Tough news for a Boston Bruins team dealing with a tough start: Brad Marchand has a concussion.
That’s the word from head coach Claude Julien, so it’s a sure thing.
Now, there was no word about how severe the issue may be, but it’s officially a concussion. It’s not the ideal scenario even if it’s a “minor concussion,” which feels like a contradictory idea in itself.
Here’s the Dale Weise hit from last night’s eventual 4-2 win by the Montreal Canadiens:
It’s not official like Marchand’s concussion, but there may be a bit of good news. Maybe.
Matt Irwin was placed on waivers Sunday, which may indicate that Zdeno Chara is ready to play again.
That would be a much-needed boost.
CSNNE.com has more.
Heading into their second-round series, many thought that the difference between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning may come down to who’s in net. So far, it’s been Ben Bishop making the big saves instead of Carey Price.
The desperate Habs have been carrying the play for much of this game (as of this writing, Tampa Bay lacks a second-period shot), yet Bishop keeps turning Montreal aside. As you can see from this stop, sometimes he’s also getting a little luck:
Bishop also stopped Dale Weise by a narrow margin:
So far, the Lightning hold a 1-0 lead against the Canadiens, but you have to wonder how many times Bishop can save the day.
The Montreal Canadiens are hoping to even their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 tonight, but they will have to do so without the services of David Desharnais. The 28-year-old forward is battling the flu and is consequently not playing.
Desharnais had 14 goals and 48 points in 82 games in the regular season. He’s recorded two assists in seven playoff contests. This is the first time he’s missed a Canadiens game since the start of the campaign.
Brian Flynn has drawn into the lineup as a result and is centering a line that includes Alex Galchenyuk and Dale Weise.
Montreal surrendered a sixth round pick to acquire Flynn from the Buffalo Sabres on March 2. The 26-year-old had five goals and 17 points in 63 contests in the regular season. He has another goal and three points in five postseason games.
On Thursday, Habs head coach Michel Therrien went a familiar route in previewing his club’s second-round series against Tampa Bay — by positioning Montreal as the underdog.
To be fair, Therrien might have a point. The Habs went winless in five tries against the Lightning this season, securing just one of a possible 10 points (courtesy a 1-0 OT loss in mid-March.) Therrien also correctly pointed out that Tampa Bay was “the best offensive team in the league” this season, finishing first overall in goals per game (3.16).
But let’s be real here — Therrien’s remarks are mostly gamesmanship. And something we’ve seen before.
Last spring, he trumpeted his team as the decided underdog not just in the Eastern Conference Final against New York, but in the two previous rounds as well. Per the Toronto Sun:
“When we started the season, there were a lot of people not even putting us in the playoffs. Or, if they wanted to be polite, they’d give us the eighth spot,” Therrien said.
“We caused a surprise to make the playoffs. We caused a surprise against the Tampa Bay Lightning to win in four, and we caused a bigger surprise to beat the Boston Bruins.”
It seems Therrien’s message has trickled down to the players as well. Prior to Montreal’s opening-round series against Ottawa this year, winger Dale Weise suggested the Sens were the favored team.
“I think we’re the underdogs,” Weise said, per the Ottawa Sun. “They beat us three out of four times, they’re the hottest team in the NHL right now.
“I don’t see them as an underdog at all.”
The fact that the Ottawa Senators made the playoffs at all was an incredible feat. It seems somehow appropriate that their unlikely run has been pushed to the edge of collapse under equally surprising circumstances.
While Montreal was the heavy favorite going into this series, tonight it wasn’t one of the Canadiens’ top-tier players that was the hero. It was 26-year-old Dale Weise, who scored both Montreal goals in its 2-1 overtime win Sunday night.
After dropping the first two contests, Ottawa bench boss Dave Cameron rolled the dice by starting goaltender Craig Anderson over Andrew Hammond. While Anderson had the clear edge when it came to experience, he hadn’t played since March 29 and last won on March 8. Still, for most of the contest it looked like the adjustment would pay off as Anderson stood tall. Given that he stopped 47 of 49 shots, it’s hard to peg this loss on him.
Still, Weise managed to beat him late in the third and the game-winning marker looked like one he could have and perhaps should have stopped:
Weise had just 23 goals in 258 career regular season games and another three markers in 24 playoff contests going into tonight’s action.
With that, Ottawa is now down 3-0 in the series. Against Montreal and goaltender Carey Price, the odds of the Senators battling back are remote. Then again, one could argue that the Senators were in a similar position during the regular season. They defied the odds then. Perhaps they can do so again.