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Canadiens hope to end COVID-19 pause with Monday practice

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 2021-03-25 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
a building lit up at night © Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have had at least four games postponed during their current COVID-19 pause and are set to remain idle through the weekend. 

Per Sean Farrell of the NHL's official website, though, Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin said on Thursday that he's hopeful his team can return to the practice ice on Monday. 

"There was one player that the test came back positive and there was close contact so the League didn't want to take any chances," Bergevin explained. "And then we retested again and it came back (positive) again. But so far it hasn't spread, so if we keep the same pace until Monday afternoon we should be OK to come back."

Canadiens forwards Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi landed on the league's COVID-19 protocols list on Monday. As a result, Montreal had three home games versus the Edmonton Oilers and one against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday scrapped. The club's practice facility has been closed throughout the midweek. 

"What I know is that we did tracing and there were more than two players who had close contact so they didn't take any chances for the players' sake, also for the Edmonton Oilers' sake. So that's why the precautions were taken and I think it was the right decision," Bergevin said of the league's call to place Montreal on pause, while adding a player who tested positive contracted a coronavirus variant.

Montreal began Thursday fourth in the NHL North standings with 37 points in 31 games, two points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver, however, has already completed 37 contests. 

The top four teams from each division earn playoff spots. 

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