Edmonton.
And, after opening up about his struggles with alcoholism, he’s since been recalled to the NHL, appearing in eight games for the Oilers, scoring twice and adding four points.
“I’m not looking for any redemption,” said Kassian, as per Sportsnet.
“Me, I got an opportunity to play for the Edmonton Oilers and I’m very thankful for that. I’m not mad at Montreal by any means. If anything I’m mad at myself for screwing up that opportunity. I’m just looking to move forward. Obviously it will feel nice if I get a goal [Saturday] or even better if we get a win but there’s definitely no hard feelings.”
John Scott had a weekend to remember in Nashville, but the 2016 All-Star game MVP is heading back to reality as he’ll join the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in St. John’s.
Are his days in the NHL done or is there a chance that Scott could be back in the NHL in the near future?
“What a great story. I found it fantastic, I found it extraordinary,” said Michel Therrien in french, per TVA Sports.
When asked if Scott could help the Canadiens down the road, Therrien added: “You never know.”
That still doesn’t mean Scott is likely to be recalled by the Canadiens.
Montreal hasn’t won back-to-back games since November and they have just six wins in their last 25 games.
Their playoff aspirations are fading, and using a roster spot on Scott probably wouldn’t be the wisest decision right now.
This one may have slipped under the radar because of the All-Star game.
The Montreal Canadiens recalled forwards Lucas Lessio and Sven Andrighetto on Sunday evening.
Lessio was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for Christian Thomas on Dec. 15. This is his first stint with the Habs.
The 23-year-old played three games with the Coyotes in 2013-14 and 26 games last year, but he’s yet to suit up in an NHL game this season.
He was originally drafted in the second round, 56th overall, in the 2011 Entry Draft.
Lessio has three goals, nine points and 16 penalty minutes in 18 games since joining the St. John’s IceCaps in December.
The player Lessio was traded for, Christian Thomas, was recalled by Arizona prior to the All-Star break. He skated in one game during his call-up and didn’t register a point.
As for Andrighetto, this is his third different stint with the Canadiens in 2015-16.
The 22-year-old spent some time on Alex Galchenyuk‘s wing this season. Andrighetto has four goals and one assist in 17 games this season.
Recalling two forwards from the minors could mean that Max Pacioretty may miss an extended period of time. Pacioretty didn’t return to Tuesday’s game against Columbus after taking a P.K. Subban shot to the face.