March 8, 2011 Pacioretty suffered a fracture of his fourth cervical vertebrae and a severe concussion when he was rammed into a Bell Centre stantion by Chara and was removed from the ice on a stretcher.
Thursday night, it was P.K. Subban.
With the Canadiens leading 3-2 the crowd was silenced with 2:26 remaining when Subban fell while checking Buffalo forward Marcus Foligno and Alexei Emelin, moving in to help out accidentally struck Subban’s head, giving it a hard wrench. Whatever happened it scared Subban enough that he didn’t move. After a long delay during which his neck was stabilized, Subban was removed on a stretcher. The early news is, all of his extremities were functioning, he was alert and had been taken by ambulance to hospital for tests. We’ll know more sometime Thursday. (The video is below)
Subban has seemed indestructable with the Canadiens. This was his his 274th consecutive regular season game dating back to January 30th 2014. As an aside. He suffered the injury with just under three minutes remaining and still is ice time was only five seconds short of half the game – 29:55.
The incident put a damper on another big night from Alex Galchenyuk who for the third consecutive game scored two goals. In his extraordinary run he has 11 goals his last eight games and 13 over the last twenty. And now he’s the Canadiens top scorer with 25, one more than Pacioretty.
We can analyze this streak to death, but in the end, in an awful downer of a Canadiens season, it’s probably better to just enjoy it while it lasts.
This was a game that was physically demanding for the players and sleep inducing for the fans. The teams spent much of the night trying to beat up on each other. For the second game in a row the Canadiens laid the body on an opponent. Tuesday they posted a season high forty hits on Dallas. They totaled 36 in this one. But Buffalo was equally intent with 38. When teams are slugging it out like that, the spectacle can suffer and for two periods that was the story of the game. Galchenyuk saved it with his back-to-back goals. Galchenyuk has one career hattrick. He came close to his second with a couple of seconds remaining when he hit the outside of the post on the vacated Buffalo net.
Since he joined Galchenyuk, Pacioretty seems to have found purpose to his game that had been missing for the last two and a half months. In the three games since the two were put together in Winnipeg last Saturday, Pacioretty has one goal and four assists. Against Buffalo he took eleven shots, seven of them on goal.
Mike McCarron had another good night and it’s a matter of days before he logs his first career goal. He three opportunities in this game. He was on the ice and very much in play when Torrey Mitchell scored the game winning goal with just under seven minutes remaining.
The Canadiens are 7-0-1 over their last eight games at home which is good for a fan base that has had more than it’s share of disappointment. Now that fan base will be anxiously awaiting the result of hospital teams on P.K. Subban.
VIDEO – SUBBAN INJURY