Montreal’s Evans Improving, Could Return In Next Round

The Montreal Canadiens could be well on their way in getting their important pieces back as they prepare for their toughest task yet. That’s none other than the Vegas Golden Knights.

Interim coach Dominque Ducharme said Saturday that defensemen Jeff Petry (hand) and Jon Merrill (lower-body injury), and forward Jake Evans (concussion) are all travelling with the team to Vegas for the start of the Stanley Cup semifinals.

The day that the trio could return remains unknown. Ducharme said Friday he was “not very confident” that they would dress for Game 1 on Monday.

Evans has been out of the lineup since June 2 when he was hit hard by Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele shortly after scoring the empty net goal during Montreal’s 5-3 win in the second-round series opener.

The crushing blow left Evans with a concussion and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed Scheifele a four-game suspension. The Habs swept the Jets in four games to set up their semifinal matchup with the Golden Knights. On the other hand, Vegas advanced after downing the Colorado Avalanche in a fast-paced six-game series.

Evans has one goal in four playoff games this season. The 25-year-old from Toronto put up 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 47 regular-season games this year. Although he may not available for Game 1 against Vegas tonight, he’s making some progress to get back into game shape.

2021-07-02 21:10USAConcussionquestionable: Evans is battling a concussion, and it is unclear if he will dress for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals versus the Lightning..
2021-06-22 14:10USAConcussionout: Evans is out of the lineup due to a concussion, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date..
2021-06-14 21:40USAConcussionquestionable: Evans is battling a concussion, leaving his availability against the Golden Knights in Game 2 of the NHL Semifinals up in the air..
2021-06-07 14:10USAConcussionout: Evans is sidelined with a concussion, and he is projected to miss the remainder of the season..
2021-05-29 20:10USAUndisclosedquestionable: Evans is nursing an unknown ailment, and it is up in the air if he will be available for Game 7 of the North Division semifinals versus the Maple Leafs..
2021-05-22 19:40USAUndisclosedquestionable: Evans is nursing an unknown ailment, and it remains to be seen if he will suit up for Game 3 of the North Division semifinals versus the Maple Leafs..