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Arber Xhekaj will not be making the trip to California with the club today

This morning, the Canadiens placed Rafaël Harvey-Pinard on the injured list. The Canadiens’ forward is clearly physically compromised, and resting him is not a bad idea.

And to take his place, a defenseman (Jayden Struble) has been brought in.

Note that the Canadian has replaced a forward with a defender. As a result, the club has, at the time of writing, only 12 forwards (and eight defensemen) on board for the trip to California.

If the CH didn’t have three goalies – ah well, let it be.

The 12 forwards present are presumably healthy, and the fact that Struble was recalled a few hours away from California (far from Laval, where the pool of hopefuls is) clearly shows that the CH has question marks on the blue line.

It’s no surprise, by the way: Jordan Harris and Arber Xhekaj are the guys who are in bad shape.

Harris, who played on Saturday, did not take part in today’s training session to undergo treatment. However, he will be travelling with the group, which is at least a good sign.

But Arber Xhekaj, who wasn’t at training, won’t be making the trip. Nor will RHP.

I don’t know if Harris will be able to play on Wednesday: we’ll see in due time. But at least, with seven defensemen, the Habs have depth.

On a trip out West, that’s important.

If seven defensemen and three goalies are on board, you might think the Habs have room for 13 forwards. But right now, there are only 12 in town with the Habs.

Will Joel Armia (or any other guy) ever be recalled? That remains to be seen.

To issue another recall, another spot will have to be freed up. And barring a surprising and hard-to-predict move (like a trade, for example), placing Xhekaj on the injured list is a strong possibility.

To be continued.

In bursts

– Really?

– He’s not happy.

– Listen now.

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