For the second straight day, Max Pacioretty (upper body) was able to practice with the Canadiens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Montreal will have its leading scorer available for its playoff opener on Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators.
“As a coaching staff we have to prepare our team for tomorrow night’s game and the medical staff haven’t told us yet that Max is going to be there for tomorrow,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said, per the Montreal Gazette. “So maybe he will, but we’re not quite sure. And as a coaching staff we got to make sure that we prepare our team and we’re going to go from there. I’ll be surprised (if he plays).”
On the plus side, Pacioretty is now cleared for contact.
The 26-year-old forward missed Montreal’s last two regular season contests after he fell awkwardly as a result of a hit by Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov:
Canada won’t be lacking for offensive weapons at this year’s World Hockey Championships.
Two of the league’s top-12 scorers — Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and Philly’s Claude Giroux — will wear the red and white in Prague from May 1-17, Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday. Seguin and Giroux were part of the original 19-man roster set for the tournament; Canada can register up to 25 players as teams are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
NBC Sports Group will have a guest analyst for this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs — Florida forward Shawn Thornton, a two-time Cup winner and veteran of over 600 NHL games.
He will be part of NHL Live on Thursday and Friday.
Thornton, 37, just wrapped the first of a two-year deal with the Panthers, scoring five points in 46 games while accumulating 50 penalty minutes. The veteran tough guy had previously spent time in Chicago, Anaheim and Boston, hoisting Lord Stanley’s Mug with the Ducks in 2007 and the Bruins in 2011.
Long known as one of the league’s toughest customers, Thornton was an extremely popular figure during his seven years in Boston, appearing in the movie Ted (starring Massachusetts native Mark Wahlberg) and the music video for the Dropkick Murphy’s Going Out In Style.
On most nights of the first round, NBC Sports Group will produce two versions of NHL Live (one for NBCSN, one for USA Network/CNBC).