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Joel Armia absent from practice due to COVID protocols

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The winger was missing from the Habs’ final practice, and won’t travel with the team to Tampa Bay.

Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Five Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

As the Montreal Canadiens held their final practice before heading off to Tampa Bay for the Stanley Cup Final, Joel Armia was missing from practice. Marc Bergevin revealed in his media availability that Armia is in COVID protocol, and won’t be travelling with the team to Tampa.

This isn’t the first time Armia has been in this position. It was his positive test that brought the Canadiens’ season to a halt earlier in the season, which led to a rescheduling of several games and a compressed schedule down the stretch.

With Armia out, Jake Evans was taking his spot on the line rushes this morning, and that’s probably what we can expect to see when Game 1 gets under way on Monday. Evans was just recently cleared for contact by the team after recovering from the concussion sustained in Game 1 of the second round.

While it’s never ideal to lose a player who has been a big part of the playoff run, Evans will still be an effective member of what has been dubbed the Retirement Line, with Eric Staal and Corey Perry, and will give the trio a bit of speed to help them keep pace with the Lightning as well.