Montreal Canadiens: Injuries Are Becoming Increasingly Worrisome
The Montreal Canadiens' injury situation has gotten to a point that one has to ask, "Are you kidding me?"
I know I've asked that question at least once.
The first time I shook my head in confusion was when I heard that Blair Betts, the very player that would have been the perfect fit on the penalty kill and as a fourth-line centre-man, was shipped back to the Philadelphia Flyers because he couldn't pass a physical.
It seemed almost apropos at the time, given the rash of injuries that the Habs had already endured.
The team went into Winnipeg with Andreas Engqvist as the new, semi-permanent replacement for Blair Betts (who figured to be a replacement for Engqvist and his ineffectiveness.)
It was a disappointing turn of events, but when push came to shove, Betts was just a fourth-line player—it's not like the Habs would have to be without a top-six forward.
At least not until later in the game, when Michael Cammalleri was cut by a skate blade in the first period, not long after scoring a lovely goal.
Yes, Cammalleri is a valuable player, perhaps the most important goal-scoring forward on the team, but he is not part of the defensive corps that appears to be taking numbers to get into the infirmary.
Jaroslav Spacek, though, is one of those players. He suffered what looked to be a rib injury earlier in the period and was absent for the remainder of the game.
And so the list continues to grow.
Cammalleri's cut is supposedly not serious. He's slated to miss two weeks of play.
There has been no word on Spacek's status as of yet, but it looks as though he'll be missing some time.
Thankfully, the Habs managed to put on quite the show against the Jets, even though they were playing with a short bench for the majority of the game.
Engqvist played well and was very good on faceoffs (6-3). Travis Moen took Cammalleri's spot on the top line and scored a very un-Moen-like goal. Yannick Weber stepped in on defense (why the team has him) and played an excellent game.
For me, though, their 5-1 drubbing was overshadowed by the loss of players.
They don't play until Thursday, and a light schedule over the next couple of weeks certainly benefits the ailing club.
Lars Eller is set to return this week—he will give the team some options in the lineup.
We can only hope that when the Habs host the Calgary Flames on Thursday for the team's home opener that no other Habs will be lost due to injury.
I hope this curse has ended.
I'm getting very tired of writing about looking for replacements—enough is enough!
Follow Jason on Twitter at @jhytel.
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