Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
Absences during the training sessions raise questions about the bridling of the head coach of the Montreal canadiens, Claude Julien.
While Brett Kulak has not been seen at the Bell sports Complex in Brossard, the head coach of the Montreal canadiens, Claude Julien said, laughing, that he was alive and well when a reporter asked him a question about his absence on Saturday. However, if Kulak and Xavier Ouellet are not available when entering the series of qualification in the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins, on the 1st of August, the defense of the Habs, that was not already not a strength of the team, could be even more fragile.
Veterans Shea Weber, Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot are the safe values of the team. Victor Mete has experienced ups and downs so far in his young career and leads to the gap with five other team-mates since Friday for reasons that remain unclear under the rules of the NHL about the advertisements on the injuries and diseases.
The other defenders who trained with the Canadian since the beginning of the camp are Gustav Olofsson, Josh Brook, Noah Juulsen, Christian Folin and Cale Fleury.
Despite the many question marks surrounding his brigade defensive, Julien tried to calm the game.
“There are no worries because we are still several days before the start of the series, he said earlier this week. We work with the players available and we make the necessary adjustments. “
Weber and Chiarot should make up the duo the confidence of Julien in the face of the Penguins. For his part, Petry started the camp with Mete, but played with different partners since the Ontario 22-year-old has started skating with a small group.
“I focus on my approach to make sure to be ready for the start of the series, said Petry. I am sure that I have a better idea of the identity of my partner as we approach August 1st. “
“It’s a bit like the start of a new season. It will be important to communicate well with my partner to be certain to be on the same wavelength. This is even more true in this context, so that all matches will be crucial, since the qualifying round will be short. “
Brook, Juulsen, Folin and Fleury are fighting on their side for the position of the third defender right-handed. In addition to Chiarot, Mete and Olofsson are the only two defenders left at the camp waiting for the return of the Kulak and Ouellet. Juulsen has said this week to be in health, after having been slowed down by problems of migraine since he was shot in the face by two shots on 19 November 2018 in the face of the Washington Capitals. On his side, Fleury has admitted to have lowered the guard and can be played with less intensity than when he was battling for a position with the big club when he was questioned about what had led to his demotion at the Rocket in January.
The defense of the Canadian would have his hands full facing the Penguins. However, Petry recalled that the Habs had caused a few surprises over the course of the winter. The veteran seemed to play his best hockey when he faced the advanced teams of the NHL.