The Montreal Canadiens were relatively inactive at the trade deadline on Friday, which was cause for consternation among fans who felt they missed an opportunity to fuel their tank by trading veterans. Later that same day, they were taken to school by the lowly Anaheim Ducks, suggesting that maybe their tank is running just fine for the time being.
But of far more concern to this team should be the mountain of injuries they’ve dealt with this season, and how lightly they need to tread with these situations through their remaining 20 games.
Complete nightmare season of injuries continues...— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) March 4, 2023
Looks like Kaiden Guhle just seriously hurt his shoulder. pic.twitter.com/s3NCBDEozS
Kaiden Guhle is barely back from his lengthy stretch on the mend for a knee injury, and we saw him clearly in pain after this routine collision with Maxime Comtois. Clutching his right shoulder, he’d head straight for the bench and subsequently to the dressing room. He did return to the game in the second period, but was somewhat limited from that point in terms of ice time.
I don’t want to cast aspersions on the Habs’ medical team, so I’ll assume that Guhle was in fact good to go for the remainder of that game. If he wasn’t, an entirely different conversation must be had about why they’d let him back on the ice in a meaningless game that the team is technically better off losing. Even assuming that Guhle was okay to play, I’d personally have preferred to see him sit the rest of that one out, given how uncomfortable he looked following the collision.
The team’s medical staff has been under fire this season — not without good reason — and it is imperative that they are extremely careful from here out. There is zero benefit to putting a player back in a game where they were hurt, or rushing them back from a stint on the IR. Losses are helping the draft lottery odds, so they need to have the ability to shut a player down if there is even a slightly elevated risk of longer-term damage.
This season has been incredibly tough for the Habs, and the last thing they need is to risk the health of anyone — let alone key rebuild pieces — for games that don’t matter.
Bottom Six Minutes!
Most of this episode is focused on the team’s trade deadline activities, or lack thereof. This season has sucked enough without us Habs fans needing to go to battle with each other online over the team’s moves and non-moves. We all want the same thing in the end, so let’s try to be nice to each other on the internet, alright?
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