How Do You Spell Disaster?: Markov Out For Four Months
The Canadiens without Andrei Markov?
We've been down this route before and the results weren't pretty. Last time, the painful reminder of how important Markov is to the Habs lasted a brief but painful four games. This time around it will be four long months.
Disaster I say!
Here is the official announcement from both the NHL.com and Habs official sites.
The Canadiens will be without the services of All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov for the next four months.
The veteran blue-liner left the Habs' first game of the season late in the contest against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
He underwent surgery on Thursday night in Toronto to repair a lacerated tendon in his ankle. He was released from hospital this morning and will return to Montreal today.
Replacing an All Star defensemen who logs 20+ minutes of icetime is one thing, but Markov has long been they key kog in the Canadiens offence and transition game. En autres mots, he's damn near irreplaceable unless a trade is made.
What might seem at first like a door of opportunity has opened for the likes of Yannick Weber or P.K. Subban, this situation likely represents the worst scenario they could be brought into.
The pressure on either of them to be Markov, would be simply ridiculous.
A trade is most reasonable option. Now let's see, what teams are out of the playoff hunt one game into the season and are prepared to part with a puck moving blueliner.
Want an understatement? This will be a major test of character for the Canadiens, no doubt. Another understantement is this Gazette headline...Markov injury puts pressure on Habs' blueline....in which coach Martin tries to see that the light at the tunnel's end isn't an oncoming train.
The coach also looked to last year's Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, for inspiration. He noted that Sergei Gonchar and Ray Whitney missed most of the season, but were fresh for the Cup run. He also mentioned New Jersey goaltender Marty Brodeur returning fresh after an injury, but Brodeur's post-season play left something to be desired.
What Martin perhaps doesn't bring up, is the firing of coach Michel Therrien to help spark the Penguins down the stretch.
Oh yeah, and Piitsburgh also has a couple of kids named Crosby and Malkin, but that's inconsequencial I guess.
This is just plain bleak!