Canadiens Notebook: Habs Fly to Tampa After Practice in Brossard

“There are people above my salary level who make those decisions,” says Brendan Gallagher of playing Lightning despite the increase in COVID cases.

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Despite having nine players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, the Canadiens were on a flight Monday afternoon to Tampa, where they are scheduled to play on Lightning Tuesday. (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

The Lightning have six players on the protocol list, including their two goalkeepers, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliott, as well as head coach Jon Cooper and assistant coach Rob Zettler.

The Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher was asked after Monday morning’s practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard if he was surprised that Tuesday’s game had not been postponed and that he was heading to the airport with his teammates.

“There are people above my salary level who make those decisions,” Gallagher said. “My job is to play hockey. I’m excited to get back in the lineup here and do my job. “

Gallagher has not played since he was listed on the COVID-19 protocol on Dec. 2 and spent 10 days in quarantine. The Canadiens’ last four games have been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We want to be safe, but we have a lot of confidence in the people who make these decisions,” Gallagher said of playing Tuesday in Tampa. “What we really want to do is go to work. We had the Christmas holidays there to recharge. Personally, I’m looking forward to going back, doing that, and seeing what you can do on the ice. … I feel safe. “

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Any advice on COVID-19?

Canadiens goalkeeper Jake Allen, defenders Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Jeff Petry and Chris Wideman were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list Monday, along with goalkeeping coach Eric Raymond. Those five players join forwards Laurent Dauphin, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli, who were already on the roster.

As a result, goalkeeper Cayden Primeau and defender Corey Schueneman were called up from AHL’s Laval Rocket. Additionally, Brandon Baddock, Gianni Fairbrother, Cam Hillis, and Michael McNiven were added to the taxi squad.

Gallagher was asked if he had any advice for players heading into the 10-day quarantine after testing positive.

“Find something to do,” he said. “The first couple of days it wasn’t much of a concern… my symptoms were a bit more than what other kids are facing. But after that, just a lot of boredom. Lots of time to spend on yourself and your thoughts. Make some phone calls, talk to all the guys you can. There will be some guys going through it. Try to help them. A lot of the guys have families and stuff too. It’s not the best 10 days, but you have to go through that. I’m happy to be out of there and those guys will feel the same way when they’re done. “

Gallagher said that he has already spoken with some of his teammates who are now dealing with COVID-19.

“I know that Lehks (Lehkonen) had the same symptoms as me,” Gallagher said. “The first days were hard for him. I saw Benny (Chiarot) and Wides (Wideman) this morning and they feel good. We are all different. Everyone goes through it differently. The bodies fight for these things. We all have our shots so he’s not too concerned about anything happening other than fighting the symptoms for a couple of days and then he’ll get back on his feet and hopefully be with the guys again because I’m sure you’ll love him. you’re going to lose it. “

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Family matters

Canadiens defender David Savard has three young children at home and was asked if players with families are more nervous about contracting COVID-19.

“I think we should be aware of it,” he said. “We just have to make sure we are safe, we try to do everything we can to keep the children safe. I think right now it’s definitely a bit more stressful to have all those cases popping up everywhere. But as a group, we must make the decision to do everything we can to make sure everyone is safe. Wear the masks on the plane and everywhere. At the hotel, make sure we are safe and if we do, I think we will help each other to minimize the risk. “

When asked if he’s surprised the NHL is trying to keep up the season with so many positive COVID-19 cases turning up, Savard said: “There are a lot of cases everywhere, but with the rules that they just put in, I think that’s it will help to keep moving forward. I think the next few weeks will be a little more difficult with all the guys who went home for Christmas and things like that. I think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of cases come up. But I think we will control it very soon and we will be fine to move on. “

On Sunday, the NHL and NHLPA entered into some waivers from the collective bargaining agreement designed to help teams deal with COVID-19 cases. They include teams that are allowed to add an additional goalkeeper when two regular players are unavailable, an exemption from the emergency salary cap when teams cannot dress two goalkeepers, six defenders, and 12 forwards for one game (the cap maximum of any player). summoned cannot exceed US $ 1 million) and the capacity to have taxi squads.

The lines

This is how the attack lines and defensive pairs looked like in Monday’s practice.

Drouin – Suzuki – Gallagher
Harvey-Pinard – Poehling – Caufield
Belzile – Evans – Ylönen
Pezzetta – Paquette – Vejdemo

Romanov – Savard
Kulak – Clague
Schueneman – Niku

The four players added to the taxi squad, Baddock, Hallis, Fairbrother and McNiven, also participated in practice and flew the team to Tampa.

Whats Next?

After Tuesday’s game in Tampa, the Canadiens are scheduled to play the Hurricanes on Thursday in Carolina (7 PM, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and then return to Florida to play the Panthers on Saturday (1 pm, TSN2, RDS, Radio TSN 690, 98.5 FM).

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