With the Canadiens in a very good spot in the standings, now favourites to secure home ice in the first round of the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Michel Therrien has made a hard, and gutsy call today, choosing to rest Andrei Markov, Carey Price, and Alexei Emelin against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.
They won't travel with the team to Chicago, waiting in Montreal for the team to return, along with the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Resting Andrei Markov is likely to be extremely well received by Canadiens fans and media, as the 35-year-old stalwart has been leaned on far too heavily at times this season, and could use a break.
Markov and Emelin both out means that aside from Nathan Beaulieu, Josh Gorges will make his return to the lineup.
Dustin Tokarski is also likely to be called up Tuesday after 5 PM, but Peter Budaj is expected to start in goal.
One thing that resting these three players seems to confirm by default is that the crutch afforded by fans to Therrien in regards to P.K. Subban's playing time is clearly false. If Subban was injured, he would have stayed home as well, because clearly the Canadiens don't feel they need to win this game against Chicago.