When Michael Blunden was hit by the Devils Patrick Elias on February 2nd he became the fourteenth different member of the Canadiens to go on the their injury list.
After the swelling went down, doctors discovered miniscus damage and ordered arthroscopic surgery to clean it up. Blunden underwent the procedure this morning. He will be missing for four to six weeks; somewhere between fifteen and twenty games.
Add Yannick Weber to the list. He suffered what appeared to be a left knee injury when he was checked by the Penguins Chris Kunitz during last night’s overtime period. He missed practice this morning and was not with the team when they left for Long Island this afternoon.
As a result, the Canadiens have recalled Aaron Palushaj from the Hamilton Bulldogs for the fourth time this season. Palushaj’s latest re-assignment came only Sunday. He went pointless in the 4-2 loss to San Antonio yesterday with six shots on goal.
Travis Moen and Ryan White came off injury reserve over the last 24 hours but, along with Blunden and now Weber, Andrei Markov, Brian Gionta and Petteri Nokelainen remain on the list and man-games-lost will go over 260 tomorow night against the Islanders. It now totals 256.
On the brighter side, the last two days Andrei Markov has been stretching it out in his solo skating routiines. He put in a hard forty minutes this morning. Nobo.dy is prepared to predict a date for Markov’s return to the lineup. They’ve been stung in that department three times already this season.
The Canadiens have won two in a row after dropping their first three after the All-Star game. They rank 13th in the Eastern conference, tied in points with 12th place Tampa Bay who hold two games in hand. They have the nearly impossible task of passing five teams and gaining eleven points on the pack in their final 28 games to reach a playoff berth. On the more realistic side, in the so-called “race” for a high draft pick, the Canadiens rank 25th overall four points away 29th.