What the hell is WITH the ACC anyway? That place is cursed. Andrei Markov played his last game there and ended up missing the rest of last season and the playoffs. He comes back healthy this year and, once again, in that accursed building, ends up with a freak injury that's going to cost the Habs his services until Christmas, if they're lucky.
I have to admit, my first instinct is to panic and assume the team is going directly into the toilet because of this. The Habs' record in recent years when Markov's been out has been pretty much the opposite of good. So I'm trying to talk myself down by remembering that this isn't last year's team. This is an entirely new group of players, with a better outlook on life and the game. And Jaroslav Spacek is used to filling the number-one role, as he did in Buffalo. That's better than last year, when nobody was able to even temporarily do Markov's job. It could have been worse, too, for the team and for Markov. Two to three months could easily have been a year or a career. So, this is what I'm telling myself as my heart resides somewhere around my shoes at the moment.
They say a team can only succeed if it passes through the fire of adversity first. I'd call this adversity, of the first degree. And if this fledgling team can survive this and even manage to win without Markov, it'll be stronger for it in the end. If it doesn't win without him, we can say at least he'll be back in time to help fix the damage. So, it's really, really bad news. But it's not the worst. There's always something worse.