Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher underwent surgery Monday to repair two broken fingers on his left hand. The sparkplug winger was injured while blocking a Johnny Boychuk slap shot in Sunday night's win over the New York Islanders.
According to the Canadiens, Gallagher will be out six weeks while recovering for surgery. That will leave Montreal without its No. 1 right winger and third leading scorer. The 23-year-old has nine goals and 19 points in 22 games this season playing alongside co-leading scorers Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec.
The Habs are one of three teams in the NHL with 34 points in the standings. They're just coming off of playing for nearly three weeks without their MVP Carey Price. They should be able to handle losing Gallagher, as important as he has become to their offensive attack.
No team has scored more goals than Montreal this season, not even the high-flying Dallas Stars. Losing Gallagher may have some impact on a potential tapering off from their 3.55 goals-per-game pace, but it was always going to be difficult for the Canadiens to sustain that scoring pace anyway.
That could open the door for former first-rounder Michael McCarron to see some time in the NHL. The 20-year-old who can play center or wing is currently tearing it up in the AHL in his first professional season with 17 points in 18 games for the St. John's IceCaps. He also was a standout player in his last year of junior hockey. The 6-foot-6 forward also doesn't require waivers to be sent back after Mitchell and/or Gallagher get healthy.