It’s not always easy to see it this way, but one player’s injury is another player’s opportunity.
Cedric Paquette won’t be able to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens, so in comes Jonathan Drouin.
The 20-year-old has faced a tough postseason so far, only receiving 8:42 of ice time (and suffering a -2 despite Tampa Bay winning) in his only playoff appearance back in round one. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that Drouin would make an appearance in this series, and so it is.
From the sound of things, Drouin will be eased into the mix, joining a low line with Brenden Morrow and Vladislav Namestnikov.
It’s still an interesting opportunity, especially since Montreal won’t be able to use its best resources against a line that has experience in Morrow and potential in Drouin and Namestnikov. There’s always the possibility that Drouin might get bumped to a more potent line, too, but that might require the third pick of the 2013 NHL Draft to show that he’s ready first.
The Canadiens have to hope that his struggles continue, as they already have a tough road ahead.