The Montreal Canadiens will be without one of their top forwards for at least the next two months.
Feisty winger Brendan Gallagher underwent surgery in Montreal last night to repair a fracture in his left hand. The Canadiens announced that Gallagher will miss a minimum of eight weeks. The injury occurred when Gallagher was hit by a Shea Weber slapshot during Wednesday night’s game in Dallas (GIF of the injury). Gallagher left the ice quickly.
It’s the same hand that Gallagher broke last year, missing 17 games after being hit by a Johnny Boychuk slapshot. Unfortunately for Gallagher, Weber can shoot the puck a little harder than Boychuk. As one Twitter user dryly observed, being hit in the hand by a Weber slapshot is “like trying to catch a meteor with a baseball mitt.”
Gallagher’s injury is a tough loss for the Canadiens, as he’s one of their better forwards. He has 18 points in 39 games so far this year, which represents a down year for him. His 37-point-pace is the lowest of his NHL career, and would be his lowest point total since his rookie year, which was the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
Gallagher’s injury is the latest in a long list of injured Canadiens. Forwards Alex Galchenyuk, Andrew Shaw, David Desharnais, and Paul Byron are all injured. On defense, the club is missing Andrei Markov and Greg Pateryn. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s five top-nine forwards and a top-four defenseman missing. Despite all the injuries, the Canadiens are in first place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division with 54 points, which is 10 points above the second-place Boston Bruins and third-place Ottawa Senators.