Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominque Ducharme told reporters Friday that despite Jeff Petry telling his teammates he was planning to play in Game 2, the defenceman still needed medical clearance from team doctors.
Petry did not take line rushes in the pre-game warmup but Ducharme said that was not about gamesmanship as doctors had until right before puck drop to clear him.
"It was not playing a game, it was just making sure that everything was fine and he was cleared by everyone. That was what we needed to do," the head coach said.
#Habs Ducharme said even though Petry told his teammates during AM skate that he would play Gm 2 he still needed clearance. Ducharme said there was no gamesmanship when Petry didn't do line rushes in pregame warmup, emphasizing team doctors had to clear him right until puckdrop.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) June 17, 2021
Petry had missed the previous two games with an upper-body injury and took the ice in Game 2 with extremely bloodshot eyes. The 33-year-old played nearly 21 minutes Wednesday night and recorded one assist and two blocked shots as the Habs went on to even their semi-final series against the Vegas Golden Knights at one game apiece with a 3-2 victory.
Petry was later revealed to have subconjunctival hemorrhage caused by broken blood vessels under the cornea. Petry's wife, Julie, said on Instagram the condition was related to his upper-body injury.
The 33-year-old said Thursday he felt good after making his return. He also revealed to reporters how he navigated a unique situation with his children.
"[They] decided that I would be the villain and they'd be the superheroes and we started playing. That got them to relax and feel a little bit more comfortable," Petry said.
Petry had 12 goals and 30 assists in 55 games during the regular season, his seventh in Montreal. Game 3 will go Friday night from the Bell Centre.