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Kaiden Guhle Injury News Ahead of Leafs and Canadiens Saturday Night Clash

The Montreal Canadiens defenceman Kaiden Guhle will miss some time with an injury. He is out tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Furthermore, the injury incurred Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning early in the first period. Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov, the NHL’s leading scorer, was forechecking behind the Canadiens net. Kucherov road Guhle into the boards and Kuhle’s upper body went hard into the glass. Moreover, Guhle left the game and did not return. Kucherov was not given a penalty on the play.

Kaiden Guhle Has Upper-Body Injury and is Day-to-Day

Missing Kaiden Guhle due to injury is tough for the Canadiens defence unit. Last season as an NHL rookie, Guhle played 20:31 of average ice time. Now, in 2023-24, through 70 games, Guhle improved on the value at 20:51. In addition, he has recorded six goals and 16 assists for 22 points this year. Guhle is a competitor, as witnessed by his 178 blocked shots and 116 hits. Having someone of Guhle’s energy out of the lineup will be impactful to the Canadiens defence core.

What Does This Mean for the Canadiens in 2023-24

At this point of the season, the Canadiens are simply playing for the future. The Canadiens are tied with the Ottawa Senators for second last place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. Therefore, missing someone of Guhle’s level of impact doesn’t hurt Montreal’s standing like it might in 2024-25. Guhle has the potential to be one of Montreal’s top defenders next year. Montreal’s lack of strength on the backend has been a cause of their struggles this year. As a defence unit, they have had injuries and inconsistencies causing these struggles. To that point, Guhle and Mike Matheson (75) are the only two defenders with more than 56 games played in 2023-24. Whether it is Matheson or Guhle’s other usual defence partner, Justin Barron, Guhle’s presence in the lineup will be missed. 

The Montreal Canadiens will be in tough against their historic rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Combined with the injury to Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj is also out tonight. He is listed as having an upper-body injury, requiring further evaluation. Xhekaj has 10 points through 44 games thus far for Montreal. His physical presence in a heated rivalry matchup will be missed tonight. As a result of these two injuries, the Canadiens have recalled Barron from the Laval Rocket of the AHL on an emergency basis. Barron has played well for Montreal this year. In 41 games, he has six goals and six assists, all the while skating 18:47 a night. 

A Quick Leaf Update Ahead of Tonight’s Rivalry Showdown

Conversely, the Leafs have some positive news on the injury front. After being out since March 7th, suffering from an ankle sprain, Mitch Marner is expected to make his return. One note worth adding, is with Marner’s return, don’t expect him on the same line as Auston Matthews. Perhaps they want to ease Marner back into action, to test out the ankle. In any sense, Toronto needs Marner and his defensive presence firing on all cylinders for their playoff run. It will also be beneficial with him not seeing a couple regulars on the Montreal defence tonight. Puck drop it set for 7 PM EDT from the Bell Centre. 

Main photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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