The injury bug continues to wreak havoc on the Montreal Canadiens.
Forward Jonathan Drouin will miss tonight’s game against the New York Islanders after taking a shot off the side of the head in the win over Detroit on Tuesday. Despite taking line rushes and clearing concussion protocol, the Habs are being cautious with Drouin.
The Montreal Canadiens planned to be without Paul Byron until the new year and captain Shea Weber for potentially forever. But head coach Dominique Ducharme didn’t expect this. Drouin is just the latest Habs player to be hampered by injury early this season.
Joel Edmundson is still 10 days to two weeks away from returning from a lower-body injury that has kept him out since before training camp. Jeff Petry is coping with an injury he suffered in L.A. Brendan Gallagher has struggled with a core injury. Jake Evans has missed a couple of games due to an undisclosed ailment.
Although other teams such as the Jack Eichel bound Vegas Golden Knights have dealt with major injuries, the Habs have dealt with mostly annoying injuries. Injuries that hamper important players but don’t knock them out of the lineup. Missing a game or two denies chances to solidify chemistry between teammates.
Now without the deputizing Drouin out and Cedric Paquette serving the final game of his two-game suspension, the Habs look dangerously thin down the middle. Again. Adam Brooks will draw in for Drouin but Ducharme said we’ll have to wait until pre-game warmup to know how his forward lines will shake out.
Players have limped through the first three weeks of the season. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the team has as well.
Here are your Montreal Canadiens expected lines tonight against the New York Islanders
Toffoli – Suzuki – Gallagher
Hoffman – Dvorak – Anderson
Lehkonen – Evans – Armia
Pezzetta – Brooks – Belzile
Chiarot – Petry
Kulak – Savard
Romanov – Wideman
The New York Islanders are one of only two teams to have only played seven games so far this season. Barry Trotz’s boys have a record of 3-2-2 and were last in action on Saturday night, losing 3-2 in a shootout to the Nashville Predators.
What do you know about the Islanders? They play the tried and true Trotz method. Stingy defense and goals by committee. The Islanders have allowed the sixth least amount of goals per game and none of their forwards have put up more than five points yet this year. However they do have five players with four points or more.
Where the Habs have been dealing with niggling injuries, New York are fully healthy after getting goaltender Semyon Varlamov back. He has yet to play this year after dealing with an undisclosed injury. Ilya Sorokin has taken the starter’s mantle and run with it so far. He has a save percentage of .931 and a 2.26 goals-against average.
The boo birds will be out for Bell Centre villain Zdeno Chara. The former Bruins captain will play his first game as an Islander against the Habs.
Here are how the New York Islanders are expected to lineup against the Montreal Canadiens tonight per Puckpedia
Lee – Barzal – Bailey
Beauvillier – Nelson – Palmieri
Parise – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Pelech – Mayfield
Chara – Pulock
Greene – Dobson
- This will be the 172nd meeting between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders. The Habs have a winning record of 94-53-15-9 against the Isles
- Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher is two goals away from tying Saku Koivu for 27th all-time in franchise history (189). He’s also two points away for tying J.C Tremblay for 39th all-time in franchise history (363).
- Zdeno Chara will play game 1,616 tonight. He’ll tie Larry Murphy for third most games played in NHL history and eleventh-most in league history.