The 2023-24 season has not gone according to plan for the Montreal Canadiens. At least as far as injuries are concerned. After consecutive record-breaking seasons for man games lost due to injury, the Montreal Canadiens injuries have begun already this year. Many were quick to point fingers at the team’s medical group which led to a facelift of the staff in that area. However, it seems the Canadiens can’t escape the injury bug as multiple players throughout the organization have gone down with injuries early on this season.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
The most significant injury for the Canadiens is undoubtedly to Kirby Dach. In only his second game of the year, Dach was forced into the opposing team’s bench awkwardly after a hit from Chicago Blackhawks blue-liner Jarred Tinordi. Tinordi, a former first-round pick of the Canadiens never panned out for the club. Following the hit, Dach returned to the Canadiens bench in some noticeable pain, as he favoured one leg. He attempted to skate on it once more between whistles but was ultimately forced out of the game.
It was announced on Tuesday that Dach had torn both his ACL and MCL. Both injuries will require surgery. The severity of the two injuries will force Dach to miss the remainder of the season. The injury comes as a huge blow not only for the team but also for Dach himself. The forward was poised for a breakout campaign this season. Being forced to miss more time due to injury will only further stunt Dach’s development.
Other Montreal Canadiens Injuries
The Canadiens also began the year with injuries to forward Christian Dvorak, as well as defenceman Chris Wideman. Wideman is out indefinitely with no timetable for his return. Dvorak however, has been skating in a non-contact jersey at the team’s practices and should return in the coming weeks. A small bright spot in the Montreal Canadiens injury news.
Wideman and Dvorak, aren’t considered key pieces for the team. However, there is another key piece outside of Dach who may miss significant time with injury as well. In Tuesday night’s game versus the Minnesota Wild, defenseman Kaiden Guhle was forced to leave the contest with an apparent wrist injury. Guhle, much like Dach, has been facing injury troubles the last couple of seasons. If Guhle is forced to miss significant time, it will be another massive blow to the roster, and for Guhle’s development as well. If that is the case it likely means an opportunity for Justin Barron or Mattias Norlinder to insert themselves into the lineup.
Injuries Throughout the Organization
It’s not only the main roster for the Montreal Canadiens facing injuries. The entire organization is being hit with the injury bug. The Laval Rocket announced that Emil Heineman will be out indefinitely with an upper-body injury following a collision with an official. The team’s captain Gabriel Bourque has also gone down with an injury. A medical evaluation is still necessary to determine his injury timetable.
The organizational injuries aren’t limited to North America however. Canadiens first-round pick David Reinbacher has carried the injury bug overseas to the Swiss League. Reinbacher only suited up for three contests with the team so far this season before being injured. He suffered a knee injury after crashing awkwardly into the boards. The defenceman was able to return for two shifts before being forced out of the game entirely. No word has come out yet on the severity of Reinbacher’s injury.
The extent of the Montreal Canadiens injuries has cast a shadow over the beginning of the season. A much anticipated year for the development of young players now has many fans calling for the tank to begin after only three contests. On the bright side, it isn’t confirmed that all these players (outside of Dach) will miss significant time as of now. And in Dvorak’s case, he’s projected to return shortly. With injuries, it also creates opportunities for other players to shine. Think of Rafael Harvey-Pinard last season. Nonetheless, the Canadiens injury struggles carrying over into 2023-24 isn’t welcome news.
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