There you have it folks, the 24 teams have made it to two “bubbles”, as the Eastern Conference teams made the trip to Toronto and the Western Conference teams are enjoying Edmonton… in the summer! Rosters are in, every team has provided the NHL with their respective list of 31 players who will be kept inside the bubble due to COVID-19. Hotels, restaurants, dressing rooms and arenas are disinfected and supposedly kept to high standards to avoid any player, coach or staff to get contaminated by the Coronavirus.
The Canadiens have decided that they would burn a year off Alexander Romanov‘s entry level contract (which doesn’t affect his free agents years by the way) by bringing him in the bubble to gain some much needed experience. This way, he gets to practice with his new teammates, giving him a chance to familiarize himself to the NHL size rinks, the system and the pace of the NHL. The Habs have submitted the following list of 31 players, 30 of which will be available to play on any given day:
|Tomas Tatar||Phillip Danault||Brendan Gallagher|
|Jonathan Drouin||Nick Suzuki||Joel Armia|
|Max Domi||Jesperi Kotkaniemi||Paul Byron|
|Artturi Lehkonen||Jake Evans||Jordan Weal|
|Charles Hudon||Ryan Poehling||Dale Weise|
I know, I know, those are not the lines put together by Claude Julien. Those are the lines that I would like to see, no more. I would like to see a rotation between Evans and Poehling, giving them a game each, then go game by game. And if Kotkaniemi can’t keep up, move Domi back to centre, promote Lehkonen and insert Hudon or Weise.
|Victor Mete||Shea Weber|
|Ben Chiarot||Jeff Petry|
|Brett Kulak||Cale Fleury|
|Xavier Ouellet||Noah Juulsen|
|Gustav Olofsson||Christian Folin|
|Alexander Romanov *|
I don’t know why, but I like Mete’s speed with Weber more than Chiarot on that pairing. From time to time, based on situations, put Chiarot there but give the regular shifts to Mete at even strength. In addition, the Pens have Crosby on one line and Malkin on the other, and with the Habs not getting the last change, one of Chiarot or Weber would be on the ice, most likely. I put Fleury there but I would rotate him and Juulsen. After all, you want to give the kids some experience, right Claude?
I put Lindgren ahead of Primeau just because he finished the season as the back up. Let’s face it: unless he gets hurt, Price will play every game. And looking at the entire roster of 16 forwards, 11 defensemen and 4 goaltenders, only Josh Brook and Laurent Dauphin didn’t make the final cut.
On a side note and interestingly enough, I read a Tweet of someone laughing at the Habs for bringing four goalies. The culprit likely didn’t know that only 11 teams out of 24 (45.8%) participating in the Play-Ins are bringing only three goaltenders:
So there you have it folks. Summer hockey… I know that some of you will be watching no matter what. In my case, if I’m home, if I’m not doing something outside, I will sit and watch. Otherwise… I will enjoy my summer months. Don’t forget to do the same in between games! Go Habs Go!