A long workout to prepare for tomorrow’s duel with the Blue Jackets
– Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) November 28, 2023
Yesterday morning, on BPM Sports, Renaud Lavoie stated that defenseman Arber Xhekaj had a good chance of playing Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets… if all goes well.
As we all know, things aren’t always going well with the Habs. And that sometimes has the effect of derailing basic plans.
The defender didn’t train with the club yesterday, but that’s to be expected. After all, the guy was in Montreal over the weekend and the club was still in California, which made the move difficult – not to say illogical.
Because the club is in Ohio, and because the club was jumping on the ice as part of the last full practice (not counting tomorrow’s morning skate ) before the game against the Blue Jackets.
And Arber Xhekaj wasn’t there, as you can see from the Canadiens’ tweet.
Is the mere fact that he’s not at training a bad sign in terms of his presence at Wednesday’s game? Yes, it’s a bad sign.
After all, a guy who returns to the game logically has to train with the boys before coming back. That’s something he can’t do in Montreal when the club is in the States.
Note that yesterday, our spies tell us that he was in Montreal… without a splint. The end of the splint is good news, but the fact that he was in Montreal yesterday is a little less so.
We can’t confirm whether he’s in Quebec or Ohio at the moment, but we do know that he wasn’t at training.
With seven defensemen (including Jayden Struble and Mattias Norlinder) training with the CH this afternoon, can we assume that the club figured they didn’t need Xhekaj for the last game of the trip?
Remember that the following day, Thursday, the club will be in action in Montreal against the Panthers. Do we wait until the game at home to bring him back… even if the next regular training session is only on Friday?
So it’s safe to assume that the Habs may be thinking of bringing WiFi back on Saturday, against the Red Wings. We’ll see in the coming days how the whole thing develops.
And if he does return on Saturday, it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll be back for Patrick Kane‘s first game with his new team. Neither Kane (who will wear his #88 with the Wings) nor the club have announced a date for his debut.
Daniel Sprong says Patrick Kane can have his no. 88.
– Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) November 28, 2023
– It makes sense: he doesn’t have a lower-body injury. He can skate.
I’m not with the team, but he’s skating to stay in shape https://t.co/O827o3j9qb
– Martin Lemay (@MartinLemay) November 28, 2023
We wonder what Shohei Ohtani thinks. https://t.co/htjp1uo6Yb
– Passion MLB (@passion_mlb) November 28, 2023
– Adam Fox is back.
A bit more: Adam Fox expected to be activated from LTIR and play vs DET tomorrow. Filip Chytil & Kaapo Kakko headed to LTIR. Chytil is for cap reasons. Kakko hurt last night and will miss time. The good news is that he is expected to return this season. https://t.co/tagnCszdBS
– Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 28, 2023
Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar are both on pace for over 120 pts this season.
– NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) November 28, 2023