The Montreal Canadiens will play Game 6 against the New York Rangers Thursday even more shorthanded than they were without goalie Carey Price: key heart-and-soul contributor Dale Weise will miss the game with what the team would only say is a “body injury”, while blueliner Alexei Emelin may also not be in the lineup when the teams square off at Madison Square Garden.
Few doubt the gritty Weise is suffering from a head injury he sustained when Blueshirts defenseman John Moore blindsided him in Game 5 Tuesday with a hit that got him suspended for two games. Emelin sat out Game 5 with suspected knee woes and is considered a game-time decision for Game 6.
The Habs were counted out of the series when star goalie Carey Price was sidelined with an undisclosed leg injury in Game 1, so it’s not fair to expect them to fold in Game 6 and head home for the summer. That said, every team’s depth is tested in the playoffs and the Habs have been relatively fortunate to avoid the injury bug prior to this series. They’ll have to lean more on their depth and veteran experience to force a Game 7 Saturday in Montreal – a game they could have Weise and Emelin back for – and they will get Brendan Gallagher back for Game 6 after his two-game suspension ended.
In other words, even with a depleted lineup, don’t count out the Canadiens just yet.