Canadiens ponder lineup modifications on brink of elimination

Alexander Romanov played 54 video games for the duration of the standard period for the Montreal Canadiens. Tomas Tatar performed 50 and Jake Evans 47.

In the playoffs, it has been a fully unique photograph. Romanov has only gotten into only two online games and Tatar and Evans five each individual.

Going through elimination at household Monday in Match 4 of the Stanley Cup Closing from the Tampa Bay Lightning might last but not least be the impetus for coach Dominique Ducharme to shake up his lineup and convey in fresh legs.

“Will we make variations? Far too early to inform,” Ducharme explained Saturday. “But we’re searching at every single circumstance appropriate now.”

The predicament is dire for Montreal after a 6-3 reduction Friday place them on the brink of finding swept. Of specific issue is the Canadiens’ lack of ability to match the Lightning’s physicality in an effort to use down the defending champions.

Romanov could definitely help in that division. The 6-foot, 208-pound Russian led the blue line with 138 hits all through the regular time and showed he was not out of spot in his playoff cameo when Jeff Petry was injured.

That is the only opportunity the 21-year-old has gotten this postseason, but Ducharme isn’t worried about stunting Romanov’s enhancement by not playing him regularly now.

“He’s been element of it,” Ducharme stated. “He’s youthful. We continue to perform with him. It’s not because he’s not participating in that he’s not finding out section of it. He’s with us.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is beginning goaltender Carey Price, who has played in excess of 1,219 minutes in the playoffs and has shown signs of donning down. But right after stating he and his workers is on the lookout at each condition, Ducharme explained he is not thinking about in any way beginning backup Jake Allen on Monday.

“Carey’s the guy playing Monday,” he reported. “If you question or people speculate about who’s heading to be in net, Carey’s going to be in internet.”


NHL Deputy Commissioner Invoice Daly confirmed to The Linked Press on Saturday that the Canadian governing administration has not granted an exemption for spouse and children associates of Lightning gamers and team to vacation to Montreal for a potential Cup celebration.

That indicates they could acquire a 2nd championship in 11 months without having family members there to take pleasure in it.

“Much like last yr, we’re secluded, so we’re retained away from most people,” mentor Jon Cooper mentioned. “Actually it’ll be equivalent to last calendar year if we’re fortunate sufficient to get since of just the circumstance that’s absent on, what is been agreed to.”

Francesca Vangel, spouse of Tampa Bay’s Patrick Maroon, tweeted her frustration about Canadian Key Minister Justin Trudeau, stating, “How about you let the households of the gamers cross the boarder (both of those teams) and get pleasure from it this 12 months. Just a assumed.”

JOSEPH’S Prospect

When Nikita Kucherov returned for the Lightning at the commence of the playoffs, an individual experienced to be the odd man out. It turned out to be Mathieu Joseph, who performed all 56 typical-season games.

Joseph is familiar with what it is like to be element of a Cup run but not enjoy right after performing that in the bubble last calendar year. When veteran forward Alex Killorn was injured in Activity 1 of the remaining, the 24-calendar year-outdated from Laval, Quebec, bought his possibility.

Assuming Tampa Bay closes this out, Joseph would be 1 of the 52 names on the Stanley Cup.

“It means a whole lot,” Joseph stated. “Being part of that last calendar year in the bubble was surely exclusive, even however I didn’t participate in. I look at these fellas my spouse and children and staying component of it and on the bench is unique than when you are off the ice, so definitely happy to be portion of it for the time that I got so much. It’s certainly a thing that you want to be aspect of and you have labored difficult all year for that.”


About the previous pair of years, Cooper has taken to honoring bands with the T-shirts he wears for interviews. Saturday was ’90s steel band Deadguy. Of study course, it experienced a minor additional this means.

“They received their identify from a fantastic John Sweet motion picture, ‘Only the lonely,’ Cooper explained. ”Do you know what one particular of their albums was referred to as? Operate ethic.”


Comply with AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at


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