Habs may rule out Kotkaniemi and Caufield to start the playoffs
Montreal Canadiens’ Cole Caufield scores against Ottawa Senators’ goaltender Filip Gustavsson during overtime NHL hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, May 1, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
BROSSARD, QUE. -- All indications suggest that forwards Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield will have to earn their spot in the Montreal Canadiens lineup if they want to play in Game 1 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
After two days off, the Habs resumed practice Saturday morning at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
Caufield, Kotkaniemi and Michael Frolik were the only three players wearing grey jerseys. The others wore red or white jerseys.
Kotkaniemi has not scored since March 30, a 24-game stretch in which he was limited to four assists.
Caufield, meanwhile, has played in the bleu-blanc-rouge's last 10 games after completing his internship at the University of Wisconsin.
He has four goals and one assist.
Interim head coach Dominique Ducharme was scheduled to speak to the media via video conference after practice.
Forwards Phillip Danault (concussion) and Brendan Gallagher (broken thumb) participated in practice without restrictions, while goalie Carey Price (concussion) was also present.
Defenceman Shea Weber (upper body) skated alone before his teammates.
The Habs will begin their first-round series against the Maple Leafs next Thursday in Toronto. It's the first series between the two teams since 1979.
-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 15, 2021.