Friday, October 2, 2009

Hold your breath, Habs nation

The news doesn't appear to be all that good in the case of Andrei Markov.

Cut on the right leg by the skate of goalie Carey Price, the Habs perpetual MVP spent last night in a Toronto hospital and there's a radio station in the Queen City that is reporting he was operated on, CKAC reports.

I'm no doctor, but if that's indeed the case, that would mean the skate caused some major damage, like a ligament. And that, my friends, would be an unmitigated disaster.

The Habs are playing in Buffalo Saturday night before heading out to western Canada for three games, a place that has not historically been very kind to the Canadiens.

We all know the Habs record without Markov in the lineup since the lockout (6-19-2, in case you don't), and his presence is vital to his team's success, especially with a completely re-made blue line that is clearly still trying to find some cohesion. If the injury were to cost Markov a month of action, that translates into 13 or 14 games missed in this crazy-compressed Olympic-year schedule.

I know past history can kind of be thrown out the window with all the new faces on the team, but based on the Habs record without Markov it would mean maybe three or four wins over the rest of October. And if indeed the Canadiens are sitting with, say, a 4-7-3 record on Oct. 31, it will make an eventual playoff spot that much more difficult to grab later on this season.

You may think I'm over-dramatizing an early-season injury, and you may say that it's better this happens now rather than in April (like it did last year), but you shouldn't under-estimate the importance of a strong start to the season in the era of the three-point game. It has become extremely difficult to make up ground in the NHL since it started awarding a loser point, and every single game, from No. 1 to No. 82, has become vitally important.

The Canadiens will likely come out with some sort of "lower body injury" report later today, which should effectively alleviate any fears fans may have. Feel free to hold your breath until then.

UPDATE: Thanks to PMK for pointing to this report from Sportsnet that Markov may have suffered tendon damage and could require surgery. Good morning everyone!


Arjun said...

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck! Markov!

Gill played like a pylon.
Mara has yet to impress me.
They are both slow on a fast team.
Toronto didn't play too hot and won't. Beauchemin and Komi both had awful games.
The Leafs were a little quick though - or at least they looked quick against Gill and Mara.
Gorges slips on the ice once a game. With no one around him. I wonder why.
I don't know why Moen isn't playing with Latendresse and Lapierre.
What was with all the line juggling? I thought that would be a thing of the past?

Fuck fuck fuck.

Sliver24 said...


We are quite possibly screwed.

It's simple, folks. Weber is ready for the big time or he's not. Either way he's about to get the chance to prove it to us all.

There's no way Weber is going to truly replace Markov but if he can step in and do a reasonable job, especially offensively, the Habs should at least be able to stay with the pack.

If not... well I don't even want to consider it.

Arp, early season is definitely better than later in this case. Weber will come in at a time when the team is still working out the kinks so he can be part of that process. The same will be true of the Habs' opponents, meaning Weber will be able to ease into the season instead of jumping in against seasoned NHL talent that's in mid-season form.

And for the record, Spacek was the guy that really scared me last night. He looked like he was wearing lead skates on several occasions. I think Guillaume could probably beat him in a race.

Paul said...

Reports are saying 2 to 4 months. Bye-bye playoffs. Markov is the single most important player on the team and he is the one player whose absence cannot be absorbed over the long haul.

A lot of guys looked out of breath out there last night. Martin was right about the team's conditioning. It is among the main factors why it will take some time for the team to round into a cohesive unit. By early December, regardless of where the Habs are in the standings, the boys will be in fine physical form (anyone remember what Martin instituted in Ottawa--post-game (win or lose) cycling sessions for 20 or 30 minutes--can't remember which--for EVERYONE. NO exceptions without an injury. Even post-game interviews were given by players cycling while talking. That's going to be in place in the Bell Centre soon, I heard).

G Botsis said...

Arjun hit the nail on the head with his comments. Gill and mara were both slow, Im particularly worried about Gill. I think Mara will settle down, and Im hoping Spacek will be a bit more mobile. Gorges does fall unexiplicably too.. whats up with that??? But he was one of our best yesterday. Hopefully Hamrlik will come in and solidify a major hole with markov's injury. I say Gainey should Bring up Subban... that will be a good education for him. At least he can skate...He will learn on the job

pfhabs said...


-what happened to all that commentary that we were bigger, younger w lots of experience etc etc on defence ?

-guess what; Gill and Mara were slow before Bob signed them. Spacek is no Markov and has never been even before Bob signed him

-the chickens are coming home to roost and I take no pleasure in it

-Gainey & Gauthier what a pair of fools but they will not fool me ever again...too many mistakes over too long a period

Sliver: if Weber isn't ready they'll be lucky to be top 10 in their conference as Markov is gone for 4 months

jkr said...

They were awful last year without Markov but they were a bad team with him in the lineup.

For now I'll reserve judgement until I have at least seen them play for a couple of weeks. This is a very serious blow to be sure but I want to see how the new faces adjust before I officially throw in the towel.

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