Look, there's no point beating around the bush here. The Ankle Tendon that was cut by TFS' (emotional scar much Carey?) skate leading to the loss of our best player for 4 months is a real fucking downer. As LG77 said to me privately yesterday, this is Tom Brady-esque. A disaster of epic proportions. But then South Shore Habs Fan gave us this in the comments:
The star Russian defenceman and powerplay QB is injured for 4 months on the first game of the season, and the team struggles out of the gate. They come together around February, just as the star D-man returns and starts lighting it up, and jump from 10th place to 6th in the East and into the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, the inspired play of a young goalie determined to prove that he wasn't a draft bust, combined with a surprisingly strong defence that somehow includes Hal Gill, and a handful of gritty Quebecois third-liners leads the team to their first Stanley Cup in 17 years.
Delusion? Nope - the 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins.
See, anything is possible! As Monty Python sang, always look on the bright side of life. You can say (as FHF were saying in emails yesterday) that it's good this happened now, it means he can be back. Remember last year when he went out right before the playoffs? Now THAT sucked. This way, there's still time.
Of course, all bets are off if this injury means the return of Breezer.
So what are the implications of all this for tonight's game (7 PM in Buffalo, seems to be on CBC in Quebec and maybe Ottawa)? Well, Habs will have a new #1 defense pairing, in the form of The Czech Connection, Jaro 2.0 and the returning from illness Roman Hamrlik. That'll strike fear into the hearts of opposing forwards. You can also expect the call up of Yanick Weber pretty soon.
Elsewhere in the lineup, JM rewards our new favourite Hab Travis Moen with a move up to the 3rd line to play with Gui! and Mad Max. Metro will center the 4th line between two as yet unnamed wingers. Chips seems ready to play as well.
This is the opener for the Sabres. They actually dominated us last year, going 4-1-1 in the series. Any hope the Sabres have of doing something this year will center on Ryan Miller, so keep your eye on him. I guess Vanek and Roy will have some say too. We really have no clue what they did in the off-season (besides lose Jaro 2.0), so head over to Die by The Blade for all your Sabres info.
For your post-game adult entertainment, in support of Andrei, enjoy Russian Porn Tube (seriously NSFW, duh). Why do all Russian porn stars look underage?
Let's hear your prayers for Andrei in the comments