Armia in COVID-19 protocol for Canadiens ahead of Game 1 of Cup Final

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Joel Armia is in NHL COVID-19 protocol and the Montreal Canadiens forward will not travel with the team Sunday to Tampa for the start of the Stanley Cup Final against the Lightning. Game 1 is Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he will provide more details Monday.

“Yeah, it’s not ideal,” defenseman Ben Chiarot said. “It’s something we’ve kind of been dealing with all year is guys going out through the COVID protocol. ‘Armie’s’ obviously an important player for us. It’s just another little piece of adversity we’ll have to deal with.”

It is the second time this season Armia is in COVID-19 protocol. He and teammate Jesperi Kotkaniemi were placed on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list March 22 and the Canadiens had four games postponed. 

Armia missed eight games while in protocol, returned April 14 against the Calgary Flames and finished the regular season with 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 41 games.

He has scored eight points (five goals, three assists) in 17 postseason games for Montreal, which defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the Stanley Cup First Round, swept the Winnipeg Jets in the second round and defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in six games in the semifinals.

Montreal is also without coach Dominique Ducharme, who is required to quarantine for 14 days after testing positive for COVID-19 on June 18. Ducharme said Saturday he expects to return for Game 3 of the Final on July 2 in Montreal. Assistant Luke Richardson has filled in for Ducharme and has a 3-1 record.  

Forward Jake Evans skated in Armia’s spot on a line with Eric Staal and Corey Perry at practice Sunday. Evans has not played since sustaining a concussion on a hit by Jets forward Mark Scheifele in Game 1 of the second round June 2.

NHL.com independent correspondent Sean Farrell contributed to this report 

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