The Montreal Canadiens have the second worst odds (+7000) to win the 2020 Stanley Cup of all 24 NHL teams still in the hunt. Their odds could get even worse though, as some of their most important players are up in the air about playing when the season resumes in August.
Tomas Tatar is Montreal’s points leader and is still deciding whether he’ll play again this year. The winger was out with a shoulder injury when the Covid-19 pandemic caused the the season to be halted. While he’s expected to be healthy when the season resumes, he voiced concerns in April about the safety of the bubble environments teams will play in. Tatar leads the Canadiens in goals (22) and assists (39).
Jesperi Kotkaniemi has benefitted from the extended break, as he was thought to be done for the year with a spleen injury he suffered in March. However, the delayed restart of the NHL season has opened the door for him to return.
Center Max Domi is in a potentially tough situation as a diabetic. He could be ruled out of the playoffs because of the health risks associated with being exposed to Covid-19. If he is ruled out because of his pre-existing condition, it could deal a major blow to Montreal. He is third on the team in points (44).
While Kotkaniemi appears to be a lock, the questionable status of Tatar and Domi could drastically affect Montreal’s Stanley Cup chances.