The Montreal Canadiens returned to practice in Brossard today after their season was paused over the holidays.
Well, some of them.
The club announced earlier today that goaltender Jake Allen as well as defencemen Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry, Joel Edmundson and Chris Wideman have been added to the league’s COVID list. Goaltending coach Eric Raymond has also been placed in protocol.
The new additions bring the team’s number of players out of the lineup due to the virus to nine. Laurent Dauphin, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli were already in protocol.
As a result, the Montreal Canadiens recalled goalie Cayden Primeau and defenceman Corey Schueneman from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.
The NHL agreed to reinstate a taxi squad over the break to deal as best as they can with potential COVID outbreaks. In response, the Habs re-assigned forwards Brandon Baddock and Cam Hillis, defenceman Gianni Fairbrother and goaltender Michael McNiven to the squad. They will make the trip to Florida with the rest of the team.
The Rocket move South
Here’s kind of a fun/sad game to play with the Montreal Canadiens fans in your life.
Recite the Habs lines from practice today and just watch their faces.
It appears as though the Laval Rocket have transplanted to the South Shore for the time being.
Just eight of the 23 players who started the season on the team’s roster remain for their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night.
11 of the men at practice either started the season down on the farm or have spent their entire season in the AHL.
“We have to block out everything around us,” head coach Dominique Ducharme told reporters in French after practice when asked about his message to his players with so much turnover. “Whenever we get on the ice for practice or a game. We’ll have 20 players in uniform tomorrow. We have to find ways together to be as competitive as possible and fight for the win. The (COVID) situation changes so quickly that you have to be ready to adapt and block out everything on the outside and concentrate solely on what we have to do.”
The ongoing debate about whether the NHL should pause their season until the New Year will rage on. But for now, the American Hockey League version of the Montreal Canadiens will take on Lightning tomorrow night in their first trip back to the arena where they lost the Stanley Cup just six months ago.
Here are your Montreal Canadiens lines from practice this morning:
Jonathan Drouin – Nick Suzuki – Brendan Gallagher
Cedric Paquette – Michael Pezzetta – Lukas Vejdemo
Alex Belzile – Jake Evans – Jesse Ylonen
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Ryan Poehling – Cole Caufield
Paul Byron – Cam Hillis – Brandon Baddock
Alexander Romanov – David Savard
Brett Kulak – Kale Clague
Corey Schueneman – Sami Niku