Monday, June 28, 2021. 11:56 AM
TAMPA, Fla. – Joel Armia will ultimately be out of the lineup of the Montreal Canadiens for the first game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Amalie Arena.
Armia did not accompany her teammates on Sunday when the team flew to Tampa. General manager Marc Bergevin had indicated that Armia had to submit to the NHL protocol related to COVID-19.
The 28-year-old Finn finally took a private flight on Monday. Assistant coach Luke Richardson had not offered more details about the situation after the Habs’ morning training.
Even though Armia took part in the warm-up period, Jake Evans will eventually play alongside Eric Staal and Corey Perry. Evans will be meeting for the first time since June 2, when he suffered a concussion after taking a hard-hitting hit from Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets.
The Canadian played his first game in the grand final since June 9, 1993, when he won his 24th championship with a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Montreal Forum.
Only about half of the Canadiens’ current roster was born during this latest triumph.
“There will be a lot of emotion in the first game. I expect some tight play, said Canadiens forward Josh Anderson. We want to be physical, but you have to be smart and choose your moments. There is a great energy in the locker room. We are confident. “
For its part, the Lightning celebrated the second championship in its history just nine months ago. He defeated the Dallas Stars in six games last September in the NHL bubble in Edmonton.
This time around, the Lightning are playing in front of packed stands at the Amalie Arena.
“We are happy to have the opportunity to share this experience with our fans and our community,” Lightning forward Blake Coleman said Monday morning.
The core of the squad remains the same, with goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy, defender Victor Hedman and forwards Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point.
The Canadiens and the Lightning haven’t faced each other this season, due to the changed schedule to avoid cross-border travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to write our own story”
In the 2019-20 season, the Lightning won all four meetings between the two teams.
Even though the Lightning had 16 more points than the Canadiens this winter, head coach Jon Cooper remains suspicious.
“If you remember the predictions from the start of the season, most were anticipating a fight between the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the top of the North section,” said Cooper.
“The Canadian is built for the playoffs. This is not a Cinderella team. This is not what we think in our locker room. “
Since the final was a best-of-seven series, that is, since 1939, the winner of the first meeting has won 61 of 81 series. However, the team that lost the first game has won the Stanley Cup for the past three years.
Morning workout training:
With or without Armia, the CH is confident