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There was no full practice today and it’s easy to understand why with the hectic schedule and the need to manage the energy level in readiness for game 2. Still, some of the injured guys did skate but Dominique Ducharme wouldn’t or couldn’t confirm if any of them will be ready for tomorrow night. Can’t blame him though, if I were in his place, I’d keep my cards close to my chest as well. That being said, my gut feeling is that both Jeff Petry and Shea Weber will be in uniform tomorrow.
Who should make way? Good question. Personally, I thought that things moved way too fast for Gustafsson yesterday and even though he helps the power play, he’s not reliable enough to handle a fair chunk of minutes, and with Weber and Petry carrying health issues, they shouldn’t be as overworked as they’ve been last series.
Up front, I highly doubt that Jake Evans will be in a position to play tomorrow, I don’t think he’s had a full practice with match like contact yet, and with concussions, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
However, Tomas Tatar is currently patiently waiting for his turn and at a time where offense is badly needed, is it time to throw the tuna back in the sea? Could be an idea, but then, who do you sit? Kotkaniemi had a tough night last nigh but can you scratch him for Tatar and slide Byron at centre? Not ideal… Lehkonen? He tries hard and had 4 shots last night, more than most of the Habs’ forward. Byron? His speed can force the Vegas defense to take penalties…Quite the headache, good luck coach Ducharme.
About an hour ago, Quebec’s government has announced that starting on Friday, the Bell Centre (and other venues of the same type) will be authorized to have 3500 fans in attendance. That’s a far cry from Vegas’ 18 000, but it’s still an improvement. As a popular boy band once sang, step by step.
Before then though, there’s still game 2 to be played at 9:00 PM tomorrow, get ready for another late night Habs fans!