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Canadiens forwards Cole Caufield and Joel Armia placed in NHL's COVID-19 protocol

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Montreal Canadiens forwards Cole Caufield and Joel Armia have been placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol ahead of Tuesday's game in Dallas against the Stars.

The last-place Canadiens have endured a miserable season to date, including a coronavirus outbreak that forced 24 players and two assistant coaches into isolation at its height.

Caufield, 21, who won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in U.S. college hockey before joining Montreal ahead of its improbable run to the Stanley Cup final last spring, has just one goal and seven assists in a 2021-22 season that's included a demotion to the minors.

Armia, meanwhile, was also placed in COVID-19 protocol back in June, which forced him to miss Game 1 of the title series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The 28-year-old has five points (one goal, four assists) in 32 games this season for Montreal.

The Canadiens entered the campaign with lofty aspirations following their stunning playoff upsets of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights, but sat last in the overall standings with a record of 7-25-5 heading to Tuesday night's action.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press