There you have it. Alexei Emelin gone for the year with a torn ligament in his left knee. All because he made the remarkably gutsy and heroic decision to try to stop Milan Lucic dead in his tracks as the big Bruin was barreling full-tilt down the wing.
Emelin was doing the job the best way he knows how – hard-nosed – and he laid it on the line for his team. Is there another player in the league who would have done this? This guy risked his livelihood to stop an oncoming train, hoping to thwart a Bruins rush headed into Canadiens territory.
He’s as old-school as you’ll see in this day and age, a player who adds much to his team with his clean and rugged way of going about things. You see guys like Emelin and Josh Gorges, stopping trains and putting faces and feet in front of ninety mile an hour pucks, and you see guys who earn their money in a big way and win appreciation and respect from teammates, bosses, and fans. And yes, the other team as well.
Speedy recovery Alexei.
Rene Bourque is reported to be ready for Tuesday game against the Capitals. Bourque had turned over a new leaf this season before he went down with a concussion, and it might be a few games before he begins to find his legs and timing after missing 21 games. So if he has a good first game back and even finds himself on the scoresheet, it’s a real bonus for all concerned. Except for the Caps, of course.
We’ve lost a big boy on the blueline but gained a big power forward up front. Ups, downs, good and bad. It’s all part of big-league hockey and every team deals with it. As it’s been all season, the Canadiens will find a way.