For the Montreal Canadiens, the 2020-21 common season has been one fraught with challenges. After a scorching begin, the franchise skilled turbulence, resulting in the firing of head coach Claude Julien in February. Since then, issues actually haven’t stabilized, with the staff posting a combined 5-3-5 document whereas holding onto fourth place within the Scotia NHL North Division.
This being an irregular NHL season, nonetheless, Montreal’s difficulties stretched past typical hockey fare like firing a coach and inconsistent play. In late March, the franchise was pressured to pause their season after a participant examined optimistic for COVID-19, inflicting a number of rescheduled video games.
As time went on, it was introduced that Canadiens’ forwards Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi have been positioned on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols listing. Because the franchise got here off their pause on Monday, Kotkaniemi was dropped from the listing, whereas Armia remained. After being eliminated, Kotkaniemi talked about his expertise whereas in COVID-19 protocol.
“I used to be a little bit nervous about what’s going to occur,” Kotkaniemi stated, “However the week went fairly effectively… received a pair exercises in and performed loads of Ps, in order that was about it”
Canadiens Want Consistency After COVID-19 Pause
With the 2020-21 season greater than midway completed, the Canadiens discover themselves in a precarious place. On the optimistic aspect, they’re in command of their very own future transferring ahead. Not solely are they nonetheless within the playoff spot after the pause, however they’ve six video games in hand on fifth and 6 place of their division.
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Even when they don’t win all of these video games, it provides Montreal an honest quantity of buffer room ought to they begin slowly after returning to play. For instance, they might win simply two video games of these six and nonetheless enhance their division lead by a good quantity.
On the destructive aspect, groups which were pressured to cease play mid-season because of COVID-19 have struggled upon their return to the ice. Particularly when you think about that the Canadiens are nonetheless working with a brand new teaching employees and the way compressed their remaining schedule might be, this might make the return to play much more tough.
Nonetheless, so long as Montreal is ready to shortly get themselves again as much as recreation velocity, they need to be in fine condition to not less than make the 2021 playoffs. In the event that they battle, then they might discover themselves in an actual dogfight for fourth place within the Scotia NHL North Division.
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning author who is definitely from Tampa Bay. He has written concerning the Lightning for six years, protecting all the things from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Last, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption within the bubble in 2020. Whereas he’s completely happy to speak about absolutely anything from cows to automobiles to video video games, hockey will all the time stay certainly one of his favourite pastimes.