Regardless of your fan affiliation, the Canadiens’ game against Buffalo tonight has been painful to watch. And I don’t mean that in some vague emotional sense either.
Every bone and muscle in your body will ache just from looking at your television screen. Turn away now while there’s still time.
The game is tied 1-1 and approaching the end of the second period. That’s the good news for Monteal, because it could be a lot worse. There’s been a steady parade to the Habs dressing room, with four players exiting with injuries of varying seriousness. The most notable has been Mike Cammalleri, who’s second on the team in points, and is Monteal’s top scorer on the powerplay.
Cammalleri left with an apparent shoulder injury after being pushed from behind by Sabres defenceman Mike Weber just over three minutes into the first period.
Weber received a two-minute minor for cross-checking on the play, while Cammalleri remains out and will not return to the game. Obviously it’s never good to see anyone get injured, but the penalty given to Weber was sufficient punishment.
No doubt talk of putting this hit under Colin Campbell’s magnifying glass is already in overdrive, but it’s difficult to even call this a hit. Weber shoved Cammalleri in his back, the kind of shove by a defenceman that can been seen at least a dozen times on any given NHL evening. We’ll need new bearings on the Wheel of Justice if we start punishing gentle shoves like this one with suspensions or fines.
That was just the start of the Habs’ hit parade though. Forward Max Pacioretty was struck in the chest with James Wisniewski’s blast from the blueline while he was attempting to screen Ryan Miller on the powerplay. Pacioretty struggled heavily while trying to leave the ice, and TV cameras later showed him being carted away from the arena on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.
As the black and blue first period finally ended, rookie Habs defenceman P.K Subban took a shot in the ankle and hobbled off in pain. The hits kept coming when centre Jeff Halpern took his number in the training room after being roughed up to Patrick Kaleta.
Both Subban and Halpern returned for the second period, but the injuries to Cammalleri and Pacioretty seem far more serious. A team that’s already severely depleted on the back end with Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges out for the season may have just suffered a serious blow up front as well.
UPDATE: It’s being reported that Cammalleri will be out for at least two weeks and has possibly suffered a separated shoulder.