After a tough 9-2 loss today at the hands of the Washington Capitals, the Montreal Canadiens received some more bad news. Rookie defenseman Kaiden Guhle, who missed today’s game with a lower-body injury, has already been ruled out of Tuesday’s game in Nashville against the Predators, the team says. Guhle will be reevaluated when the team returns to Montreal after the Tuesday contest. The 20-year-old was injured during the third period of Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers.
Losing Guhle is a tough break for the Canadiens, who have had a respectable bounce-back in the standings thus far as compared to last season, but have had their recent struggles, giving up 16 goals in their last two games, 20 in their last three. The 16th overall pick of the 2020 NHL draft, Guhle is known for his physical playstyle, throwing 72 hits and blocking 65 shots through 36 games. Though he’d be considered more of a stay-at-home defenseman, the rookie has contributed nicely on offense too, recording 14 points through those 36 games.
- The St. Louis Blues announced winger Vladimir Tarasenko would not return to today’s game against the Minnesota Wild, dealing with an upper-body injury. The injury happened during the first period when Tarasenko stepped in front of a Minnesota shot, appearing to catch him in the right hand. The Blues will surely hope the injury isn’t too serious, as Tarasenko could be an enticing trade deadline pickup for a number of teams, should St. Louis find itself still on the outside of the playoff picture in a couple of months.
- San Jose Sharks defenseman Radim Simek left tonight’s game with an undisclosed injury and will not return, reports Curtis Pashelka of the Bay Area News Group. With his two points this season, Simek isn’t exactly challenging Erik Karlsson, however given that San Jose came into today 31st in the NHL in goals against, they’ll need the shutdown defenseman back in the lineup in order to work on their defensive issues.
- On tonight’s 32 Thoughts segment of Sportsnet’s Hockey Night In Canada, Elliotte Friedman discussed the potential trade strategy of the Toronto Maple Leafs as they approach the trade deadline. Friedman explains that the belief early in this season was that the Maple Leafs would take one big “swing” at a defenseman to add to the team. However, as Friedman says, that may have changed now with how the team’s defense has played thus far. Players like Mark Giordano and Rasmus Sandin have upped their game, while newly-acquired Conor Timmins is showing he may in fact be the player teams were expecting when he was a budding prospect. Given Toronto’s limited flexibility, operating close to the roster limit and salary cap, a pair of smaller moves to complete the team, perhaps one up front and one on defense, may make the most sense.