Habs will struggle without Andrei Markov

Markov.jpgPittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens

2:00 p.m. EDT, 2 May, 2010

Live on NBC

Don’t forget, we’ll have a live chat during the game on Pro Hockey
Talk at 1:45 p.m. EDT.

While the Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with an injury of their
own, the Canadiens are going to have to try to find some way to replace
one of their top defensemen. After taking out the Capitals in seven
games, trying to do the same with the Penguins without Andrei Markov is
going to be near impossible.

After a big, clean hit by Matt Cooke
that sent Markov awkwardly into the boards, the defensemen has been sent
back to Montreal for further testing and evaluating and there’s no word
on just how long he may be out.

For the Canadiens, a team that
relied on stellar defense, goaltending and timely power play goals, the
loss of Markov could prove devastating. After his injury in the first
period of Game 1, it was painfully obvious how disjointed the Habs’
defensive group became.

While the defense certainly paid a painful
price for not being able to makeup for the loss of Markov, it was on
the power play that his absence was felt the most.

Canadiens had a couple of chances to get back in the game on Friday
while on the power play, but without Markov running the point the Habs
threatened to give the Nashville Predators a run for their money for the
most hapless special teams unit of the playoffs.

The Penguins
will struggle to find ways to replace Staal, but I doubt the Canadiens
will be able to find a way to pick up for Markov on the blueline.

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