Montreal Canadiens forward Christian Dvorak has so far missed the entirety of his team’s young season, though his absence could be quickly coming to an end. The Canadiens announced today that Dvorak “wore a standard practice jersey during the on-ice session” of today’s practice. It can be inferred from this that a return to game action for Dvorak is on the horizon.
Dvorak’s return would come at an important time for the Canadiens, who are reeling from the season-long loss of second-line center Kirby Dach. Dvorak isn’t Dach, but he has scored at a 42-point pace as a Canadien and offers genuine value at the faceoff dot. There’s a possibility Dvorak takes the second-line center job Dach vacated, shifting Alex Newhook back to the wing. It’s possible Dvorak ends up on the third line with Brendan Gallagher in a move that might land Sean Monahan with Newhook and Juraj Slafkovský, the latter a player Monahan showed genuine chemistry with last season.
Some other notes from across the NHL:
- New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield will miss tonight’s game due to his lower-body injury, according to head coach Lane Lambert. (as relayed by Newsday’s Andrew Gross) Mayfield did skate this morning, something Lambert called a “first step” toward a return to full game action. The Islanders have gotten off to a strong 2-0-0 start, but maintaining that momentum could be more difficult without Mayfield, who is one of the Islanders’ more important defensemen. Mayfield ranked second on the team in time on ice per game last season, skating in 21:01 per night including a team-leading 2:41 logged short-handed.
- According to Pittsburgh Penguins team reporter Michelle Crechiolo, defenseman Kris Letang and forward Noel Acciari were both back on the ice for this morning’s practice. The pair had missed yesterday’s practice due to injury, and there was some uncertainty over how long those ailments would keep the players out of head coach Mike Sullivan’s lineup. Thankfully for the Penguins, though, it appears both Acciari and Letang won’t have to face extended absences due to those injuries.