The Montreal Canadiens interim head coach was tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights. He will be watching from the same spot when the Montreal Canadiens open their first Stanley Cup series since 1993 on Monday. His full 14-day quarantine will be finished soon and has confirmed that he will be back behind the bench on Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s like looking at your watch too often (and) it looks like time doesn’t go by,” Ducharme said Saturday on a video conference call. “I’m trying to be as busy as I can and watch a lot of video and help the guys get ready.”
Ducharme has been watching the games on TV, but for a coach who like to have regular one-on-one conversations with the players, the separation between him and the players has been a challenge.
“That’s the toughest part,” Ducharme said. “Not being close to the guys or being able to just have a little chat.”
Ducharme speaks with the team virtually and is in contact with his coaches between periods. Their hard work and collaborative effort paid off. The Canadiens eliminated the Vegas and off to their first Stanley Cup final since 1993.
June 24 was Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in Quebec, and there was more to celebrate than usual as the Canadiens bring the sport’s Holy Grail by earning a spot in the Stanley Cup Final and ready to bring the cup back home!
The Canadiens will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Stanley Cup Final and their opponent is once again the betting favourite.
“If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” Lehkonen said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence.”
“It’s going to be a tough challenge,” Ducharme said. “But in the final, it’s supposed to be that way.
“We’ll be ready to go Game 1.”
“I just can’t wait to come back,” he said. “I’ll appreciate everything after, when we’re done.
“Especially if we win.”
“We want to have our biggest celebration at the end.”