Trade deadline in the afternoon. A game at night for the visiting Montreal Canadiens when they face the Anaheim Ducks.
What remains to be seen for the pair of clubs both all but mathematically eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention is who will hit the ice for the Friday clash.
“There’s rumors going around everywhere. We see everything,” Montreal defenseman Joel Edmundson said after his team’s 3-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. “When you’re in a situation like our team, everybody’s kind of on-edge. It’s part of the business. It’s not fun.”
Edmundson is among the handful of Canadiens who may be dealt away before the puck drops in Anaheim.
The Canadiens headed into Los Angeles having won three of four games, but they were unable to come up with enough to earn a victory against a big, strong Kings squad.
The young and rebuilding Ducks offer a different challenge for the Canadiens.
“Every day’s a day to learn in this league,” Montreal goaltender Jake Allen said. “You’ve got to learn the league. That’s a huge part. You can’t just throw your skates on and go out there and not understand the league and who you’re playing against.
“When I was young, it took a couple years for me to figure out the league. For me, it was shooters’ tendencies, things like that, but for D-men and forwards, it’s about who’s fast, who’s got a good shot, what guys like to do. It’s all part of the process I hope everybody’s learning because every day, right now, should be a good day to learn.”
The Ducks, who have a 3-0-1 record in their past four games following a six-game skid (0-5-1), are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Although the Ducks have prime candidates of their own to be dealt away before the deadline, a couple of players unlikely to be traded are rising stars Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, who both showed their offensive touch in the Washington game.
Terry has scored in all four outings since returning from an upper-body injury that sidelined him for seven games, a big turnaround from scoring only once in a 20-game stretch prior to getting hurt.
“I don’t think I’m doing anything different than I necessarily was throughout the year,” Terry said. “I think I’ve been attacking the other team with speed, and I’m kind of doing everything I did on that goal (against the Capitals) except just fine-tuning the shot a little bit.
“When you’ve been scoring, you just feel a little bit a little more confident, a little more loose, and it allows you to pick those corners a little easier.”
Zegras collected one goal and one assist on Wednesday, and he learned a valuable lesson. He was benched for more than half of the second period after being penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Trevor is a highly, highly skilled kid,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “He’s got a ton of passion for the game, he cares, and we’re just trying to get those emotions into his game and not into the referees. He paid his price on the bench and channeled it in the right way in the third.”
–Field Level Media