It was a scary moment at the end of Game One between the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets, as the Habs’ Jake Evans had to be stretchered off the ice after receiving a massive hit from the Jets’ Mark Scheifele as the result of a charge. Scheifele was suspended for four games and with Montreal up 2-0 and playing at home the next two games, he may not play again this season. Regardless of the series length though, it seemed certain that Evans would not play again this season. Fortunately, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme did have good news this morning, relaying that Evans is doing better since his trip to the hospital on Wednesday. Ducharme added that there is still no timeline for a return, as one might expect, but it is still good to see improvement from Evans following such a frightening check. Hopefully Evans will make an appearance in the arena to root on his teammates in the near future.
- The Jets are hoping to stay alive in the series but face an uphill battle down two games and on the road, missing one of their best players in Scheifele. They are hoping to get one player back sooner rather than later though in Paul Stastny. Stastny has missed each of the first two games of the North Division finals with an undisclosed injury, but TSN’s Sara Orlesky spoke with head coach Paul Maurice and confirmed that Stastny made the trip to Montreal. Maurice stopped short of making any claims about his availability for Games Three and Four, but the 35-year-old would not have traveled if he was not at least in consideration for game action. Needing to replace Scheifele down the middle, Stastny would be a major addition to the lineup for Winnipeg if he is able to go. Update: Stastny is IN for Game Three.
- After returning for the final three games of the regular season, Tyler Seguin is back to work on his rehab this summer. Following hip and knee surgeries last fall, Seguin missed almost all of the season in recovery, but was deemed fit to make a brief return at the end of the year for the Dallas Stars. The goal now is to make sure that his surgically-repaired lower body is completely up to speed for the beginning of next season, writes Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News. Seguin is now able to train at full strength this summer to get back into game shape, telling DeFranks that his skating was still lacking even when he returned to the lineup at the end of the season. The Stars need Seguin at his best if they want to return to the postseason next year following a disappointing 2020-21 campaign.
- In a momentous development following a very difficult year, Minnesota Wild prospect Marco Rossi skated for the first time on Saturday after battling Coronavirus complications this season. Rossi was sent home to Austria at the beginning of the season as he endured serious medical side affects related to a COVID diagnosis months earlier and continued that fight throughout the year. Rossi was finally medically cleared last month and NHL.com reports that Wild GM Bill Guerin has been in close contact with his budding young star and is happy with his progress. Guerin states that Rossi is “incredibly healthy” and “looking very good” as he begins his training to get back into game shape. The Wild hope that the 2020 No. 9 overall draft pick and OHL scoring champion will be ready for training camp and can make a difference for the club next season.