The Montreal Canadiens are cruising, winners of six straight games and leading the Atlantic by six points. They’ll have to continue to play short handed for a while though, as Alexander Radulov, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Flynn are all likely out for tomorrow’s matchup against the Calgary Flames. None of the three practiced this morning due to varying injuries, but the Canadiens are carrying enough players to fill their role should they be held out.
Radulov and Plekanec were both absent yesterday when the team slipped by the Vancouver Canucks in overtime, and Flynn was injured during the first period and did not return. In their absence, Andrew Shaw led the forwards in ice time with over 22 minutes, seven more than his average this season. They’ll likely ask Shaw to step up again tomorrow if all three are out, though perhaps Micheal McCarron will draw back in and take some of that weight.
- John Gibson has been out since February 20th for the Anaheim Ducks, but Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports that he is with the team on their current road trip. The Ducks will face the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues on back to back nights starting tomorrow, and could definitely use Gibson in one of the games. In his absence Jonathan Bernier has shouldered the load admirably, but saw a slip last night against Nashville. Asking him to play back to backs would be extreme, and would likely turn to Jhonas Enroth against the Blues if Gibson isn’t ready.
- The Calgary Flames have seen a rejuvenated Micheal Ferland since moving him onto a line with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau and now they’ll insert him periodically onto the first powerplay unit as well according to Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet. The young winger has continued to compete physically all over the ice and has five goals in his last seven games. Trailing only Troy Brouwer in hits on the club despite playing more than five minutes less a game than him, Ferland can create space for skilled players just by being on the ice with them.
- Jannik Hansen finally showed up in San Jose after dealing with visa issues since his trade from the Vancouver Canucks. He was immediately rewarded with time on the first line according to Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. It looks like he’ll skate alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski for his first game tomorrow night. With Kevin Labanc sent down, an opening was created beside the Sharks top duo and Hansen will get a crack at it to begin his San Jose career.