Montreal coach Claude Julien is expected to miss the rest of the playoff series against the Flyers after he was hospitalized early Thursday morning with chest pains.
Marc Bergevin, the Canadiens’ general manager, sounded encouraged by hospital reports on Julien, saying there was some “positive news” and that he was hopeful the veteran coach would be able to return home shortly.
Kirk Muller will serve as interim coach. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.
The Flyers edged the Canadiens, 2-1, in Game 1, on Wednesday night in Toronto, as Carter Hart beat his boyhood idol, Carey Price. After the game, Julien conducted a virtual news conference with reporters.
Bergevin said Julien, 60, was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after experiencing chest pains overnight. He said he was undergoing tests and that it was not coronavirus-related.
Flyers coach Alain Vigneault is close friends with Julien. They were teammates at Salt Lake City in the early 1980s, and they have coached against each other on different levels.
“A lot of things go through your mind,” Vigneault said on Thursday afternoon, adding he just learned of the news 20 minutes earlier. “I’ve known Claude since I’m 20, and we’ve been through different things in our relationship.”
Vigneault said he would reach out to Julien after the news conference.
Vigneault used right winger Jake Voracek primarily as a third-line left winger Wednesday and made it sound as though he would stay there for Game 2. Voracek had been the top-line right winger, a spot now occupied by emerging rookie Joel Farabee.
“I liked Jake’s game. I thought he was strong on the puck, good on the forecheck,” Vigneault said. “Obviously, he’s a little more comfortable on the right side, but I think there’s adjustments that are made throughout games and series, and at this time, that’s where we feel he will be most beneficial to our team.”
Voracek scored a power-play goal, a tally that was originally credited to Ivan Provorov. It was changed after the game, when the NHL said the shot deflected off Voracek in front.