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Brendan Gallagher’s suspension is over: bring out Jesse Ylönen, not Joshua Roy
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The topic of suspensions is quite prevalent in the NHL these days. After all, you may have heard about what happened Saturday night in Toronto when Ridly Greig scored into an empty net via a slap shot.

Morgan Reilly loved his opponent’s gesture so much that he stamped his sherwood on his forehead. No doubt he was trying to channel his joy…

The Sens player, of course, had no idea he was about to start such a story. And in Toronto, it’s going to continue to be the talk of the town, since Reilly’s five-game suspension has only just begun.

But in recent weeks, the Leafs weren’t the only ones to be the target of a five-game suspension: so was the Habs. Brendan Gallagher was suspended following Patrick Roy’s comeback game at the Bell Centre.

But now, following yesterday’s game, Brendan Gallagher’s five-game suspension is behind him. He’s now free as a bird and can play tomorrow at MSG in New York.

The problem? The Habs played so well yesterday that I’m not sure Martin St-Louis wants to break the formula.

If Gallagher were a young player, I have a feeling he might skip his turn on Thursday. But since he’s a veteran, I expect to see him play against the Rangers tomorrow night. I don’t expect him to be the story of the game, since the first trio is the talk of the town, but he should play.

What I hope is that a Brandon Gignac or a Joshua Roy doesn’t get docked on his way to the stands. That would be the easy decision to make as they’re among the last to arrive… But they clearly deserve to play.

In fact, since Gignac plays center, it would really be a one-time decision… but hey. We understand each other.

One “obvious” candidate to leave out is Michael Pezzetta. He’s not having a great season, and he’s often the one to step aside when a healthy striker isn’t playing.

But if I have a name to suggest, it’s Jesse Ylönen. Did you know that yesterday, he was the only Habs skater not to take a shot on goal? Did you know that in his last 32 games, the forward hasn’t found the back of the net?

I know that on this Valentine’s Day, we’re supposed to be giving love, but we’re all noticing that Ylönen is a first-class passenger on the Habs right now.

And something’s got to be done now that the club is on a roll.

On a more technical note, Gallagher was still a member of the 23-man roster during his suspension. Quite simply, the Habs could only sail with 22 guys.

So no one has to go to Laval or to the injured list to make room for him when he returns.

The Habs currently have 13 healthy forwards in their lineup and seven defensemen on hand. The seventh, however, is Jordan Harris, who is in bad shape, but not on the injured list.

Until proven otherwise, the six defensemen who played yesterday will probably face the Rangers tomorrow. I expect to see Samuel Montembeault in net.

In a gust

– I thought it was good.

– A little gourmand, that Cole Caufield. He joked that he was happy to see Brandon Gignac score… for chicken wings.

– Really?

– Juraj Slafkovsky Sr. pounded on the Habs logo yesterday in the locker room.

– Two years already.

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