Leave it to a hockey player to defy injury recovery windows.
Back in early January, the Montreal Canadiens believed that Brendan Gallagher would miss a “minimum” of eight weeks after hand surgery. While NHL.com notes that Michel Therrien ruled Gallagher out of Montreal’s next two games, it sounds like the agitating young forward could be back soon.
In other words, he might be back closer to six weeks after that surgery.
One wonders if his team’s relative recent struggles might give him the extra motivation to return sooner than expected.
The Canadiens have lost three games in a row and four of their last five. They’ve only scored three goals during this three-game skid and four in those four losses, with a 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres being the standout for an otherwise struggling offense.
Gallagher’s had a rough year in his own right. He managed a single goal and zero assists in his last 11 games, so this procedure could be key for a forward who was quietly moving up the ranks among agitating scorers before these stumbles.
The Canadiens face the Avalanche on Tuesday and the Coyotes on Thursday, both games on the road and both games with Gallagher believed to be unavailable.
The Habs play back-to-back games this weekend (home vs. Blues on Saturday, at Bruins on Sunday), followed by a bye week. Those back-to-back games could be a good opportunity to ease Gallagher back in, though if they opt to give him extra rest this weekend, they’d buy him more time while limiting the drawbacks for his team.
Whatever the case may be, Gallagher’s return will be welcome, and he could get enough time to shake off any rust before the playoffs kick in.