Canadiens cleared to practice, hope to play Tuesday
Eric Staal joined the Canadiens via a trade from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and is observing a mandatory seven-day quarantine. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Canadiens cleared to practice, hope to play Tuesday after COVID-19 pause

The Montreal Canadiens haven't played since earning a shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks on March 20 and had four games postponed because of the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. 

Montreal will be somewhat back on Monday evening. 

As Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette explained, the Canadiens will return to practice Monday at 6:45 p.m. local time at the Bell Sports Complex ahead of Tuesday's scheduled game against the Edmonton Oilers. Montreal went on pause after forwards Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi landed on the league's COVID-19 protocols list back on March 22. One of the two tested positive for a coronavirus variant, while the other was deemed a high-risk close contact. 

Kotkaniemi was no longer on the list as of Monday afternoon. Armia remained on the list, however, as did Eric Staal. The veteran center joined the Canadiens via a trade from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and is observing a mandatory seven-day quarantine. 

Montreal had three home games against the Oilers last week and Sunday's matchup versus the Ottawa Senators scrapped due to COVID-19 concerns. Presuming they avoid additional setbacks, the Canadiens will host Edmonton at the Bell Centre on Tuesday. 

Montreal begins Monday night fourth in the NHL North standings with 37 points in 31 games. Every other club in the division has played at least 34 contests. 

The top four teams from each division earn postseason berths. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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