Late Friday afternoon, the Canadiens announced that they were calling up Michael McCarron from the St. John’s Ice Caps and that he would join the Habs in Dallas, where they play Saturday night.
So is he the guy who will finally fill the gaping hole left by the absence of Brendan Gallagher? Short answer: No because no one can replace Gallagher. But he can certainly help. He’s six-foot-six, isn’t afraid to use his size and has 13 goals and 24 points in 28 games this season with our favourite Newfoundland team.
Fact is the Habs are desperate. They are 2-6-1 in their last nine games and have scored a pathetic 15 goals over those nine games, a stat not aided by their 3-zip loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
The crazy thing is it’s not Carey Price that the Canadiens are missing the most. It’s Gally. The problem hasn’t been goaltending. It’s been scoring. With Gallagher out with two broken fingers, the Habs’ offense has been ‘en panne’. You just can’t overestimate Gally’s importance. Look at Patch since Gallagher was sent to the infirmary. Not good.
It’s not just the numbers Gallagher provides, though those are pretty darn good. He had nine goals and 19 points in 22 games this season before a blistering slapshot from New York Islanders’ D-man Johnny Boychuk nearly ripped Gally’s hand in two. But he does more than the stats show.
There’s no other Habs player who gives the proverbial 110-percent every night – rather make that every shift. There are no off-nights for Gallagher. And he takes the punishment in front of the other team’s net like no other Hab.
So no, McCarron can’t replace Gallagher. But calling up our own Lucic-esque guy is most certainly a step in the right direction.
- Brendan Kelly