And while Emelin re-habilitates over the next six months, the show must go on.
Davis Drewiske, who has been a total surprise in his three games with the Canadiens ( to everyone with the probable exception of Marc Bergevin and his pro scouts) will be asked to assume Emelin’s minutes as Andrei Markov‘s even strength partner. They were together at Canadiens practice in Brossard Monday.
When Emelin went down midway through the first period of Saturday night’s game, Michel Therrien was forced to make an in-game assessment of Drewiske in all situations. Ten of his 28 even-strength shifts were beside Francis Bouillon. But he was also on the ice with Markov and Josh Gorges eight times. Therrien even had him on the left side beside P.K. Subban four times. Drewiske’s last two shifts were with Markov in the final four minutes of the game which may have decided the issue for Therrien.
Defensive style defencemen have always seemed to thrive alongside Markov. When healthy over the last decade he’s played with first Craig Rivet, then Mike Komisarek and of course Emelin.
Nathan Beaulieu was re-called from Hamilton on Sunday morning. He will be paired with Francis Bouillon again for Tuesday’s game against the Capitals both five-on-five and on the second Canadiens power play unit.
Left wing Rene Bourque will be in the Canadiens lineup for the first time in 21 games. He suffered a concussion against the Islanders February 21st. With the Canadiens top three lines playing well, he’ll be eased into the lineup on the fourth line with Jeff Halpern and Travis Moen.
The fate of Raphael Diaz is not as clear. He suffered his concussion four days after Bourque went down. Although skating, he still has not been cleared to resume practice with his teammates.
Max Pacioretty left practice early for therapy on a “lower body” injury. Pacioretty was hit on the ankle with a P.K. Subban shot during a first period power play in Philadelphia on Wednesday and against Boston Saturday he disappeared from the Canadiens bench for a couple of shifts in the second period. He returned to log six third period on-ice appearances. Knowing Pacioretty’s high pain threshold there’s no reason to think he won’t be available again Tuesday. His official status is day-to-day.
After playing the Capitals at the Bell Centre Tuesday, six of the final nine games will be on the road starting with Buffalo Thursday and Toronto Saturday.