Travis Moen was cleared for contact today and took part in his first full practice with the Montreal Canadiens since being injured with a concussion nearly a month ago.
Moen skated on a line with healthy scratches Ryan White and George Parros, and stated he would need a few more practices to get back into game shape before making a return to the lineup. This rules the rugged veteran winger out for tomorrow night’s game when the Canadiens host the Tampa Bay Lightning in game four of the first round playoff series.
Moen was injured with a concussion on March 24th in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.
The Canadiens have a chance to finish off the Lightning with a win tomorrow night, as they hold a 3-0 lead in the series. It will be interesting to see if Moen can find his way back into the lineup if the rest of the Habs forwards remain healthy.
The Canadiens are playing some of their best hockey of the season, and have received contributions from everyone thus far in the series. Their depth has been a huge reason for their 3-0 series lead, as all four lines have found the back of the Lightning goal at least once in the playoffs.
If the series is stretched to a fifth game, it is possible Moen would be ready to play, and the only player I could see sitting to make room for the 6’2” and 220 pound winger is rookie Michael Bournival. I like the way Bournival has played, but he is the only forward yet to register a point in the postseason, and has averaged the least ice time per game with just under ten minutes. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien certainly favors veteran players over rookies, and my bet is Bournival is in the pressbox when Moen says he is good to go.
Moen is the only current Canadien other than captain Brian Gionta and George Parros to have earned a Stanley Cup ring in the past. Moen and Parros won with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, and Gionta with the New Jersey Devils in 2003.