Montreal Canadiens forward Kirby Dach left last night’s contest against the Chicago Blackhawks with a lower-body injury, according to an announcement from the club. Dach was the recipient of a big hit from Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi, one that sent Dach into the Blackhawks’ bench. It appears as though Dach’s injury came from that hit, and at this moment the team has not released any additional details on Dach’s absence.
Should the Canadiens lose Dach for any notable period, it would be a significant early blow to the team’s season. Not only would it represent an unfortunate setback given the time Dach missed last season, it would also represent a significant loss to the Canadiens’ ability to both win games and develop their players. As head coach Martin St. Louis’ second-line center, Dach had a crucial role helping the growth of his two wingers: offseason trade acquisition Alex Newhook and 2022 first overall pick Juraj Slafkovský. In an admittedly small sample size that line appeared dominant at times, and the one game they played entirely together was called Slafkovský’s best game of his career by local media. The development of those players is of the most important aspect of this Canadiens season, so whether Dach’s injury will keep him out long-term is an extremely important storyline to track for Canadiens fans.
- Chicago Blackhawks forward Taylor Hall told the media today, including the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope, that he’s preparing to play Monday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. Such a return would represent a quick turnaround for Hall, who suffered a shoulder injury in the Blackhawks’ second game of the season, against his former team the Boston Bruins. Hall said that although his shoulder still “doesn’t feel great” it’s good enough to allow him to return to the lineup.
- Earlier today, we covered reports out of St. Louis stating that Blues star forward Pavel Buchnevich could be staring down an extended absence due to the injury he suffered last night. NHL.com’s Lou Korac relays word from Blues head coach Craig Berube who said Buchnevich is feeling better today. Korac added that the tone surrounding the injury “sounds more encouraging” than it did last night, adding that the Blues “may have dodged serious injury” to Buchnevich, which would be incredible news for St. Louis.
- Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent said via team reporter Jeff Svoboda that netminder Elvis Merzļikins “has a stomach bug” and missed today’s practice after leaving last night’s game. Per Vincent, Merzļikins’ status for tonight’s game is in question, and as a result, Spencer Martin (who saved 15 of 17 shots last night in relief against the New York Rangers) could start his first game as a Blue Jacket tomorrow night when the team hosts the Detroit Red Wings.