Canadiens Dvorak Out For Season, Habs Brace For Bumpy Finish
The Montreal Canadiens announced that Christian Dvorak would miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
The 27-year-old centreman has missed the last week of action with a lower-body injury, and now we know why.
Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes announced that Christian Dvorak had successful knee surgery today.
The Canadiens centre is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of the 2023-2024 season.
The rugged centre put up ten goals and 18 assists for 28 points in 64 games this season, but had really begun to turn up the production in the second half of the season before getting injured.
With the Canadiens already without Sean Monahan, Jake Evans and Kirby Dach, the Canadiens’ NHL-level centre depth was already incredibly thin, but it just became non-existent.
Only Nick Suzuki remains as the centreman with legitimate NHL experience on the roster at the moment.
Dvorak was, by far, the Canadiens’ best faceoff specialist remaining and was tasked with some important defensive missions.
His 52% in the dot was the highest on the team with Monahan and Evans injured; every other centre on the team right now is under 50%
The Canadiens have seen their faceoff efficiency drop significantly since Dvorak’s injury, but thankfully have been able to call upon Alex Belzile and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard to fill in on the penalty kill and on defensive missions.
Despite the reinforcements, however, the Canadiens have struggled on the penalty kill of late; allowing over 6 goals in their last three games; many of which coming off a lost faceoff in the defensive zone.
With the Canadiens only having 15 games left to the season, it’s unsurprising to see them shut down some of their players at this stage and elect for surgery; as there isn’t much to gain for this season.
And, for the large section of the fanbase that is hoping to see the Canadiens finish as low as possible in the NHL standings, seeing a veteran as dependable as Dvorak get shelved for the rest season won’t help Montreal’s chances of winning down the stretch.
The Canadiens just came off a seven-game losing streak; and things aren’t likely to get any better with their best defensive forward gone for the rest of the season.
Good news for Belzile too. He’s guaranteed to keep getting an NHL salary for the remainder of the season. Although I think that may have already been the case because he wasn’t eligible for the AHL playoffs anymore because he couldn’t be “papered” without the risk of losing him on waivers. At least he’ll be getting lots of ice time to solidify a contract for next year. Ties in perfectly with the article about him earlier today.