Today, Montreal prospect Mike Blunden was sent down on waivers. This leaves only six possible “send downs”: Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, Alexi Yemelin, Jeff Woywitka, Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist (pictured left). Out of the 6, four are D-men and there’s only room for 1 (2 with Markov out). If I were a gambling man, I’d definitely put my money on Woywitka being the first sent down. Weber is listed as the team’s 7th defenceman (6th with Markov out) on the Canadiens official website. I take that as a very strong indicator that he’ll be sticking around.
That leaves, defense wise, Yemelin and Diaz. Forwards, Palushaj and Engqvist. Since Markov will be out opening night, either Yemelin or Diaz will fill the 7th D spot. One would be led to believe that Diaz has no chance at cracking the team as Yemelin has been getting all the attention, but I actually think he has a legitimate shot. It’s pretty much up in the air right now.
I’ve had a source tell me that Lars Eller has been away from practice for the last 2 skates. It is unknown whether it’s because he’s hurt or because the coaches are unimpressed by his play. Either way this leaves a gaping hole in the 3rd line. Knowing this information, Engqvist could easily be the 3rd or 4th line centre (depends where Desharnais plays) most likely 4th. I predict Palushaj will either stay up as a healthy scratch or be sent down to the Bulldogs.
Keep in mind, these are all just my predictions, nothing more than possibilities. We will just have to wait until October 6th when the Habs square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs, in the first game of both teams 2011-2012 campaign. Pre & post game posts here on thehockeyhouse.net!
If you want, Follow me on twitter @JScaresHabs
Picture: (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)