As if times weren’t already trying for the Montreal Canadiens defensive corps with Andrei Markov out and with P.K. Subban and Yanick Weber in a battle for the affections of the home fans, they were dealt a wicked blow today. Defensive defenseman Josh Gorges will be out for the rest of the season after it was announced that he will need surgery on his injured knee.
Gorges emerged last year as one of Montreal’s top shutdown defensemen with his tough play and ability to shadow the game’s top stars. His work was very apparent during the playoffs in working against Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and helping both of their teams exit the postseason sooner than they intended. With aging veterans like Jaroslav Spacek and Roman Hamrlik on the team, having Gorges breakout last year the way he did it provided a break for the Habs.
With Gorges out now, the battle between P.K. Subban and Yanick Weber for ice time will disappear. Those two were set to fight each other to get on the ice after the Habs acquired James Wisniewski from the Islanders. Now, it’s a return to how it was before his arrival except that Wisniewski’s defensive abilities are lacking in comparison to Gorges. With the Habs battling Boston atop the Northeast Division, the pressure is on everyone to tighten things up.