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Practice Notes: Matheson on IR, Allen Set To Start

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Montreal Canadiens defenceman Mike Matheson

The Montreal Canadiens announced that newly-acquired defenceman Mike Matheson was placed on the injured list, resulting in the call-up of Corey Schueneman from their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.

Matheson was originally considered day-to-day, and general manager Kent Hughes hoped results from magnetic resonance imaging would yield positive news, but it seems the situation is a little more serious than anticipated.

The injury is a significant blow to the Canadiens’ blue line, seeing as Matheson is one of the few defencemen on the team with a reasonable number of NHL games under his belt.

To put it into perspective, with just 417 games played, Matheson has almost 10 times more experience in the NHL than Schueneman, Jordan Harris, Kaiden Guhle, Jonathan Kovacevic, and Arber Xhekaj combined.

Without Matheson in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens were forced to ice a five-forward powerplay unit, which left Mike Hoffman as the last man back on the blue line.

However, there is a silver lining. The injury will lead to an uptick in available ice time for the bevy of young defencemen that made the roster this season.

Other news and notes

  • The defensive pairings remained intact: David Savard with Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris with
    Johnathan Kovacevic, and Aber Xhekaj alongside Chris Wideman.
  • Schueneman practiced on the fourth pairing beside Logan Mailloux.
  • The forward lines were identical to the ones used against the Maple Leafs, however, Jonathan Drouin practiced on the third line with the Juraj Slafkovsky, Christian Dvorak and Brendan Gallagher trio, whereas Michael Pezzetta took rushes on the fourth line alongside Jake Evans, Rem Pitlick and Evgeni Dadonov.
  • Goaltender Jake Allen only practiced for half an hour but is likely to start Friday’s matchup versus the Detroit Red Wings, connoting Samuel Montembeault will probably start the second game of the back-to-back against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

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