The good news is, the NHL lockout appears to be over. The bad news, at least two members of the Canadiens will be showing up as damaged goods when training camp opens this week in Brossard.
The biggest worry, for obvious reasons, is the injury to Tomas Plekanec.
Plekanec was taken to hospital during the Czech Extraliga Kladno home game against Trinec Friday December 28th with what was feared to be a serious rib injury. X-rays proved negative. Still, he missed Kladno’s next two games and with news of a potential end to the lockout, had no intention of further injury risk by playing Sunday at Pilsen. Without Plekanec and linemates Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Tlusty, both of whom opted out because the CBA settlement, Kladno lost to Pilsen 4-1.
Plekanec told the Kladno newspaper Kladensky Denik Sunday, “The injury is painful, especially when I make an unexpected rotary motion. I am only at fifty percent.”
One can harken back to the misdiagnosis of the KHL injury suffered by Andrei Markov in late October by hospital doctors in Chekhov. After examination, Markov was told he had bruised ribs and would miss perhaps one or two games. It was later discovered the ribs were cracked and he was out of the lineup just over a month. The good news is, Markov is now healthy. Markov was in the lineup for the final time Sunday as Chekhov beat Yaroslavl 2-1. He didn’t pick up a point. His icetime was 18:45. He’s expected to fly to Montreal on Monday.
Scott Gomez has been forced to miss eight of his last eleven Alaska Aces/ECHL games including Saturday night’s game at Ontario California. The team has been vaguely referring to it as a “lower body” injury. Gomez has not played two games in a row since the problem surfaced during a home game against the Utah Grizzlies December 9th. There are suspicions that it’s a recurrence of a problem he had in late November when he missed four of five games. The recurring nature of the injury has all the earmarks of a groin injury that won’t go away which could damage whatever lingering comeback hopes he might have entertained in what will be a shortened training camp.
Lars Eller informed Finland’s JYP Jyväskylä team management Thursday that he would be returning to Montreal following the team’s two weekend games. He was already in transit when the tentative CBA agreement was announced.
Raphael Diaz and David Desharnais played their final games in the Swiss League on Saturday. Desharnais will return to Montreal in a good frame of mind after Spengler Cup participation and five points in his final two SNL games. Diaz leaves as the Swiss League’s highest scoring defenceman. Yannick Weber was scheduled to play a Sunday game against Rapperswil but rather than risk injury with Canadiens training camp looming, elected to take himself out of the lineup.
How the Eight Active Locked-Out Habs Fared –
Tomas Plekanec –Rytíři Kladno 32GP -21goals,25 assists =46 points Plus-10
David Desharnais – HC Fribourg 16GP – 4goals, 12 assists =16 points. Plus-5
Lars Eller – JYP Jyväskylä 15GP – 5goals, 10 assists = 15 points Plus-2
Scott Gomez-Alaska Aces/ECHL 11GP – 6goals, 7 assists = 13 points Plus-4
Raphael Diaz – EV Zug 32GP – 7 goals, 22 assists =29 points
Yanick Weber – Geneva-Servette 32GP – 5 goals, 16 assists =21 points
Andrei Markov – Vityaz Chekhov 20GP – 1 goal, 4 assists = 5 points Plus-4
Alexei Emelin – Ak-Bars Kazan 24GP – 2 goals, 7 assists = 9 points Plus-1