Montreal Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after fracturing his hand. The Canadiens updated the media on his injury status on Monday.
Ben Chiarot will be out for six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery today in Montreal.https://t.co/DILXMfVPYA
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 15, 2021
Ben Chiarot Ruled Out Six to Eight Weeks
Chiarot left Montreal’s 5-1 win over the Canucks in the first period last Wednesday after fighting J.T. Miller. On the replay, it looked as though he had badly damaged his hand after punching Miller through his helmet. As soon as he laid the hit, he immediately pulled Miller to the ground to put a stop to their tussle.
Sure enough, the Canadiens have confirmed that Chiarot has undergone successful surgery to repair a fracture in his hand. The 225-pound third-pair defenceman has five points in 25 games this season. He also leads the team in penalty minutes (44) and is second in shots blocked (37) behind only Shea Weber.
What This Means Going Forward
Given the current timeline for recovery, Chiarot will miss a minimum of 26 games. That means he could miss the remainder of the season. As a result, the Habs third pairing will likely involve a combination of Brett Kulak with either Victor Mete or Xavier Ouellet.
Head coach Dominique Ducharme informed the media on Monday that Ouellet will replace Victor Mete in the lineup for the upcoming game against Winnipeg. A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Ouellet has played only 31 NHL games in the last three seasons. He has 28 points in 172 career games.
Montreal plays four times this week. They have an away series against the Winnipeg Jets before coming home to play the Vancouver Canucks in a double-header. After losing twice in a row to the Calgary Flames, the playoff race has tightened up in the North Division. While still sitting in a playoff place, Ducharme’s side will need to put an end to this skid to avoid falling behind the eight ball.