Habs coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed positive for COVID-19, in isolation

The NHL says Montreal Canadiens interim head coach Dominique Ducharme has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ducharme started isolating prior to Game 3 of the NHL semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night.

The club says Ducharme received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on June 9.

The Canadiens and Golden Knights are tied at 1-1 in the best-of-seven series after Montreal earned a split in Vegas with a 3-2 win in Game 2.

WATCH | Canadiens tie series with 3-2 win over Golden Knights:

Montreal edges Vegas 3-2 to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series at 1-1. 1:03

Ducharme was promoted to interim head coach from assistant coach after the firing of Claude Julien on Feb. 24.

Under Ducharme, the Canadiens finished fourth in the all-Canadian North Division before pulling off upsets of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Team had to go without coach last year

It will mark the second time in as many post-season appearances Montreal has had to go without its bench boss.

Claude Julien was rushed to hospital and had a stent installed in a coronary artery during last season’s playoff bubble in Toronto. Associate coach Kirk Muller filled Julien’s role for the remainder of the post-season.

Julien was back on the job when training camp resumed for the 2020-21 campaign, but was fired along with Muller in February with the Canadiens struggling to find traction. 

This is the second time in the post-season a Vegas opponent has had a coaching question mark related to COVID-19.

Colorado’s Jared Bednar missed the Avalanche’s morning skate ahead of Game 6 in the second round because of irregularities in his testing result.

Bednar was cleared later that day and coached his team in a 6-3 loss that ended the Avalanche’s playoff hopes.

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