Optional practice for the Canadiens Monday after their early morning arrival from Buffalo. All three goaltenders on ice. As soon as they were done, Dustin Tokarski and Michael Bournival were sent to Hamilton.
Tokarski has become an interesting asset for the Canadiens. He started two games, won them both including the Sunday night shutout in Buffalo. Peter Budaj is in the first year of his two year contract and, despite what we saw the last two weeks, has value as a spot starter behind Carey Price. To make things even more complicated, Zach Fucale will be coming out of junior next season. It will be interesting to watch the direction the Canadiens take with their future goal tending.
Bournival was sent to Hamilton for conditioning purposes. His concussion has kept him out of the lineup since February 4th. Under NHL rules, a player sent down for conditioning purposes can remain for only three games.
According to sportsclubstats.com the back to back wins over the weekend increased the odds of the Canadiens making the playoffs by eight percentage points to 94.7%. Chances of taking second seed in the Atlantic Division behind Boston are listed a 26% and third seed at 43%. The Canadiens have 13 games left in their season. Taking half of the available 26 points would give them 94 for the season. If they reach that total their chances of a berth in the playoffs somewhere are 99%. Of course, odds don’t always mirror reality. After the Canadiens play their back to back home games against Colorado and Columbus, things get very difficult. Seven of the remaining eleven games will be on the road in places like Toronto, Boston, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Chicago.
Jacob de la Rose is the Swedish-born second round draft choice the Canadiens didn’t trade last week when they acquired Thomas Vanek at the deadline. Leksand, de la Rose’s team in the Swedish National League, was eliminated from the playoffs last Thursday. As an 18 year old playing in a man’s league he finished with 7 goals and 13 assists in 49 games and won universal praise for his defensive and physical play. The 6’3″ de la Rose has completed his contract with Leksand and has the option of finishing this season with either the Hamilton Bulldogs or the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires who hold his junior rights. He was interviewed over the weekend by hockeysverige.se
You were on the way to Windsor for this season, you have plans to finish the season there now then Leksand is not left in the playoffs?
– I do not know. I have not talked to them yet, we’ll see how it goes. Also, I’ve had some injuries at the end of the season.
Thoughts about next season?
– No idea yet actually. I’ve said all along that I want to have full focus on this season. If you start thinking about the future is the risk that one takes away from the focus on the games you have in front.