With half the roster injured, the Montreal Canadiens had no choice but to make a move.
The team claimed forward Chris Tierney off waivers on Thursday.
Tierney, 28, is a left-handed centre who most recently played with the Florida Panthers and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Tierney has scored 75 goals and 154 assists in 574 NHL games, spending time with the San Jose Sharks and the Ottawa Senators before arriving in Florida. This season he earned just two goals and an assist in 13 games with the Panthers.
TIERNEY SCORES A GOAL 🚨
Giving the Panthers a 1 goal lead!
— Monke Sports (@monke_sports) December 9, 2022
The Panthers have only managed to control a little over 46 percent of the shots with Tierney on the ice this year, not to mention, just 44 percent of the high-danger chances.
Consequently, Tierney’s expected goals for (xGF%) is a paltry 36.5 percent.
With all due respect, when evaluating the impact of this waiver claim, it comes down to adding a warm body to the mix. The Canadiens have been decimated by injuries this season, and the bad news keeps getting worse.
They announced centre Kirby Dach‘s non-covid illness had progressed into a lower-body injury, which will keep the exciting forward out of the lineup for the time being. The Habs also lost the services of Joel Armia, who joins Dach in the infirmary, alongside Joel Edmundson, Chris Wideman, Kaiden Guhle, Carey Price, Paul Byron, Brendan Gallagher, Sean Monahan, Arber Xhekaj, Jake Evans, Juraj Slafkovsky, and Cole Caufield.
Without Tierney in the mix, the Canadiens essentially only have two centres: Nick Suzuki and Christian Dvorak, although Alex Belzile can also play down the middle if need be.
The Canadiens have the most difficult strength of schedule in the NHL, and despite the unfortunate news that Dach and Co. will be out of action for a significant amount of time, the injuries do improve their odds for the 2023 Draft Lottery.
All NHL statistics are 5 v 5 unless otherwise noted by the author, via NaturalStatTrick.