•   
  •   
  •   

Sports Game Day Notebook: Two more Canadiens added to NHL COVID protocol list

08:37  31 december  2021
08:37  31 december  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Flyers at Canadiens: Five things you should know

  Flyers at Canadiens: Five things you should know Here are five things you should know about Thursday’s game between the Canadiens (6-21-3) and the Philadelphia Flyers (11-12-4) at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Canadiens really struggling: The Canadiens’ winless streak hit seven games (0-6-1) with Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh. The Canadiens have been outscored 24-10 during those seven games and have scored two goals or fewer in 22 of their 30 games this season, including each of their last four games. The Canadiens are 4-10-1 at home and 2-11-2 on the road. They haven’t won two games in a row all season.

Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme announced Thursday morning that two more of his players would be placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

The Canadiens will be missing 13 players who are on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list when they play the Hurricanes Thursday night in Carolina. © Provided by The Gazette The Canadiens will be missing 13 players who are on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list when they play the Hurricanes Thursday night in Carolina.

Ducharme wouldn’t name who the two players were after the team’s optional morning skate in Carolina, adding the names would be released later in the day as per NHL protocols.

“I think there’s a procedure with the league there, so I’ll wait for everything to be confirmed and sent to the league and everything,” Ducharme said about the names of the two players being released.

Stu Cowan: Nine men out as Canadiens brace for NHL restart in Tampa

  Stu Cowan: Nine men out as Canadiens brace for NHL restart in Tampa Ready to play NHL Survivor? That’s what the rest of this season could look like as the NHL tries to keep playing games despite the exploding number of COVID-19 cases as a result of the Omicron variant. On Monday afternoon, the Canadiens flew to Tampa, where they are scheduled to play the Lightning on Tuesday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens made the trip without nine players who are on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Goalie Jake Allen, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Jeff Petry and Chris Wideman were added to the list before practice Monday morning in Brossard, joining Laurent Dauphin, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli.

Later in the day it was announced that the players added to the list are defencemen Louie Belpedio and Gianni Fairbrother, who had both been called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket this week to join the Canadiens’ taxi squad.

The two new players bring the total number of Canadiens on the protocol list up to 13 ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Hurricanes (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) at PNC Arena.

While the decision on whether to play the game or not isn’t in his control, Ducharme was asked if he thinks from a personal standpoint it’s right for his team to be asked by the NHL to play under the current circumstances.

“I’m not sure I’m here to say if it’s right or not,” the coach said. “They have people at the league that are looking around and making sure that everything is done for the league to be going and for every team looking at every situation. So it is what it is. Like I said before, we’re going to be having 20 guys wearing the jersey tonight, like we did in Tampa, and we’re facing a really good team. It’s a good challenge for us and we’re going to be ready to go.”

Game Day Notebook: Two players set to make NHL debuts with Canadiens

  Game Day Notebook: Two players set to make NHL debuts with Canadiens Maxime Lagace will be in goal for the Lightning after getting called up from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, where he had a 3-3-0 record with a 3.86 goals-against average and a .861 save percentage. Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said Cayden Primeau will start in goal Thursday night when the Canadiens play the Hurricanes in Carolina. Primeau was called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Monday after Allen was placed on the protocol list. Bon matin, les gars. ????Game day in the Sunshine State.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.

The Canadiens rank 31st in the overall NHL standings with a 7-21-4 record and are three points ahead of the last-place Arizona Coyotes (6-21-3), who hold two games in hand. The Hurricanes are third in the overall standings with a 21-7-1 record.

The Canadiens are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to the Lightning Tuesday night in Tampa, while the Hurricanes haven’t played since beating the Los Angeles Kings 5-1 on Dec. 18. The Hurricanes are 6-1-0 in their last seven games.

Less than a week ago, the Hurricanes had 12 players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, but they were down to three on Wednesday, including goalie Frederik Andersen. As a result, Antti Raanta will be in goal against the Canadiens.

Sam Montembeault will make his second straight start in goal for the Canadiens.

The 11 Canadiens players who were already on the protocol list are: goalies Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau, defencemen Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry, Joel Edmundson and Chris Wideman, along with forwards Laurent Dauphin, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen, Tyler Toffoli and Paul Byron.

Stu Cowan: Officials got Gallagher call right, TV analyst Jackson says

  Stu Cowan: Officials got Gallagher call right, TV analyst Jackson says Canadiens fans were outraged Tuesday night when an apparent goal by Brendan Gallagher was disallowed because of — what else? — goaltender interference. The play came at 6:09 of the second period and would have given the Canadiens a 3-2 lead over the Lightning in Tampa. It was ruled no goal on the ice and again after video review from the NHL Situation Room in Toronto following a coach’s challenge from Dominique Ducharme. It was a turning point The play came at 6:09 of the second period and would have given the Canadiens a 3-2 lead over the Lightning in Tampa. It was ruled no goal on the ice and again after video review from the NHL Situation Room in Toronto following a coach’s challenge from Dominique Ducharme.

