Back to Play Buzz: Drouin back for the Canadians


Montreal Canadiens

Jonathan Drouin will be available to play for the Montreal Canadiens in the qualifying round of the Eastern Conference against the Pittsburgh Penguins, said general manager Marc Bergevin.

The striker has missed the last five games before the season was interrupted by an ankle injury.

Defender status Victor Mete is less clear. Mete has missed Montreal’s last eight regular season games after breaking its foot on February 18.

“Jo is allowed to play,” said Bergevin. “As far as Victor (goes) is not sure. He went home, he rehab, but until our own staff saw him, put his hand on him, I don’t know. [Drouin has] been in Montreal, so it’s easier to give you an answer. “

Bergevin also said he would defer to the doctors to find out if Max Domi, a type 1 diabetic, could play safely in the qualifying round, or beyond. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is one of the conditions that put people at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

“I am convinced that the NHL and the Montreal Canadiens would never put Max Domi in a situation where he would be exposed to a disease which would affect him short-term or long-term,” said Bergevin of the 25-year-old. “If the doctors decide it’s not safe for Max, for whatever reason, then he won’t play. The values ​​of Canadians will never endanger the health of any of our players. Never, never, never. … The decision (for Domi) will be the best for him in the short and long term. “

Bergevin said in a short series, the best of the 5, that anything could happen.

“I think our chances are as good as those of the eight teams that have secured a place (qualifying round),” he said. “Without putting any pressure on (goalkeeper) Carey (Price), when you have a goalkeeper of this quality, anything is possible. ” – Dave Stubbs, columnist

Pittsburgh penguins

Nick Bjugstad will be released for the Pittsburgh Penguins after have spine surgery for a herniated disc Tuesday.

Although the forward should be out for at least eight weeks, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he “will not be available for the rest of the season”.

The striker (lower body) did not play in the last Pittsburgh game until the season ended on March 12 and was limited to 13 games this season due to basic muscle surgery that ‘he suffered in November.

Forward Jake Guentzel, who has been absent from shoulder surgery on December 31, is expected to be available when the Penguins face the Montreal Canadiens in the qualifying round.

“Jake is in rehabilitation,” said Rutherford. “Things are progressing well. We still have a long way to go before we start playing. We are optimistic that he will be ready to play. ” – Wes Crosby, independent correspondent

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets expect to have a healthy lineup when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the qualifying round.

Columbus was defenseless Seth Jones (ankle), Dean kukan (knee) and Ryan Murray (not disclosed) and forward Oliver Bjorkstrand (ankle), Cam Atkinson (ankle), Alexandre Texier (return), Josh Anderson (shoulder) and Nathan Gerbe (groin) when they played against the Vancouver Canucks on March 8, their last game before the end of the season.

“I think there is a good chance that we are in good health,” said managing director Jarmo Kekalainen. “I think Josh Anderson is probably the only one where the timeline will get closer to when he is ready.” Everyone is on schedule and should be ready to play. “

Anderson, who has not played since December 14, underwent surgery to repair a torn left shoulder labrum on March 2 and was to be absent for 4 to 6 months. Kekalainen said he could be ready to play in mid-August if the Blue Jackets were still playing at this point.

That would leave ahead Brandon dubinsky, who has not played this season due to a chronic wrist injury, as the only injured Blue Jackets player who will certainly not be available to play in the qualifying round or full Cup playoffs Stanley, if Columbus moves on.

Alignment to near full power after fighting injuries for most of the regular season Nick Foligno excited about what the Blue Jackets can accomplish.

“My expectations are even higher now and that is how it should be,” said Foligno. “If we want to be healthier, then the bar is high, right? I think that’s where I think our group really learned that we don’t doubt ourselves. The guys who came out to help us took the plunge because they saw it it’s our way of playing, that’s what we expected and they came and did a great job for us and have held the line. And now, with guys who are coming back and who are in good health, it takes the line a lot further. ” – Tom Gulitti, editor

New York Islanders

Adam Pelech will be able to play for the New York Islanders when they face the Florida Panthers in the qualifying round, general manager Lou Lamoriello said Wednesday.

The defender suffered an Achilles tendon injury on January 2 and was scheduled to be absent for the remainder of the regular season with a four-month recovery period.

“He is in good physical health, he certainly feels good. He’s ready to play, ”said Lamoriello. “Adam, as you know, has been on a regular rehabilitation program since his injury and was allowed to participate after the training camp was held. “

Pelech led the Islanders with 83 blocked shots and was second in average ice time per game (21:08), including 2:47 from the penalty spot, at the time of his injury.

“I don’t want to make any predictions, [but] he is definitely a valuable part of our team, “said Lamoriello. Like all of our players, we’re going to be deep in every position because everyone is healthy. Certainly, in a short tournament, the best players must play and the best combinations must play. … But there is no doubt what it is worth to the team. “- Brian Compton, Associate Editor

Toronto Maple Leafs

Nicholas Robertson will be part of the expanded squad of the Toronto Maple Leafs and could make his NHL debut when play resumes, said general manager Kyle Dubas.

The long-awaited forward, who led the Ontario Hockey League with goals with 55 in 46 games for Peterborough this season, is in Toronto on auto-quarantine.

“I know that his commitment to be in the best shape he can be and that, combined with his talent and ability, makes me believe that he will have a good race. … We are delighted to see it as part of it, ”said Dubas.

The Maple Leafs will face the Blue Jackets in the qualifying round. The date and location of the Best-of-5 series must be determined.

“The bottom line for Nick is that he had a great season at Peterborough and has continued to improve what he can offer,” said Dubas of the 18-year-old Toronto shortlisted athlete. second round (n ° 53). from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. “Obviously, he scored at a prolific level, one of the best seasons in the history of the Ontario League. But the way he scored, I think it was more important to us. Putting pressure on the defensive side, making interceptions and scoring, shorthanded from the penalty spot, was how he scored his 50th goal.

“And I think more than anything, I looked at the previous level of conditioning. The commitment to your fitness level as an individual and as a team is going to have a major impact on how you behave when you come back from that. someone as committed as anyone I’ve seen, certainly at that age. ” – Mike Zeisberger, personal writer

Vancouver Canucks

Micheal Ferland and Josh Leivo could return for the Vancouver Canucks to play the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference qualifying round, said general manager Jim Benning.

Ferland was expected to be out for the rest of the season after recurring concussion symptoms limited him to 14 regular season games. Leivo fractured his kneecap against the Vegas Golden Knights on December 19.

“I’ve had positive reports, but we’ll just have to see as we get closer,” said Benning of the attackers. “The two are doing physiotherapy and their rehabilitation to return. As we get closer to the date, we will see where they are and then determine if they are able to play or not. “

Ferland last played in the NHL against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 10, and an earlier comeback ended as he played his first game on probation with American Hockey League Utica on 14 February, when he left after the first period because of concussion-like symptoms.

Leivo was initially scheduled to be absent for 2-3 months, but Benning said on April 29 that he was less optimistic about a return.

Goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom and defender Christopher Tanev, injured when the NHL interrupted the season, was allowed to play in April. – Kevin Woodley, independent correspondent


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