As we discussed yesterday, Galchenyuk suffered a lower body injury on Sunday and was examined by team doctors in St. Louis on Monday.
Ironically, the Canadiens turned to Desharnais to take his spot on the top line with Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov. The 30-year-old didn’t make it through the whole game against the Blues on Tuesday and left the game in the third period.
It looks like Desharnais was injured during some unintentional knee-on-knee contact with defenceman Jay Bouwmeester.
“Every team has to deal with injuries at some point,” Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher said Tuesday. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons like that in the past. We’re capable of doing it. [Galchenyuk] is obviously a very good player. You can’t replace him, but I think if everyone steps up and does a little bit more, we can certainly still find ways to win hockey games. That’s all that matters.”
Forward Sven Andrighetto was called up from St. John’s. He hasn’t played centre at the pro level and has zero points in four games with Montreal this season.
The Habs will likely turn to natural centres Torrey Mitchell and Tomas Plekanec to fill the void, while Phillip Danault, Brian Flynn and Andrew Shaw can also potentially line up down the middle.
But it’s hard not to characterize this as tremendous bad luck for the Canadiens, who’ve now lost their top two centres after a season in which they lost goalie Carey Price for a considerable stretch. These injuries hurt less, but they do highlight how things can change in an instant and how roster depth is vital.
The good news is that Montreal is still in good shape. They’re 17-6-3 and should be able to make the playoffs, if they play .500 hockey down the stretch.
But the way things are going injury-wise, that might be a big “if.”