The NHL is taking a turn for the worse in regard to keeping away the surging COVID-19 pandemic. And, the Montreal Canadiens are getting caught in the crossfire of these trying times just like all other NHL teams.
The Canadiens were set to visit the New York Islanders on Monday, the New York Rangers tonight, and the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, but all three games have been postponed. In some ways, the break helps the Canadiens. Like many other NHL teams, they have a number of players under COVID-19 protocols. However, the team also has a number of players who are injured.
In this post, I want to help Canadiens’ fans stay more up-to-date on news emerging from the team.
Related: Value of Canadiens Biggest Trade Pieces: Price, Gallagher, Petry, Toffoli…
Quick Hit One: Kaiden Guhle Will Captain Team Canada at the World Juniors
Kaiden Guhle, the Canadiens’ first-round (16th overall) selection during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, has had the honor of being named the captain of Team Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship. [See the video below to see him respond to being named.]
Guhle has scored three goals and 15 assists (for 18 points) in 20 WHL games with both the Prince Albert Raiders and the Edmonton Oil Kings this season. St. Louis Blues’ draft choice Jake Neighbours and Winnipeg Jets draft choice Cole Perfetti have been named the alternate captains for Team Canada at the tournament.
Quick Hit Two: Brendan Gallagher Suffers with COVID-19 Symptoms
Not everyone who’s been young, fit, and even vaccinated has mild COVID-19 symptoms. The Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher has been hit hard by virus symptoms. Gallagher admitted to being symptomatic when he first contracted COVID-19.
Gallagher missed seven games while he was getting over the virus, but has since – before the shutdown – been able to return to practice for the first time since he went into quarantine on December 2. The 29-year-old Gallagher said that, while he was in isolation, he wasn’t able to do anything for 10 days.
In fact, Gallagher shared that “The first couple days, I had some pretty tough symptoms. It got me hard, so I was just laying there fighting with it, but after a few days I was good.”
He also noted that it was eight days of him being alone “with my thoughts and a little bit of boredom in the house.”
Quick Hit Three: Jonathan Drouin Really Worried About Playing in These Days of COVID-19
To say that Jonathan Drouin is nervous that he might have been playing against opponents who’ve had COVID-19 is an understatement. He’s probably like many NHL players except that he’s a bit more outwardly honest. Really, when I think about how tough it must be for players to be so close as they engage physically on the ice, it has to be extremely scary.
In fact, during the 2020-21 season, Drouin was so overcome with anxiety and insomnia that he could not play hockey for a while. He’d returned this season and had scored five goals and 11 assists (for 16 points) in 25 games; however, this latest COVID-19 outbreak all over the NHL has him even more worried than before.
Although fans don’t hear many players share such feelings, they’re probably more prevalent than anyone outside of those active on the ice – players, referees, coaches, and team staff – could guess. Drouin, and many other NHL players, are probably more relaxed with a few days off over the Christmas shutdown.
He was pretty clear about how he felt about the possibility of contracting the virus. He noted, “I’m not really comfortable playing against people that might have COVID. When you have seven guys on the team (with COVID,) you can have two or three others that get it tomorrow, I don’t know.”
He added, “Anyway, I don’t feel comfortable playing with that. That’s not what we were told this year with the vaccines. Of course, things change over time but it’s not really ideal.”
Who can blame any NHL player for feeling that way?
Related: Trade Rumors Surround Canadiens Players With Long-Term Contracts
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December 23, 2021 at 6:38 am
What kind of grown ass man is afraid to catch a cold. You people are pathetic