The sophomore season of Canadiens defenceman Raphael Diaz began with great promise, coming on the heels of an excellent, even dominant 32 lockout games played with his hometown Swiss League’s EV Zug.

Having missed the final 17 NHL games of 2011-12 with a groin injury, the defensively reliable 27-year-old worked himself into terrific off-season shape and arrived back in Montreal ready to improve upon his eye-opening rookie year.

With a goal and 12 assists in the Habs’ first 19 games of 2012-13, Diaz fashioned himself into an important part of coach Michel Therrien’s blue-line corps during and after P.K. Subban’s contract holdout.

And then he plunged into a black hole on Feb. 25 in Ottawa, concussed when he stumbled and fell into an Ottawa Senator, his opponent’s boot coming up to sledgehammer him beneath the jaw.

It took Diaz 25 games on the sidelines to recover before he scrambled through the final four games of the schedule to get up to speed for his first NHL playoffs.

And then, in Game 1 against the Senators, came his infamous so-called suicide pass to Lars Eller, leading to the horrifying check inside the Montreal blue line that bloodied and concussed the Canadiens centreman.

Diaz’s remarkable hockey season will end in Stockholm on Thursday or Saturday or Sunday, depending on how far sensational Switzerland makes it in the world championship. The Swiss, 7-0 heading into the medal round, are seeking their first podium finish since 1953 — though you could argue the squad also finished last that year in a three-team tournament.