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Alexei Emelin Injury update: Canadiens defenseman added to injured reserve

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The Canadiens now have three players on the injured reserve, something they were able to avoid all season.

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While there has been no official announcement, if you check the Montreal Canadiens' official roster page, Alexei Emelin has been placed on injured reserve, joining Sergei Gonchar and P.A. Parenteau.

We already knew due to Eric Engels reporting it that Emelin could be out as long as six weeks, so this isn't a surprising move. Meanwhile, Sergei Gonchar is reportedly close to a return, and while P.A. Parenteau has been skating for awhile now, there hasn't been much news about him.

Meanwhile, with Emelin and Gonchar out, the suddenly significantly younger and more mobile Canadiens defense has seen a marked improvement in effectiveness. Nathan Beaulieu looks better with Tom Gilbert than he had with Gonchar, and the bottom pairing of Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn has been extremely effective in a small sample, showing depth on defense that the Canadiens may not have known they had before.

Emelin's name has been floated in trade rumours in recent weeks, and though his injury may take him out of some possible deals, the fact is that the Canadiens have to make room for their young defensemen. The performance of the young guns right away opens up a lot of flexibility going forward.