After a tussle with the Toronto Marlies Jesse Blacker last Saturday in the 5-0 drubbing the Bulldogs received, Louis Leblanc fell awkwardly and left the game. He also missed the Bulldogs' next game, against Rochester last night, also a loss.
After a couple of days of evaluation by the medical staff, Derek Wills, the official Bulldogs play-by-play man, informs us that Leblanc suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain and will be out 4-6 weeks.
This is awful news for the Bulldogs, as Louis was easily their biggest scoring threat at even strength. High ankle sprains often take a lot longer to heal than expected, and when players come back they don't look like themselves.
This is an especially devastating blow for Leblanc, who's skating isn't that great to begin with. His mobility will likely be effected for a couple of months.
This injury may also blow any chance of Leblanc making the Habs this year, as a CBA deal, if it's going to happen, will likely happen before his 4-6 week healing regime is done, and he would miss whatever short training camp the Canadiens hold for extra roster spots.
As with all injuries, with the bad comes opportunity. Players like Patrick Holland, Steven Quailer and Brendan Gallagher will now be relied on more heavily in Hamilton, and players like Joonas Nattinen, Alexander Avtsin and Alain Berger will now how opportunities to jump into the lineup. The biggest beneficiary though could be Aaron Palushaj, who is now the solitary scoring level forward on the call up sheet until Louis is healthy.
If we have NHL hockey of course.