The Montreal Canadiens had two injury-related announcements to make on Thursday, starting with the revelation that defenceman Shea Weber was done for the season and continuing with the declaration that goalie Carey Price is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Weber hasn’t played since December 16 and will undergo surgery to repair a torn tendon on his left foot.
It’s believed that the veteran blueliner suffered the initial injury on opening night as he was hit by a shot. He played through the pain until he was pulled from the lineup, said head coach Claude Julien, and that’s led to here.
Weber skated in 20 of the first 21 games of the season, sat for six games, skated for six more before landing on the injured list. Since then, recovery hasn’t gone according to plan. Hence, surgery.
“After further exams, and a consultation on Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin with specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, and with Shea’s approval, it has been determined that he should undergo surgery and will be out for the reminder of the season,” team orthopedic surgeon Paul Martineau said.
In 26 games this season, Weber has six goals and 10 assists.
Sitting Weber for the remainder of the year holds interesting comparisons to 2015-2016, as that was when Price sat for the remainder of the season due to injury. Like that season, the Canadiens’ fortunes are less than stellar. They don’t look like a playoff team and sitting a star player will have minimal impact on their fortunes going forward.
Adding a Price injury to this context, then, puts things in perspective.
Price suffered a concussion after taking a Shayne Gostisbehere shot to the face on Tuesday. The Montreal netminder didn’t leave the game, but he missed practice on Wednesday and Charlie Lindgren was recalled.
Now it’s been revealed that there’s no timetable for Price’s return, plus Antti Niemi and Lindgren will fill in the gaps.
Ahead of Thursday’s contest against the New York Rangers, the Canadiens are 22-29-8 with 52 points. That ties them with the beleaguered Ottawa Senators, who are in the midst of a rebuild, and puts them five points behind the Detroit Red Wings.
The Habs are not expected to make the playoffs at this point, so rushing Price back is both unlikely and unwise.