It was in November 2015 that Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher suffered what was one of the most stomach-turning injuries of the past season.
During a game against the Islanders, Gallagher bolted out to the blueline to block a shot from New York’s Johnny Boychuk and took the puck directly to the top of his left hand. The result was two broken fingers, clearly jarred out of place by the blast, as he yelped in pain. It was one of the lasting, and more grotesque, images of the campaign.
Suffering that type of injury once would be more than enough for a lifetime. Unfortunately for Gallagher, though, it appears he could be dealing with almost the exact same ailment again, this time as the result of friendly fire.
Early in the third period of Wednesday’s outing against Dallas, the Canadiens were working the puck around the Stars’ zone on the power play when Nathan Beaulieu set up Shea Weber, one of the league’s hardest shooters, for a one-timer from the back end. The blast, which came in at upwards of 97 miles per hour according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, caught Gallagher right on the hand. He immediately dropped his left glove and stick and bolted off the ice:
The culmination of the play would be a power play tally by Max Pacioretty, who would later go on to score the overtime winner in the contest, but the lasting effect of the man advantage could be Gallagher’s absence from the lineup for some time. The aftermath of the blocked shot wasn’t pretty.
As he was spotted on the bench, Gallagher was seen clutching a cloth to his hand to stop the blood from leaking out of the top of his hand and he rushed back to the dressing room before it was announced that he would not return to the outing. News regarding the potential hand injury got worse yet, though, when Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported Gallagher was heading back to Montreal to meet with doctors.
Though there’s no telling what exactly is ailing Gallagher aside from an apparent hand injury, the hope is that he won’t have suffered anything quite like last year’s injury. The broken fingers caused Gallagher to miss more than a month’s worth of action and he lost a grand total of 17 games from his campaign.
Gallagher’s ice time and production have diminished this season — he’s on pace for just 13 goals and 38 points, which would be down from the 19 goals and 40 points he managed in just 53 games last season — and it’s going to be tough sledding for Gallagher to pick up his production if he has to miss any significant period of time due to injury.
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