Intelligent, diligent, highly skilled, under-appreciated, essential, handsome, irreplaceable. These are the words that I've used to describe the recently injured Tomas Plekanec in my diary. He's the most important forward on the team and if he's out for an extended period of time, the Habs are simply not worth watching.
Alright, so maybe I'm being a tad melodramatic given the situation. Plekanec sustained a groin injury yesterday and has been classified as day-to-day by the Canadiens medical staff. He's doubtful for tonight's game against the Winnipeg Jets and questionable for Saturday's game at home to the Boston Bruins. According to the Globe and Mail's Sean Gordon, "coach Michel Therrien intimated it isn't a serious injury." No timetable or prognosis has been released, so we'll just have to take the wait-and-see approach. In the meantime, it looks as if we'll get a opportunity to examine the "David Desharnais is the Habs' number one centre" hypothesis in greater detail. For Desharnais lovers and haters alike, the next few games should be interesting.
bad segues interesting things, here are some fantastic links from around the hockey world. I hope you enjoy.
Habs News and Analysis
- Roster news abounds, dear reader. Adding insult to the aforementioned Plekanec injury, Max Pacioretty is a game time decision for tonight's match after taking a P.K. Subban slap shot off the foot. Gabriel Dumont has been recalled from Hamilton as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, Ryan White was healthy enough to make yesterday's trip to Philadelphia, but was unable to play. Hopefully he'll be ready to push Michael Blunden out of the lineup tonight. In spite of all this uncertainty, we do know a couple of things. Peter Budaj has seen the Habs win in his last four appearances and will get the start. Raphael Diaz has finally resumed skating individually while fellow concussion victim Rene Bourque has hit the ice at least twice this week.
- Broad Street Hockey's Kurt R. recaps last night's game against Philadelphia from a Flyers perspective. He gives special recognition to Sean Couturier for his performance.
- Our very own Chris Boyle has received well deserved praise for his Fenwick graphic, including a link on Deadspin. I don't know what's bigger, Canada's sweetheart Ben Mulroney's citing Bruce's P.K. Subban piece or this!
- Here's a preview of tonight's game against the Jets by Jon Palmieri of the Associated Press. Palmieri notes that last night's 17 shot performance against the Flyers was the lowest shot total the Canadiens have posted this season.
Know Your Enemy: Winnipeg Jets Edition
- There's not too much roster information on the Jets front. Aaron Gagnon has been called up while Patrice Cormier has been sent down. Nik Antropov suffered a lower body injury and is expected to miss two weeks. Waiver wire pickup Mike Santorelli should join the Jets tonight.
- Here's a preview of tonight's game against the Jets by "arby18" over at Arctic Ice Hockey. He notes that "Dustin Byfuglien was skating as a forward during the pre-game skate, so look for him to be a top-6 forward tonight."
- Arctic Ice Hockey's Yaw Axis is pretty happy with Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff's decision to not make any big moves at the deadline. He does lament the Jets passing over Jussi Jokinen when he was on the waiver wire, though.
- In a move that has Northeast Division implications, the Tampa Bay Lightning traded a potential Calder Trophy candidate in Cory Conacher for the Ottawa Senators "third sting" goalie Ben Bishop. Jets fan TJ Maughan takes a moment to revel in Tampa's poor decision making.
General News and Analysis
- Graeme Nichols over at the 6th Sens gives his thoughts on the Cory Conacher-Ben Bishop trade. Nichols notes that the trade may not be as massive a win for the Senators as most fans seem to think. Conacher has put up mediocre possession numbers despite spending 40% of his EV time with Steven Stamkos. He notes that Bryan Murray still sold high on Bishop though, after rejecting a Ryan Jones centered deal from Edmonton and being unable to secure Sean Couturier from Philadelphia.
- John Fontana over at Raw Charge is "personally devastated" over the Conacher trade.
- The Oilers' acquisition of fourth liner Jerred Smithson has lead to hilarity, both intentional and otherwise. On the unintentional comedy side, Steve Tambellini cites playoff faceoff percentage as one of the measures used to evaluate Smithson's fit with the Oilers. If anyone in the audience can come up with a more ridiculous or useless player evaluation metric, I'm all ears. On the intentional comedy side, Benjamin Massey calls Smithson a "Trash Bag of Moldy Hamburgers" in his breakdown of the deal.
- Ellen Etchingham lends her pen to the mandatory visor debate. Etchingham's prose is so meticulously crafted, I find that it's best to let her speak for herself. Here's a quotation from the article:
- "By all means, hector, cajole, nag, caution, and warn every hockey player you see to wear a visor. Present all the evidence. Make all the safety arguments in the strongest possible terms. But don't prioritize men's eyes over their viewpoints, nor their brains over their thoughts."
- Lighthouse Hockey's PGI breaks down Sportsnet's new daily program "Luongo Central." Highlights include analysis on Luongo's play from Damian Cox and Doug Maclean on the same panel!
- Here's CBC Sports columnist Tim Wharnsby with an assessment on where the seven Canadian teams stand after trade deadline day.
- Some Washington Capitals fans have taken to Filip Forsberg's Wikipedia page to express their displeasure with the Martin Erat, Michael Latta - Filip Forsberg trade GM George McPhee did with Nashville. Apparently, Caps management was "souring" on the Swedish prospect, which may explain what looks to be an overpayment for a 31-year-old Erat.
- Finally, here's reaction by Columbus and New York Rangers fans to the biggest deal of yesterday's trade deadline: Marian Gaborik for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, and a 2013 sixth-round draft pick.
Archive Material and EOTP News
- Don't believe my Bruce Peter-Ben Mulroney reference? Here's the proof!