Skip to content
Training: Tanner Pearson replaces Sean Monahan on the power play
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Currently, the Habs have only 22 players eligible to play games on their 23-man roster. Why? Because Brendan Gallagher is suspended and can’t be replaced. Because Brendan Gallagher is suspended and can’t be replaced.

With three goalies, that leaves only 19 available skaters for 18 chairs. #OnlyExtra

Since the Habs have seven defensemen in town and twelve healthy forwards, it’s safe to assume that all twelve forwards will be playing with the Habs tomorrow night. Barring an Alex Newhook surprise in Washington (unlikely) or a lineup with eleven forwards and seven defensemen?

If the Habs go with 12 forwards, it’s safe to assume that Arber Xhekaj, as in the last game nine days ago, could be the one to bail out and spend some time in the stands.

Nothing has been confirmed, but he was the seventh defenseman at training this morning.

Obviously, things can still change. Maybe Martin St-Louis just wants to test things this morning. Without Sean Monahan, there’s an adjustment period to be had.

But here’s a hint that Xhekaj could play (whether with six or seven defensemen): he trained as a member of the second power play wave.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking at the second wave and I’m thinking that yes, the end of the Habs’ season is indeed going to be a long one, as my colleague Maxime Truman noted this morning.

But let’s go back to the first wave. Seeing Tanner Pearson there tells me that there’s a good chance he’ll be around for the short term only. After all, I’m hoping that Alex Newhook, when he returns, will take Monahan’s place on the PP.

But at the same time, I’m thinking that the Habs clearly have Pearson in the shop window…

Finally, let’s note that Juraj Slafkovsky, whose confidence might be a little shaken by Sean Monahan’s departure to Winnipeg, trained on the club’s first trio.

In gusto

– Team Canada junior case moves forward.

– Oh boy.

– Samuel Montembeault is the player of the month for January. Earlier this season, it was Jake Allen.

– Really?

– Read more.

More Content