The forward lines for the Montreal Canadiens could get a boost for their game against the Bruins Wednesday night in Boston.
Montreal Canadiens forwards Mike Hoffman, Christian Dvorak, and Joel Armia were all cleared to play and took part in a full practice Monday at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. If they play, Armia and Hoffman would be playing for the first time since Dec. 16 against Philadelphia, and Dvorak’s would see his first game action since Dec. 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
While he acknowledged that there is a good chance that the trio will get back into the lineup Wednesday, Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme stressed that there are other factors weighing on his lineup decisions, including the status of the six of the seven Habs players that have been stranded in the United States since New Year’s Day due to COVID. They are scheduled to meet up with the Canadiens in Boston on Tuesday.
“Those guys have been off the ice for a long time, but we’re pretty confident right now with the way things are going that they should be able to play in Boston,” Ducharme told the media in a Zoom call Monday. “But again, we have another practice tomorrow, and we’ll assess that at the morning skate in Boston and make final decisions,” explained Ducharme. “We’ll also take into consideration the guys that are joining us in Boston. Is it the ideal situation to come back for those guys or the guys joining us in Boston? No, but that’s the situation.”
The other member of the stranded 7, Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry, was scheduled to be in Montreal on Monday afternoon and if cleared to play, practice with the team in Brossard Tuesday before they leave for Boston. Ducharme once again cautioned that the roster remains in major flux and a lot of players could be game-time decisions Wednesday.
“The next few days are going to be a little bit of juggling and trying to figure out who’s in the best position to help us play that game,” mentioned Ducharme, regarding his potential lineup at TD Garden Wednesday.