The Montreal Canadiens can’t seem to get a healthy lineup together. Just as some of their forwards were getting back from injuries, they’ve lost Cole Caufield and Joel Armia to the COVID protocol. Both played in yesterday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, but will now face an isolation period of at least five days if they tested positive.
That means Caufield and Armia likely won’t be available tonight against the Dallas Stars, Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights, or Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche as the Canadiens go through a fast-paced road trip. The team will be in Minnesota on Monday, a game that technically they would be eligible for if they are able to test out of the protocol.
It’s not like having them in the lineup was adding much anyway, as both Caufield and Armia are experiencing brutal offensive seasons. Each has just a single goal on the year, despite playing 29 and 32 games respectively. Caufield’s disappearance has been especially frustrating for fans who believed he would contend for a Calder Trophy this season. The 21-year-old sniper has just eight points on the season and hasn’t scored since late November.
New general manager Kent Hughes will have to wait to get his first look at the young forward as part of the Montreal front office, but everyone understands that this is a lost year for the Canadiens anyway. Now just 7-25-5 on the season, they are last in the NHL and are in pole position for the draft lottery in a few months.