Romanov likely to see more ice time for Canadiens in Semifinals


Alexander Romanov is likely to see an increase in playing time for the Montreal Canadiens if Jeff Petry misses the start of the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

Montreal will play the winner of the Stanley Cup Second Round between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights. Game 6 is Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS) and the Golden Knights lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

Romanov, a 21-year-old rookie defenseman, made his NHL postseason debut in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Winnipeg Jets with one shot on goal and one hit in 9:27 of ice time.

“He showed some good composure and made some good decisions with the puck,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Thursday. “Overall, he was in good position. We like his energy. At the same time, it’s important to manage that and (use) it the right way and I think he did that. So we’re happy with the way he’s progressing.”

Petry missed Game 4 of the second round with an upper-body injury Monday, when Montreal completed a four-game sweep of Winnipeg. The defenseman is averaging 23:52 of ice time in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games, third highest on the Canadiens behind Shea Weber (25:22) and Ben Chiarot (25:13).

“Now it’s more about how Jeff is feeling,” Ducharme said Thursday. “It’s not about when (the Semifinals) is going to start. It’s really where he’s at right now. I don’t think one day will be making a difference. If (Petry) is not in the first game, it might be more a question of three or four days after. It’s not an overnight thing.”

Romanov said he understood why he was a healthy scratch for Montreal’s first 10 playoff games after playing 54 regular-season games.

“So difficult,” Romanov said. “When guys come to step on our ice and the rink is full of fans (2,500 at Bell Centre), oh my God, tears on the eyes. When I sit in the rink and just look at this, that’s hard. It’s just the coach deciding, and I trust the coach.

“For me, it doesn’t matter where I’ll be playing, left (side), right, forward, goalie,” he said. “I just want to help my team, every single game, every time when I step on the ice. Just help my team to win the Cup. Just playing right. Playing solid, fast, just do everything that I need to do, just do my job.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top