The search for a new GM

Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reported Wednesday night that eight people will be interviewed for the vacant Canadiens GM job next week: Patrick Roy, Daniel Brière, Mathieu Darche, Marc Denis, Kent Hughes, Stéphane Quintal, Danièle Sauvageau and Émilie Castonguay. One or two other names could be added to the list by the end of next week.

Owner/president Geoff Molson, executive vice-president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, minority owner Michael Andlauer and former captain and GM Bob Gainey will be on the selection committee.

Waiting for test results

The Canadiens’ Jake Evans was asked Thursday morning what the anxiety level is on the team as the players await the results of their COVID-19 tests each day.

“I feel like even when I went home (at Christmas) the way that this variant’s been spreading I feel like everyone here knows a few people (who have COVID) that they were somewhat close with, all this contact tracing stuff,” he said. “So even here you might have had lunch with the guy beside you who tested positive the day before. I think we’re at a point where you’re not really thinking about it. You’re hoping nothing happens, but there’s been a lot of cases so it’s hard to get too anxious about it because it’s not going to be any good.”

Canadiens at Panthers: Five things you should know

  Canadiens at Panthers: Five things you should know Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Panthers game at FLA Live Arena on Saturday (1 p.m , TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The matchup: This is the finale in a three-game road trip for the Canadiens, who secured an overtime point in Tampa on Tuesday before being shut out 4-0 in Carolina on Thursday. Montreal is in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 7-22-4 record. The Canadiens have the NHL’s worst road record at 2-12-3. Florida is second in the Atlantic Division with a 20-7-4 mark after routing Tampa Bay 9-3 on Thursday.

When asked if the league should postpone Thursday night’s game with so many Canadiens players on the protocol list, Evans said: “That’s a tough question. What we’re going to do is just play with what we have and keep working hard and let the league and the team decide what’s best for us. Whoever’s in the lineup’s going to play hard and try and win.

“I think with all these quarantine rules and with COVID you don’t want to get it and you know we’re in, I guess you could say, kind of a hot spot with how many guys on the team are getting it,” Evans said. “You don’t want to be stuck in a city you’re not familiar with, too (while in quarantine after testing positive). But you trust the league and you trust the team and what we’ve been doing to keep safe. Testing every day and rapid testing and all that stuff. So I feel pretty confident in how our team and how the league’s been handling it and hopefully we can just move on soon from it.”

Hurricanes a well-balanced team

The Hurricanes are a very well-balanced team, ranking first in the NHL in defence (allowing an average of 2.14 goals per game) and eighth in offence (scoring an average of 3.28 goals per game).

Montreal Canadiens Evans, Romanov added to NHL's COVID protocol list

  Montreal Canadiens Evans, Romanov added to NHL's COVID protocol list The Montreal Canadiens will play the Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon (1 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM) with a seriously depleted lineup after forward Jake Evans and defenceman Alexander Romanov became the latest players to enter the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Speaking to the media 90 minutes before puck drop, coach Dominique Ducharme said the Canadiens will play with 11 forwards and five defencemen. The Canadiens have been playing with as many as nine AHL players in the first two games on this road trip but this marks the first time they don’t have 18 healthy skaters. Ducharme said the Canadiens informed the NHL about the latest cases.

The Hurricanes also rank second in penalty-killing (88.7 per cent), 10th on the power play (22.5 per cent) and third in faceoffs (54.4 per cent).


Video: Paul Stastny three point game leads Jets over Blues (cbc.ca)

The Canadiens rank 31st in offence (2.19 goals per game), 30th in defence (3.56 goals against per game), 32nd on the power play (12.0 per cent), 29th in penalty-killing (72.7 per cent) and 25th in faceoffs (48.0 per cent).

“They do have a really good team over there and they’re a fast and skilled team,” Evans said about the Hurricanes. “So just playing smart and hard and hopefully we can pull out a win.

“They’re a balanced and well-rounded team,” Evans added. “They’ve got great goaltending, great defencemen and a lot of offensive skill up front, too. Last game I thought we played a pretty solid game (against the Lightning) limiting their chances and just playing hard. We got to continue that tonight and just limit those mistakes because with their skill up front they can capitalize on as few chances as possible.”

Ducharme noted that the Hurricanes like to play a fast game.

“They’re a fast team, they play with pace and they’re pretty consistent up and down their lineup,” the coach said. “You can clearly see their team identity and they play within that identity and they’re pretty consistent doing it.”

The Kotkaniemi watch

This will be the Canadiens’ second game this season against the Hurricanes, who won 4-1 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 21.

