Andrei Markov played just 65 NHL games over the past three season as injuries threatened to end his career. He seems to be fully healed from a knee injury now, though, and leads the Montreal Canadiens with four goals and eight points. He played in the KHL during the lockout and also benefited from the absence of P.K. Subban during the season’s first two weeks.
The Canadiens are a surprising 6-2 to start the season and have had no problem scoring or converting on the power play early on. They are also allowing the fourth fewest goals in the league, boosted by the strong play of Carey Price between the pipes. All of Markov’s points have come on the power play as he resumed a leadership role as the top defender with the man-advantage. Subban is back now and it will be interesting to see how the two work together moving forward.
At his best, Markov was good for 16 goals and 58 points in a season, though lingering injury questions will not go away anytime soon. The compacted schedule is going to be toughest on older, veteran players and Markov is no exception to that. If he can continue on his current pace, keeping him healthy for the entire season is a top priority for the Canadiens.
Markov played for Chekhov Vityaz during the lockout and while his one goal and five points may not have turned many heads, his time there was more important than what shows up on the stat sheet. Rather than try and return for the start of the NHL season, he was able to work up to game speed and log valuable minutes in the KHL, which no doubt put him in a position to be effective at the NHL level again.