Do the Habs need to make a trade?


When the Montreal Canadiens blasted the Boston Bruins in the Winter Classic, they thought they’d “turned the chapter on” their tough December.

Unfortunately for the Habs, their frustrations have followed them into January. Since beating the B’s, they’ve gone 1-3-0. And with Carey Price not expected back anytime soon, they’re in legitimate danger of falling out of a playoff spot.

Last night, the Canadiens registered 40 shots on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, only to lose 2-1. On Saturday, they put 34 shots on Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury. They lost that one, 3-1.

“We need points,” winger Brendan Gallagher told reporters. “It’s not enough to say we worked hard, that we had chances. The bottom line is that we have to bear down and put the puck in the net.”

And so today brought changes. Forwards Sven Andrighetto and Daniel Carr were sent back to the AHL, while forward Jacob de la Rose was called up to play on the fourth line. Winger Dale Weise is also expected to return to the lineup Saturday in St. Louis. He’s tied for second on the team with 11 goals. That’s right, Dale Weise. Tied for second in goals.

There’s a reason everyone’s watching GM Marc Bergevin these days, with names like Jonathan Drouin, Eric Staal, and Radim Vrbata getting raised as potential trade targets…


Look at all those losses.

And look at how many times the Habs have been limited to two goals or fewer.

“We got 40 shots against the Stanley Cup champions,” argued Therrien. “We definitely had some great chances but we can’t score. It’s not a lack of effort.”

No, it hasn’t been. But could it be a lack of talent?

That’s the question for Bergevin.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

tampa bay lightning
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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.