The Montreal Canadiens were dealt a tough blow in the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when it was revealed that their head coach, Dominique Ducharme, had tested positive for Covid-19. The news forced Ducharme out of Game 3 of the Habs' semifinal series against the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the news on Saturday only got worse from there.
National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston reported on Saturday that Ducharme would be subjected to a mandatory 14 day quarantine period due to his positive test, a timeline that would keep him off the Canadiens bench even well into the Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens would face a serious uphill battle without their coach behind the bench for a significant portion of the playoffs, but according to Ducharme himself those reports may have been far too premature.
On Sunday Ducharme himself informed reporters that he is confident he will not have to wait out the full 14 day quarantine period in order to return to the bench, and there are a number of factors that have led him to this conclusion. First, Ducharme informed the media that he had not left the designated areas during the team's entire trip to Las Vegas. Ducharme told the media that he and the team were not even allowed to take walks outside of the hotel while they were under the league's covid protocols, adding that the only movement he did during his time in Vegas was from his own room and to the room where the Canadiens took their meals.
The Canadiens head coach even went so far as to say that the team wasn't even allowed to walk from the rink to the hotel, no doubt having to use transport from the rink to the hotel that was provided by the league.
The other thing that Ducharme has going for him here is that both he and the entire Canadiens staff and locker room have been double vaccinated. Ducharme believes that this fact will limit the amount of time that he has to stay in quarantine, although at this time it would appear that the Canadiens are at the mercy of local government. The Habs will have to wait for the green light from government officials before Ducharme can be allowed back in the locker room and behind the bench, and thus far there has been no clear picture as to when that might be.