Things keep trending down for the ailing Montreal Canadiens. In Tuesday’s second straight loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, captain Max Pacioretty was injured during the second period when he took a P.K. Subban slapshot to the side of his head.
He left the game and did not return.
It’s just more bad news for Habs, who are still without goaltender Carey Price.
Up until December 2 they had the best record in the NHL at 19-4-3. Since then they own the league’s worst record at 5-18-1. That’s just 11 points over the last 24 games. The next worst team, the Buffalo Sabres, has 21 points since December 2. Every other team has gained at least twice as many standings points as the Canadiens.
The team has not updated Pacioretty’s status, other than coach Michel Therrien saying that he believes Pacioretty will be ok and be back in the lineup on February 2 when the team returns from break. Though we know from countless head injuries — like what happened with Aaron Ekblad this year — that a player can pass through concussion protocol just fine during the game and then have the effects of the concussion manifest later.
If anything short-term should crop up, the team will be fortunate that it comes right at the All-Star break, minimizing the number of games their captain will miss.
You can watch the play below. The puck appears to catch him just below his left ear.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.