One defenceman comes in, and another walks out.
Guy Carbonnneau announced after Saturday's 5-3 win over the horrendous Ottawa Senators that Francis Bouillon has a torn groin and will be out at least two to four weeks, if not longer.
I've been pretty hard on Bouillon of late because I feel his game has slipped since early January, but his loss is still a difficult one for the Canadiens to swallow just because he plays a physical game.
The Habs defence is not particularly tough, but without Bouillon it becomes downright soft. Replacing Bouillon with Patrice Brisebois against the Senators is one thing, but against the Canucks Tuesday, in Philadelphia on Friday and hosting San Jose on Saturday, that simply won't cut it.
The Habs could bring back Ryan O'Byrne, but what I would do is move Mathieu Dandenault back to the blue line. Having said that, I would be stunned to see it happen because Carbonneau appears to be convinced that Dandenault simply can;t play defence anymore, which I have trouble understanding.
I thought he did pretty well the few games he played back there this season, and his skating ability is pretty valuable. I'm not saying Dandenault should be logging 20 minutes in a top-four role, but as a sixth defenceman I think he can get the job done.
Plus, moving Dandenault back frees up a spot for either Steve Begin or Georges Laraque to fill on the fourth line. As unimpressed as I've been with Laraque as an enforcer thus far, I think he'll be needed this week against three tough teams.