The 22-year-old suffered a lower body injury when he collided with Los Angeles Kings centre Anze Kopitar in the third period of Sunday’s 5-4 shootout victory. Team doctors examined him in St. Louis on Monday and he’ll be re-evaluated in Montreal on Wednesday.
The injury happened on a harmless enough play, but replays seemed to illustrate some knee-on-knee contact.
The news is obviously not good for the Habs as Galchenyuk has 23 points in 25 games this season and has collected eight points on the power play.
Montreal has found the right mix by putting the forward with Alexander Radulov, who has 21 points in 23 games and has found a connection with Galchenyuk. Head coach Michel Therrien threw captain Max Pacioretty in the mix on Sunday and the line came up with three goals.
“There is good chemistry with him [Radulov] and Galchenyuk,” Therrien said. “I think those two really fit well together. Radulov is a good playmaker and Galchenyuk is a good goal scorer.”
Moving forward, the Canadiens have a few options to work with in terms of replacing him. Injuries to Michael McCarron and Charles Hudon limit who can be called up from St. John’s, but Sven Andrighetto could get a chance.
Therrien also has some flexibility with Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw, who can both slot in at the centre position and could see an upgrade in ice time. Paul Byron is another option.
But make no mistake about it, this injury stings.
The Canadiens are wrapping up a five-game road trip against the Blues on Tuesday night and they’ll look to evaluate Galchenyuk further, which could lead to a more specific determination as to his injury and a better indication as to the game plan.