With all the things on the road in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Remaining, Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme went with an fascinating transfer on Monday, making Jesperi Kotkaniemi a wholesome scratch. Jake Evans slots in.
“It’s not a punishment. Every player wants to play, wants to be on the ice. That’s normal. We have 28 guys right now, and they all want to be on the ice,” Ducharme defined.
“We like KK. He played the 75 (total) games this year, he’s been showing good progression, he had a good stretch in the playoffs. It doesn’t mean that (because) he’s not playing tonight he won’t be back.
“He’s a good team guy. He understands the situation, even though nobody wants to sit.”
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Kotkaniemi is tied for second on the workforce with 5 objectives within the playoffs, though his final aim was Game 5 of the semifinals towards the Golden Knights. He additionally has three assists in his 19 playoff video games.
Chiarot – Weber
Edmundson – Petry
Romanov – Kulak
— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) July 5, 2021
In Friday’s Game 3, the 20-year-old was benched for lengthy stretches and skated simply 5 shifts within the second and third durations every. Seen sporting a black aces jersey for Monday’s morning skate, per Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, he was taken off the facility play for Sunday’s sport.
“Jake, he and (Paul Byron), that’s a line that showed some really good things. We haven’t used it much in the playoffs because of injuries mostly. And at one point we were on a good run,” stated Ducharme. “We just want to see those three guys together. And then from there, it’s keeping (Phillip) Danault and (Brendan) Gallagher, (Nick) Suzuki and (Cole) Caufield, and Staal’s line together.
“It is nothing towards KK or the rest. We’ve depth. We’ve choices. That is the best way it’s. That is it.”
Evans skated in three games against the Maple Leafs in the first round and was injured by the Jets’ Mark Scheifele at the end of Game 1 of the division finals. He played in Game 1 against the Lightning. In those five games, he has one goal, which was the empty-netter on which he suffered the concussion.
Kotkaniemi was additionally scratched in Game 1 towards the Leafs. The Canadiens first-round (third total) decide in 2015 has 62 factors in 172 profession video games together with 20 (5 objectives, 15 assists) in 56 video games this season.