Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
Joel Armia was injured in a knee on 6 November during a game against the New York Rangers.
Winger Joel Armia is believed to be ready to get back into the game and the experience of the trio finns could pick up at the Canadian.
At the moment Armia fell in battle because of an injury to a knee on the 6th of November, in the face of the New York Rangers, Julien had met Armia, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen on a regular basis for a fourth meeting in a row.
Questioned last week about the possible return of the trio, Finnish, Kotkaniemi was content to simply answer ” why not “. For its part, Armia admitted on Wednesday that this option allowed him to be a little more comfortable on the ice.
“For me, it allows me to know what I say to you, he said. My English is improving and it’s starting to be more natural, but in my early days, I never knew what to say in English. When we can talk in Finnish on the ice, it is easier. This is what we have done all our lives. “
25-year-old Armia is in his fifth season in the NHL and he is the veteran of the trio of attackers Finnish Canadian. Despite his experience, he indicated that it was the first time in his career that an injury held him away so long.
“It is difficult to watch the guys play, not to train with them and not to travel, told Armia. I’ve done a skate and train me in solitary. “I took the opportunity to discover a little the city, he added. I walked around to discover new neighborhoods and new restaurants. It was very nice. “
Armia, who has amassed three goals and four helpers in fifteen games with the Canadian, eventually accompanied by his teammates during the most recent trip in Florida and Dallas. From his position of observer, he was able to see where it was made Kotkaniemi in its development.
“Since the training camp, he improves each day and that is what you want to see “, he mentioned.
At its last output, Kotkaniemi has reached the plateau of forty games, which means that he now has a season of experience in the NHL under his belt in anticipation of the seven needed to be able to take advantage of the full autonomy.
According to the management of its contracts, Kotkaniemi, therefore, could become an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, 2025.
Coach Claude Julien indicated that he had met Kotkaniemi Wednesday to discuss his progress and it has been laudatory to the location of the first choice of the Habs last June.
“I told him that I was impressed by the way he has managed the calendar up here, said Julien. We are only at the half of the season and I reminded him that the second half will be even more difficult. But I love how he continues to improve.
“It happens to follow the game. Defensively, it was more difficult for him in the beginning of the season. It is now much more reliable at this level. His shot is also terrible. He must lead the league for the poles ! For a young 18 years of age, it impresses me, but the more difficult part is to come. The most important thing for him, if he wants to continue to make progress, will be rest and recovery. “
In forty parts, Kotkaniemi has collected four goals and fourteen assists. He has only one assist to his record in his seven most recent outings, but he took nine shots on goal in the last two games. The return of a familiar face at his side could help him to start to produce.