LAVAL, QC. — When you think things couldn’t get any worse for the Montreal Canadiens this season, the injury bug has hit the team hard.
Here are my top 5 takes of the past week:
- Price ready to return – On Friday, Carey Price participated in his first full practice with his teammates and travelled with them to Toronto for Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs. On February 22nd, when the team announced that Price was out indefinitely with a concussion, I was convinced that he would be shut down for the remainder of the season. With his imminent return, I ask if Price needs to play given that games are meaningless at this point. In my opinion, I think that Price should take the remainder of the season off to make sure he is 100 per cent recovered and to move on quickly from the worst season in his career. On the other hand I assume that Price wants to play before the end of the season to get good starts finishing the season on a positive. Can you imagine the storylines from April to October if Price doesn’t start another game this season or if he comes back and doesn’t play well?
- Shaw concussed – On Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, it appeared Andrew Shaw suffered his third concussion in the last year when he collided with Greg Pateryn. The team hasn’t confirmed that Shaw suffered a concussion, but Claude Julien said that the medical staff is treating it like it was a concussion. This is another odd statement by the organization on inuries this season. If it looks like a concussion, and it’s being treated like a concussion, it’s a concussion. I am concerned with Shaw’s health and his future as a hockey player.
- Pateryn punch – In that same game against Dallas, Andrew Shaw got the worst end of a collision he initiated with Stars defenceman Greg Pateryn. The two players collided head to head. In my opinion, there was nothing dirty about the incident until the players hit the ice. While Shaw was unconscious on the ice, Pateryn punched him twice. That was uncalled for. I will give Pateryn the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t know that Shaw was knocked out. All of this happened in a matter of a split second. But under no circumstances should a player throw punches when someone is laying on the ice. I am disappointed with NHL Player Safety department as I think they should have suspended Pateryn for the punches. That type of behaviour is not a hockey play.
- Weber surgery – on Tuesday, Shea Weber had surgery in Green Bay to repair an injury to tendons in his left foot. His recovery is expected to be six months, meaning that he should be ready for the start of training camp. I think that Weber and the Canadiens will regret waiting so long before opting for surgery. Senators captain Erik Karlsson suffered a similar injury last season and he had a slow start to this season.
- Where’s Max? – It’s odd to me how no one is talking about Max Pacioretty since his injury. The Canadiens captain was the main storyline for weeks heading into trade deadline, but he seems to have been forgotten since he left the game against the Islanders. I firmly believe that he has played his final game with the Habs. Wouldn’t be strange that Pacioretty and P.K. Subban would both miss the final games of the season before getting traded? If Max does end up being traded, I think Brendan Gallagher should be the next captain. He has impressed me so much since the leaders (Pacioretty, Price, Weber) have been out of the lineup. Gallagher has taken the team on his shoulders and all the players on this roster should match his effort level.
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