HabsWorld.net -- 

With the weekend approaching, it’s a busy time for for the Habs and their
prospects.  The Canadiens will be looking to bolster their chances of home
ice in the first round, the Bulldogs are fighting to avoid mathematical
elimination from the playoffs, while many prospects are well into their
postseasons.  Here are some late week news and notes surrounding the team.

– Montreal C Tomas Plekanec is not with the team in Florida and will miss
Saturday’s game at the very least for family reasons.  There is no word on
when he will return.  In his absence, George Parros will likely return to
the lineup (or they’ll dress seven defencemen).  If the Habs choose to
recall a player from the Bulldogs instead, it will count as one of their four
allowable call-ups as it’s not an emergency situation.

– Prospect Artturi Lehkonen is leaving his Finnish League team to play for
Frolunda in the SHL for the next two years.  Despite not playing for KalPa
for the better part of the last three months of the year, he still led the team
in scoring.  Interestingly enough, he’s likely to take the roster spot of
Sebastian Collberg, who was dealt to the Islanders as part of the Thomas Vanek
trade.  As Lehkonen was drafted under the new CBA, the Habs have four years
to sign him so there will still be time to get him a contract when his two
seasons with Frolunda are up.

– Brady Vail’s postseason in junior is now over after his Spitfires were
swept by London.  The Habs have yet to ink him to an entry-level deal but
given that they sent him to Hamilton last year, it’s reasonable to assume that
barring injury, he’ll be back down there again.  Connor Crisp (Sudbury) is
just one game away from elimination, he too could potentially finish with the

– One player that won’t be joining Hamilton for the stretch run is Mac
Bennett.  It was assumed after he signed the other day that he’d ink an ATO
with the team but he has been playing through a separated shoulder and will sit
the rest of the year in order to be ready for training camp.  Doing so will
also allow him to finish his Musicology degree without having to make
alternative arrangements with professors, as senior players turning pro often

– Hamilton is starting yet another 3-in-3 weekend (I thought the reduced
schedule was supposed to get rid of most of these, that hasn’t been the case
this year) on the road.  They sit ten points out of the last playoff spot
with a pair of games in hand but with the head-to-head matchups of the teams in
front of them, losing two of these games will all but mathematically eliminate
them from the playoffs. 

– Four of the Habs’ QMJHL prospects have already moved onto the 2nd round. 
Zach Fucale was 4-0 in a sweep of Charlottetown, Martin Reway put up 11 points
in 12 periods with Gatineau (with a +15 rating to boot), while both Jeremy
Gregoire and Charles Hudon have seven points in four games en route to a first
round sweep as well.