MONTREAL – An injury-riddled Montreal Canadiens team recalled four players from the American Hockey League on Thursday after learning that forward Alex Tanguay will miss a minimum six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Tanguay’s left shoulder ailment is the latest in a spate of injuries that has depleted a once-deep group of forwards.
Team captain Saku Koivu hasn’t played since Dec. 11, while enforcer Georges Laraque, winger Christopher Higgins and Mathieu Dandenault are also on the shelf.
The Canadiens called up forwards Kyle Chipchura and Max Pacioretty, defenceman Yannick Weber and goaltender Marc Denis, with the goal of using three players this weekend.
Tanguay was injured during the first period of Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after a hit from Evgeni Artyukhin. Tanguay said it was the kidn of hit he’s faced a thousand times throughout his career without incident.
“I saw him coming, I was in good position,” Tanguay said, his left arm in a sling. “If I had tried to avoid the check, it might have been worse and I might have been hit in the head.
“It’s not pleasant, but it is part of the game.”
The 29-year-old winger said that he won’t need surgery and hopes to return to the lineup quickly enough to regain his rhythm and help the Canadiens make the playoffs.
“It could take eight weeks, but I’ll do everything I can to get back as soon as possible,” Tanguay said.
The forward is third on the club with 10 goals and 26 points this year.
He was acquired in an off-season trade with the Calgary Flames and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
“It’s never a good thing when a player gets hurt, especially a player like Alex,” said head coach Guy Carbonneau. “The good thing is we have young players who are doing well and who can pick up the slack.”
Goaltender Carey Price and forward Sergei Kostitsyn didn’t practise at the team’s training facility in suburban Brossard on Thursday.
While Kostitsyn is expected to be available for games this weekend, Price suffered an undisclosed lower body injury and will not be available until Sunday at the earliest, Carbonneau said.