Canadiens add Alex Belzile and Kale Clague to NHL's COVID-19 list

  Canadiens add Alex Belzile and Kale Clague to NHL's COVID-19 list The Canadiens added forward Alex Belzile and defenceman Kale Clague to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Friday. That brings the team total up to 24 players and two coaches now on the protocol list. The Canadiens added Belzile and Clague to the list that already included forwards Cameron Hillis, Michael Pezzetta, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Jesse Ylönen, Brandon Baddock, Paul Byron, Laurent Dauphin, Jake Evans, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli, along with defencemen David Savard, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, Chris Wideman, Louie Belpedio and Gianni Fairbrother, and goalies Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau.

Former Canadien Jesperi Kotkaniemi, playing his first game against his old teammates, scored a goal in that game while being booed by Montreal fans every time he touched the puck.

In 29 games this season, Kotkaniemi has 7-6-13 totals and is plus-1 while averaging 12:13 of ice time and winning 50.8 per cent of his faceoffs. He is on a three-game point streak with 1-4-5 totals during that span and has four goals in his last 11 games. No player on the Canadiens has scored more goals than Kotkaniemi’s seven.

“We were good friends last year and he’s a great guy and a great player,” Evans said about Kotkaniemi, adding that he still keeps in touch with him. “So it will be fun to play against him and hopefully shut him down this time and get a big win against him so we can rub it in.”

Romanov a hit machine

The Canadiens’ Alexander Romanov ranks second among NHL defencemen in hits with 101, trailing only the Florida Panthers’ Radko Gudas, who has 121.

Romanov ranks seventh overall in the league in hits with former Canadien Nicolas Deslauriers of the Anaheim Ducks leading the way with 137.

When asked if he checks his number of hits after games, Romanov said: “No, I never check it. It’s just my style of play.”

Romanov logged a season-high 26:53 of ice time in Thursday’s game against the Lightning, along with three hits.

The 21-year-old Russian said his biggest improvement since joining the Canadiens has been in the defensive zone while learning to play with a close gap.

“I think you don’t need to waste energy and work with your brain,” he added. “You have to think more on the ice. No rush. Just wait.”

Curfew back in Quebec

After reporting more than 14,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the Quebec government announced new pandemic restrictions, including a curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. starting Friday.

Game Day Notebook: First game since Jan. 1 as Habs visit Bruins

  Game Day Notebook: First game since Jan. 1 as Habs visit Bruins The Canadiens will play their first game since Jan. 1 when they face the Bruins Wednesday night in Boston (7 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens had 16 players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list when they lost 5-2 to the Panthers on New Year’s Day in Florida and were forced to play with only 18 players instead of the regular 20. The Canadiens will have a full lineup against the Bruins after the number of players they had on the COVID-19 protocol list reached 24 during their break in the schedule.

The Canadiens have already postponed their next four scheduled home games at the Bell Centre because of attendance restrictions put in place by the government because of COVID-19. A fifth game in January that was scheduled against the Bruins at the Bell Centre has been moved to Boston.

“Honestly, for us it doesn’t change that much since for a while we’re not allowed to go anywhere, basically,” Ducharme said a curfew. “We’re one the road, we’re staying at the hotel, we cannot go outside or eat out or anything else. They asked us to do the same in Montreal now. So curfew or not, beside taking a walk at night, for us it doesn’t change much.

“I think it’s hard on everyone, not only us,” Ducharme added. “I think it’s hard on everyone mentally at one point to be stuck like that. But we’ve been through it last year. It’s a challenge, but we got to do what we need to do and we have nothing to say on that part. It’s a government decision and we’ll see what happens and what they ask. But as a team and as a league we’re being careful everywhere we go and we need to be avoiding any kind of activities like this. So for us it doesn’t change much.”

The lines

Here’s how the Canadiens’ forward lines and defence pairings looked at Wednesday’s full practice in Carolina:

Drouin – Suzuki – Gallagher

Harvey-Pinard – Poehling – Caufield

Belzile – Evans – Ylönen

Pezzetta – Paquette – Vejdemo

Romanov – Savard

Kulak – Clague

Niku – Schueneman

What’s next?

The Canadiens will fly to Florida after Thursday night’s game and play the Panthers on New Year’s Day Saturday (1 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

After that, the Canadiens are not scheduled to play again until Jan. 12 when they will face the Bruins in Boston.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

Related

Game Day Notebook: First game since Jan. 1 as Habs visit Bruins .
The Canadiens will play their first game since Jan. 1 when they face the Bruins Wednesday night in Boston (7 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens had 16 players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list when they lost 5-2 to the Panthers on New Year’s Day in Florida and were forced to play with only 18 players instead of the regular 20. The Canadiens will have a full lineup against the Bruins after the number of players they had on the COVID-19 protocol list reached 24 during their break in the schedule.

usr: 0
This is interesting!