P.K. Subban suffered a neck injury but has ‘normal movement in extremities,’ say Canadiens

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P.K. Subban suffered a neck injury, say the Montreal Canadiens, late in the third period of Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres and needed to be taken off the ice on a stretcher.

In a brief update on Twitter, the Canadiens said Subban was taken to hospital for further testing but he has “normal movement in extremities.”

Subban, Montreal’s star defenseman, and teammate Alexei Emelin collided in the corner along the boards. Subban was in immediate pain as he fell to the ice, grabbing his head.

“Every time the doctors rush onto the ice, we’re worried. When it takes a long time and the player ends up leaving on a stretcher, there’s always worry,” said Habs coach Michel Therrien, as per the club’s website.

“When I went to see him, he was with the doctors. I had a good talk with them and they assured me that he had movement in his extremities, which is a good thing given the circumstances.”

The Habs held on for a 3-2 victory.

 

NHL has ‘no reason to believe…the Canadiens acted inappropriately’ in Tinordi trade

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According to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the NHL “has been given no basis whatsoever to consider reversing or revisiting” the trade that sent defenseman Jarred Tinordi from Montreal to Arizona in January.

In the process, Daly cleared the Canadiens of any underhandedness in the transaction.

“While we are not permitted under the terms of the CBA to provide any further detail or timeline with respect to Mr. Tinordi’s suspension, we would like to state that we have no reason to believe or conclude that the Canadiens acted inappropriately at any time in relation to this matter,” Daly said in a widely released statement.

“NHL clubs are not parties with whom information relating to the drug-testing results or process are shared until a final determination has been made and formally announced by the League and NHLPA, which in this case was yesterday.”

Daly was forced to address the issue after Tinordi was suspended yesterday for 20 games due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett then raised eyebrows by saying that the suspension caught the club “by surprise” and that “it was something that’s been going on since before he got to our team.”

Some cryptic post-trade remarks by Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin were also suddenly recalled.

“I have a reason that I can’t really tell you why,” Bergevin said following the deal that was originally controversial due to the inclusion of John Scott, “but if I could, you would probably understand.”

But — again — according to Daly, the Canadiens couldn’t have known about Tinordi’s positive test result, because no teams were made aware of it until yesterday.

Pavelski, Thornton take a bite out of the Canadiens

Associated Press
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton each had three points to key a dominant performance from San Jose’s top line, and the Sharks beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 on Monday night for their sixth victory in the past seven meetings between the teams.

Pavelski had two goals and one assist, while Thornton scored one goal and assisted on two others to help the Sharks move within two points of second-place Anaheim and four points of leader Los Angeles in the Pacific Division. Brent Burns also had a goal and two assists, and Melker Karlsson and Nick Spaling added goals for San Jose.

Martin Jones made 21 saves to earn wins on back-to-back nights for the first time since November.

Brendan Gallagher and Torrey Mitchell scored for the Canadiens, who lost in regulation for the first time in five games. Montreal fell seven points behind Pittsburgh in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Mike Condon made 30 saves.

The Sharks’ top line controlled the game from the start, generating the first three goals for the team. The first came in the opening minutes when Pavelski adroitly deflected a shot-pass from Justin Braun right to Thornton at the side of the net. Thornton tucked in the puck for his 15th goal to make it 1-0.

After Gallagher tied the game when his bad-angle shot from the corner sneaked past Jones, San Jose’s two Joes teamed up again. This time Thornton fed Pavelski in the slot from the side boards and he beat Condon with a quick one-timer for his 28th goal of the season.

The top line was at it again early in the second when Thornton made a nice entry and fed Burns for a wrister that beat Condon. The 36-year-old Thornton leads the NHL with 44 points since Dec. 15 and has 60 overall.

Pavelski, who added a goal late in the third, has 29 goals on the season and 61 points. San Jose’s duo joined Dallas’ Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin as the only teammates with at least 60 points this season.

The Canadiens made a game of it midway through the second when Mitchell batted a puck out of the air past Jones to make it 3-2. Jones kept the score there with a strong pad save late in the second to rob Tomas Plekanec.

The Sharks turned it into a laugher in the third when Karlsson batted in a perfect saucer pass from Chris Tierney, and Spaling knocked in a rebound of Logan Couture‘s shot for his second goal in four games since joining San Jose.

Spaling scored just once in 35 games with Toronto before being acquired last week.

NOTES: The Canadiens claimed forward Mike Brown off waivers from the Sharks and immediately played him against his former team. He got a warm ovation after being shown on the video board during the first period. … Burns got his 400th career point with an assist on Pavelski’s first-period goal. … Phillip Danault registered his first point with Montreal with his assist on Mitchell’s goal.

Canadiens, Devils swap Smith-Pelly for Matteau

Associated Press
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After shipping Eric Gelinas to Colorado and Lee Stempniak to Boston, the New Jersey Devils picked up forward Devante Smith-Pelly from the Montreal Canadiens for Stefan Matteau.

The Devils drafted Matteau in the first round, 29th overall, in 2012. He has three goals and five points in 44 career games with New Jersey.

The Canadiens will find out if there’s an ounce of offensive upside remaining in Matteau’s game. Montreal has holes on their first three lines which means that Matteau could see some meaningful minutes for the first time in his NHL career.

The 22-year-old is the son of former NHLer Stephane Matteau.

Smith-Pelly was acquired from the Ducks last season, but failed to make a lasting impression on the Canadiens brass. The 23-year-old plays a heavy game, but lacks the ideal skill and speed to be a regular contributor on a team’s top three lines.

Matteau has one year remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $650,000 while Smith-Pelly will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Report: Teams are calling the Canadiens about Galchenyuk

Associated Press
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The Montreal Canadiens have already shipped out two key rental players (Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann), but they may not be done making moves.

According to ESPN hockey analyst Pierre LeBrun, teams are calling the Canadiens to inquire  about the availability of center/left winger Alex Galchenyuk.

Just because teams are calling, doesn’t mean the player’s actually available. It would be shocking to see Montreal part ways with one of the most talented players on their roster.

As you can see from LeBrun’s tweet, Montreal would prefer to move other bodies away.

Who could he be referring to?

Names like Lars Eller, Tomas Plekanec, Devante Smith-Pelly, Andrei Markov and Nathan Beaulieu have all come up at various times in the last few weeks.

Eller and Beaulieu, because of talent, age and cap hits, seem to be the most interesting names of the bunch.

Veterans Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec went through some tough stretches while the Canadiens were falling apart in December, January and February. They are still serviceable players, but they both have term and a lot of money left on their contracts.