Brandon Prust has been a surprisingly key player for Montreal this season, but now the Habs will have to find out what they can do without him for a short time.
The team announced Prust has a first-degree shoulder separation and will miss 10-14 days to recover from it. He suffered the injury last night in Montreal’s comeback victory over Tampa Bay. Rugged forward Ryan White will reenter the lineup to take his place.
Prust has been a boon for Montreal contributing toughness (81 penalty minutes) and penalty killing while also adding some offense with four goals and five assists. His work on a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher has helped both of those rookies get off to flying starts.
“There was a lot of embellishment,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said on Sunday. “It’s pretty embarrassing for our game.”
It’s doubtful that Julien merely made those comments in the heat of the moment, given that he went on to talk yesterday about the need for the NHL address what he sees as an embellishment problem.
Now, the Canadiens have voiced their response.
“To me, those comments that he made were ridiculous and I think he was very frustrated to have lost that game,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, according to the team’s website. “Claude can concentrate on his team and I’ll concentrate on my own.”
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty suggested that Julien made those comments because of “jealousy.”
“We’re at the top right now and reading comments like that is awesome,” Pacioretty added. “If we’re in last place, they wouldn’t be saying anything about us, but we’re in first place and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
The Montreal Canadiens didn’t just snatch first place in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Some would argue they also got in their heads.
Defenseman Raphael Diaz has quietly been an important part of the Montreal Canadiens’ surprising success in 2013, but the team will need to cope without him for at least Wednesday (and possibly quite a bit longer).
The team confirmed that Diaz, 27, suffered a concussion on Monday. Tomas Kaberle will take his place in the lineup tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Diaz sustained the injury sometime during overtime of the Habs’ last game against the Ottawa Senators. TSN’s John Bartlett reports that Diaz felt fine during practice on Tuesday but started feeling dizzy later that night.
Diaz has 13 points in 19 games this season. He’s tied with Josh Gorges for the second most time on ice with an average of 20:36 per game.