Brendan Gallagher (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens will be without first-line right winger Brendan Gallagher for at least two weeks. Should they shut him down for the year?
The Montreal Canadiens' playoff hopes are slim to say the least, and they were further dashed Tuesday when right winger Brendan Gallagher's injury timeline was revealed via the team's Twitter account. He's expected to miss two to three weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury during Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Jets. The play that hurt him:
It doesn't take a PhD to speculate on where Gallagher got hurt. Losing him is a huge blow to Montreal. He's been one of their lone bright spots all year, racking up 18 goals and 35 points in 49 games. He's posted outstanding possession numbers.
At the same time, Gallagher's injury might help the Habs in the long run. Entering Monday night's games, they sat nine points back of their closest playoff entry point, the Eastern Conference wild-card spot held by the Detroit Red Wings, who had a game in hand. General manager Marc Bergevin sold off multiple pieces at the trade deadline. This team is better off accruing lottery balls. And with Gallagher's injury likely being of the soft-tissue variety, it's fair to wonder if he's played his last game of 2015-16. Even if he's fit to play, there's little reason to rush him back.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin