Random thoughts while wondering whether Andrei Markov will return to the lineup before the Canadiens are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention:

Markov skated by himself Tuesday and Canadiens head coach Randy Cunneyworth described his 15-minute sojourn onto the ice in Brossard as "progress." That progress continued on Wednesday when Markov skated for 20 minutes. But the reality is that the Canadiens can't count on Markov returning this season and, if the team isn't still in contention when he's ready, it may be better for all concerned to delay his return until next season.