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HOCKEYPATROL  /  NHL  /  NEWS

Canadiens display a potential playoff lineup without TWO key pieces

Published May 15, 2021 at 1:28 PM
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After taking Thursday and Friday off to get their COVID-19 vaccines and rest, the Montreal Canadiens returned to the ice on Saturday.

On Saturday's practise, two young players were left on the outside looking in, which made for some interesting line combinations. At work, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield skated on a fifth line with Michael Frolik, wearing grey jerseys to show they were extra players.

Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault were both in red jerseys, which means they're likely to return when the Canadiens face the Maple Leafs on May 20th. Gallagher has been out since early April with a broken thumb, while Danault has been dealing with a concussion for the last ten days.

Carey Price also participated in full practice today with all signs pointing to him playing in Game one on Thursday, and Jake Allen backing him up. Price has been out with a concussion since April 19th.


Shea Weber skated on his own right before practice began. He's been dealing with an unspecified upper-body injury for the past couple of weeks. The Canadiens captain is expected to return on Thursday night.

Here were today's lines:

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher

Toffoli - Suzuki - Armia

Perry - Staal - Anderson

Byron - Evans - Lehkonen

Extras: Frolik - Kotkaniemi - Caufield

Edmundson - Petry

Kulak - Chiarot

Romanov - Gustafsson

Extra: Merrill

Price/Allen

It's important to note that we are still five days until Game one between Montreal and Toronto, so these lines could possibly change throughout the coming days. The Canadiens are in desperate need of scoring, especially when playing against a Toronto team that has a ton of depth, and a lot of skill in their top-six. Montreal is going to need Caufield's goal scoring and play making ability in this series, so it's likely that he could move up in the lineup as they practice over the next several days.

As for Jesperi Kotkaniemi, he hasn't been very good this season, but it's also worth noting that he's still only 20 years old, and has a long way to go before he reaches his full potential. He's only scored 1 goal and 3 assists in his last 25 games. He had a solid postseason in 2020, tallying 4 goals in 10 games, and was very good defensively.

Expect that as the week goes on and the Canadiens juggle their lines at practice, Cole Caufield will draw in for Game one, while Jesperi Kotkaniemi may find himself in the press box, but could feature at some point in the series.

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May 15   |   178 answers
Canadiens display a potential playoff lineup without TWO key pieces

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