What do the positive cases mean for the Montreal Canadiens?

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 13: Max Domi #13 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 13, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 13: Max Domi #13 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 13, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens, Max Domi
MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 13TH: Max Domi Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Another thing to consider is what this means for the Habs organization as a whole. If these ‘at least three cases’ turn into recoveries and negative tests, we have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if these positive tests turn into further positives tests, then do we reach a point where the NHL deems it unsafe for the Montreal Canadiens to participate.

The league doesn’t want to bring positive cases into the hub city bubble. That would defeat the purpose of the bubble and all the rules put in place to keep it safe. If we’re approaching July 26th and the Habs still have positive cases, you have to wonder if the NHL will deem the team as a whole unfit to participate and leave them out of the Stanley Cup Qualifier giving the Pittsburgh Penguins the automatic advancement.

It’s not as if Montreal were one of those teams who were just outside of a playoff spot like the New York Rangers or the Florida Panthers. They’re only in this tournament because the NHL decided to make it 24 teams included instead of 22 or 20.

Cutting the Canadiens out would be a tough pill to swallow for the fans, but one that is understandable given the confounds of the situation. The NHL has put player safety at the head of every decision and announcement, and allowing Montreal to come to Toronto with positive cases would be the complete opposite.

Of course, that’s an extreme scenario, but one that is possible. The Habs could just leave those positive cases home on the travel; however, there could be roster size issues. And even then, could you be sure that the players who enter via Phase 4 are completely healthy.

It becomes a giant bag of worms at that point.

Next. Shocking odds against the Penguins. dark

Hopefully, those players who tested positive have a safe and speedy recovery, but Sunday has opened a number of avenues for discussion.