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WS OF INJURY: A Leafs player was unintentionally hurt immediately before the Leafs and Canadiens night game.


The injury will keep defender Kaiden Guhle of the Montreal Canadiens out for a while. He won’t be playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. In addition, the injury sustained early in the first period on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The NHL’s top scorer, Lightning sensation Nikita Kucherov, was forechecking behind the Canadiens net. Guhle’s upper torso struck the glass forcefully after Kucherov drove him into the boards. Guhle also departed the game and did not come back. On the play, Kucherov did not receive a penalty.

Kaiden Guhle is out day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The Canadiens defence will find it difficult to replace Kaiden Guhle. As a rookie in the NHL last season, Guhle averaged 20:31 minutes on the ice. After 70 games in 2023–24, Guhle increased the value to 20:51. He has also scored 22 points this year with six goals and 16 assists. Guhle has 116 hits and 178 blocked shots, which speaks something about his competitiveness. The absence of Guhle’s enthusiasm from the starting lineup will have an effect on the Canadiens defence core.

The Canadiens are only playing for the future right now in this stage of the season. In the NHL’s Eastern Conference, the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have share of second lowest position. It doesn’t harm Montreal’s status, therefore, to lose someone with Guhle’s degree of influence, as it may in 2024–2025. Guhle could rank among Montreal’s best defenders in the next year. This year’s troubles for Montreal have been a result of their weak backend. They have struggled as a defence unit because of injuries and inconsistent play. Up to then, the only two defenders with more than 56 games played in 2023–24 are Mike Matheson (75) and Guhle. Whether it’s Justin Barron or Matheson, Guhle’s regular defensive counterpart, Guhle’s presence in the lineup will be missed.

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