Canadiens’ Ducharme confident Weber will be ‘100 per cent’ for Game 1

Josh Anderson says the challenge for the Maple Leafs has been physical, and says the Canadiens will do everything they can to make sure "it's a war out there," and are fully committed to bring that physical presence from puck drop.

Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme is confident that his team will have Shea Weber back in the lineup for Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens’ captain has been dealing with an upper-body injury and has not played since April 28, missing the team’s final seven regular-season games.

Ducharme was extremely optimistic about the 35-year-old’s availability after Tuesday’s practice, explaining that the team is “really confident he’s going to be 100 per cent ready to play.”

In other Canadiens’ news, Ducharme confirmed that both Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield will be absent from the lineup in Game 1. Defenceman Alex Romanov will be a scratched as well.

Ducharme did say he expects the youngsters to crack the lineup at some point in the series but made no firm commitment on when that would be.

The Canadiens and Maple Leafs open their first-round series – the first playoff meeting between the rivals in more than 40 years – Thursday on Sportsnet and CBC. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT.

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