With just one pre-season game remaining on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens are approaching some decisions, and based on the lines on Friday, we have some clues as to which direction they are going in.
Les trios et duos du jour.— J-F Chaumont (@JFChaumontJDM) September 28, 2018
Jesperi Kotkaniemi skated with Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia which is an indication of where they expect him to be Opening Night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kotkaniemi has played more pre-season games than any Hab, and has had to prove himself to get to this point.
It is the first day that Kotkaniemi skated with Drouin with Domi also on the ice.
Max Domi, still suspended, skated with Paul Byron and Artturi Lehkonen.
The final spots up front seem to be between Jacob de la Rose, Kenny Agostino, Nikita Scherbak, and Michael Chaput.
Matthew Peca is back from his minor groin injury and Kenny Agostino skated as the last forward in practice as well.
On defence, Victor Mete and Jeff Petry look more and more like the team’s opening night number one pairing while Mike Reilly and Noah Juulsen skated together as well. Those appear to be the top two pairings.
Karl Alzner was with Jordie Benn which indicates that the final spots on the roster will be between Xavier Ouellet, Simon Despres, and David Schlemko. They can choose to keep two of them, but if they do that, they will only be able to keep one extra forward.
David Schlemko was not part of practice due to an injury suffered against Toronto earlier this week, and his status will be updated later today.
David Schlemko absent de l’entraînement - Il a subi une blessure le 26 septembre contre Toronto - une mise à jour sera donnée plus tard aujourd'hui.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) September 28, 2018
David Schlemko is not at practice - he was injured on September 26 vs. Toronto. An update will be given later today.