Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber skated with the team at practice for the first time since he sat out with an upper-body injury.
Weber has not played since April 28, when the Canadiens lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. He had been skating on his own prior to Tuesday’s practice.
The team’s practice started with power play drills, and Weber was on the ice as were Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield, who have been skating as the extras along with Michael Frolik. If they are in the lineup, they would likely be on the second power play unit.
Notably, there was no Eric Staal at power play practice.
New power play units at Canadiens practice this morning.— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) May 18, 2021
Perry, Toffoli, Tatar, Suzuki, Petry
Weber, Gallagher, Anderson, Kotkaniemi, Caufield.
Kotkaniemi and Caufield are still in grey jerseys.
The regular lines did not change at practice.
Encore les mêmes trios à l’entraînement du CH.— J-F Chaumont (@JFChaumontJDM) May 18, 2021
On defence, Weber’s return meant he skated with Jon Merrill. Xavier Ouellet also returned to NHL practice.
Et à la ligne bleue… Avec le retour de Shea Weber, Alexander Romanov semble glisser à l’extérieur du top six.— J-F Chaumont (@JFChaumontJDM) May 18, 2021
Update: Dominique Ducharme has announced that Cole Caufield, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Alexander Romanov will not play in game one against the Maple Leafs. That means that Weber, Merrill, Corey Perry, and Eric Staal will play the playoff opener.
Ducharme confirmed that Kotkaniemi and Caufield will be watching Game 1. But he also expects he'll be using them at some point, and that they'll be more prepared to play when they do finally get in.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) May 18, 2021
The team will practice again on Wednesday before leaving for Toronto. Game 1 of the series will be on Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.