Canadiens forward Lars Eller resumed skating on Wednesday, just six days after suffering a concussion, facial and dental fractures on a devastating hit from Ottawa’s Eric Gryba.
Eller took to the Habs’ practice facility in Brossard, Quebec around 11 a.m. ET, according to Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse.
There was no word on how long the 24-year-old skated for, or how his recovery is going.
While it seems unlikely he’ll return anytime soon — Eller was stretchered off the ice in Game 1 after losing consciousness — going for a skate had to be a positive sign for both he and the organization.
The Dane’s absence is being felt by the Canadiens right now. He posted a career-high 30 points in 46 games this season and was averaging close to 15 minutes a night with the Habs.
Eller was also third on the team in assists (22) this year and had a plus-8 rating.
P.K. Subban was often involved in one way or another in Sunday’s fight-filled game between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.
So involved was Subban that he apparently forgot all about it the next day.
“I don’t remember, to be honest with you,” Subban, the Canadiens defenseman, told the Ottawa Sun. “There were so many different things that happened in (Sunday’s) game. There were so many different distractions. For us, we just want to look forward.”
The Canadiens, as a team, were frustrated throughout Sunday’s Game 3, which they lost 6-1 and fell behind in the best-of-seven series two-games-to-one.
Emotions boiled over in a chaotic third period. The two teams combined for one line brawl and a total of 236 penalty minutes.
For his part, Subban had a minus-one rating and 25 penalty minutes. He was ejected for instigating a fight with Senators forward Kyle Turris.
“It was one of those things. I don’t want to be in the box for that long but I was happy seeing our guys stand up for each other,” Subban told the Montreal Gazette.
“We’re a team that a lot of people don’t expect to see fight or get involved physically, but it’s about a character.
“For people who say there’s dissension or issues in our room…to see a guy like Brendan Gallagher go out and fight a guy and not even think twice about it, that says a lot about our team.”
Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller is making progress after his scary open-ice hit by Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba.
He has been released from the hospital and was feeling well enough to visit the Canadiens, according the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs.
“It was nice to see him,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.
“He looks good,” Therrien stopped mid-word and repeated that. After some brief laughter he added, “He did look better before, but it was just nice to see him. You could tell our guys care about him and he’s such a good kid.”
Eller needed to be placed on a stretcher after he fell face-first on the ice. He has been diagnosed with a concussion and facial fractures.
The incident resulted in Gryba being handed a two-game suspension, although not everyone agreed with the decision.
It has also sparked a war of words between Montreal and Ottawa.
With the series tied, Game 3 will start at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be on NBCSN.
The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators will likely go through a lot of ice and Advil after two intense physical playoff matchups in two nights. The first-round series was tied 1-1 thanks to the Habs’ 3-1 win on Friday.
Let’s gab away.
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- Francis Bouillon and Rene Bourque went to the dressing room at points during the game, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie. Even if they end up playing through their mystery maladies, the Habs are already banged up. Could this series leave the winner highly vulnerable in the semifinals?
- The shot differential wasn’t anywhere near as imbalanced as Game 1, but Montreal still took that category on Friday. Is Ottawa depending too much on its defense and Craig Anderson?
- Despite losing, this two-game split gives the Senators home-ice advantage. The Habs have a fantastic 15-7-2 road record, however, so where do you expect this series to be at when it returns to Montreal?
- Furthermore, which team do you expect to win this series?
- The Habs’ crowd has been incredible through two games. Can Ottawa’s faithful provide a similar atmosphere?
Already down 1-0 in their Eastern Conference quarterfinals to Ottawa and without the services of Lars Eller, the Montreal Canadiens received two more huge losses on Friday as it was announced Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta would both miss Game 2 with injuries.
As per playoff tradition, the Habs weren’t offering much in the way of details, other than both Pacioretty and Gionta suffered upper-body injuries.
Neither player missed extended time during Thursday’s Game 1 loss — a 4-2 decision to the Sens at the Bell Centre. Pacioretty played 25 shifts for 19:59 of ice time, while Gionta played 24 shifts for 16:09.
Gionta played more in the third (6:25) than any other period, while Pacioretty played over seven minutes.
The losses are absolutely crucial for a Canadiens team that already lost its home-ice advantage.
Pacioretty led the team in scoring this year with 39 points and tied for the team lead in goals, with 15.
Gionta, the club’s captain, was second in goals (14) and is one of the team’s most experience playoff performers, having appeared in nearly 100 postseason contests, winning a Stanley Cup in 2003.
The Canadiens have a pool of healthy scratches to draw from to replace Eller, Pacioretty and Gionta in the lineup: Colby Armstrong, Nathan Beaulieu, Mike Blunden, Jeff Halpern, Louis Leblanc and Petteri Nokelainen.
Video: Lars Eller leaves ice on stretcher in scary scene
Lars Eller heads to hospital ‘conscious and alert’
Sens coach on Eller hit: ‘A hockey play that went bad’