Last Thursday, the Canadiens announced that Douglas Murray had fully recovered from a lower body injury he suffered in his one and only preseason game against the Boston Bruins. It took him the rest of the preseason to recover, practicing on the same ice as Alexei Emelin. When he finally returned last Thursday to practice with the team, he had a slow-paced and tentative skate. Perhaps he was not fully recovered as the team said he was. He practiced several days with the team until last Sunday’s practice (2 days before he was expected to play) when he received an upper body injury. The prognosis says he will be out for another 4-6 weeks.
From the time Montreal signed Murray to the team, I was undecided as to whether or not he would be a good pick. The defenseman is a big brute who has some good hits and plays a very tough game, something he has become known for. He always has his fighting skills to fall on when needed. As he is now on his second injury before he even started the season I am wondering if he was a good signing given his one-year deal. I know many fans will disagree and have all but suspended their opinions on Murray until he plays, but I have seen just as many people on twitter calling foul on the deal.
I suppose the only thing we can do is wait a couple of weeks and see how he does – assuming he plays and Habs GM Marc Bergevin decides not to trade him before a third injury. He has some tough competition now; newbie Jarred Tinordi, who was told by the coach to find an apartment in the city as well as from Emelin when he comes back from his knee injury.
Another player fans anticipated to see was George Parros, who was only back in a contact jersey for a little over a week. He said on Friday he got the clear from having surgery on his shoulder in May, that he was allowed to start playing games again. The Habs suited him up very quickly, maybe a little too quickly in my opinion, and had him play his first game on opening night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
What started as a good game ended in a disaster – not because they lost 4-3 (but that did not help any) but because this big 6’5 player was taken off the ice on a stretcher. Almost all night we saw George Parros go after Colton Orr because of their long history over the last few years. In the first period, Orr injured Pacioretty at the boards in a collision. The next period they started going after each other both receiving a five minute penalty, before finally in the third period the big fights started between a lot of the players on the ice. Orr and Parros went after each other, again.
That is when a simple fight took a bad turn. Orr slipped and Parros tripped over him smashing face-first into the ice. He was pretty much out cold and a little unresponsive. Both teams’ medics took him on and shortly after he was carried off the ice and brought to hospital. The time frame as of right now is uncertain when he will be back. In the interim, benched players Ryan White and Michael Bournival will be on the ice playing.
The incident with Parros was a freak accident – it could have happened to anyone at any time. I read about people debating on whether or not they should take fighting out of the sport. For the record, I don’t think they should. Injuries can and will happen any time, whether a player falls, gets checked into the boards or gets a puck in the face. Looking at statistics, fighting is far from the main culprit in regards to injury causes.
As for Daniel Briere, who signed a two-year contract with the Canadiens after the Flyers bought out his eight-year contract, I am quite happy with how he is starting the season. He seems to be fitting in pretty well. I cannot judge him yet as I have only seen him at a few practices so far with a few games added in, but as of right now I think he was a good sign for the Habs and hope to see him continue his progress.