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POSTED ON Wednesday, 17.12.2014 / 3:08 PM

MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens assigned forward Sven Andrighetto to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday. In four games with the Canadiens beginning December 6 in Dallas, Andrighetto registered two goals and one assist.

- canadiens.com

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 17.12.2014 / 1:54 PM

- After securing their third straight victory on Tuesday night, the Canadiens were back at practice on Wednesday afternoon at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Michel Therrien’s troops will be back in action on Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks at the Bell Centre.

- All players were present and accounted for at practice, including Lars Eller, Bryan Allen and Mike Weaver, all of whom were sidelined as of late. Eller practiced alongside his teammates for the first time since sustaining a shoulder injury back on December 5 in Chicago. Following practice, Weaver confirmed that he has been cleared for contact after suffering a concussion back on December 6 in Dallas.

- In his post-practice press conference, Therrien indicated that Eller and Weaver’s medical conditions will continue to be evaluated, but their expected return dates have not been confirmed as of yet.

- The Canadiens worked on special teams play before practice got underway. Assistant coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault led the drills. For his part, goaltending coach Stephane Waite worked with Carey Price and Dustin Tokarski at the other end of the rink. Tokarski was sporting a white mask at practice. It did not feature any design.

- Dale Weise was featured on a line with Jiri Sekac and Tomas Plekanec, while Eric Tangradi rotated on two different trios, skating first with Manny Malhotra and Michael Bournival, and then moving on to the line of Lars Eller and Sven Andrighetto.

- A press conference featuring Saku Koivu will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Bell Centre. There will also be a pre-game ceremony to celebrate his career prior to the tilt against the Ducks.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Gallagher-Galchenyuk-Pacioretty
Prust-Desharnais-Parenteau
Sekac-Plekanec-Weise
Tangradi-Bournival-Malhotra
Tangradi-Andrighetto-Eller

Markov-Subban
Emelin-Gonchar
Allen-Weaver
Beaulieu-Gilbert

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 16.12.2014 / 12:28 PM

- The Canadiens held a full gameday practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday.

FROM THE ROOM

- Andrei Markov was the only player absent from the morning skate, although the veteran defenseman will be in uniform against the Hurricanes.

- No changes are expected to the Canadiens roster, as Lars Eller, Eric Tangradi, Bryan Allen and Mike Weaver should all be out of the line up once again on Tuesday night.

- Carey Price meanwhile, will be back in goal for the Habs, making his seventh straight start since December 1, and 18th career start opposite the Hurricanes.

- Coming off a tough four-game road trip earlier in December during which the team picked up just two of a possible eight points, the Habs are eager to continue making the most of a five-game homestand before closing out 2014 on the road.

“It’s important to take advantage of the time we have at home. Obviously coming off that road schedule was tough for us but now we have the opportunity to be at home, sleep in our own beds, be around family and friends, and use that to our advantage,” explained P.K. Subban, who has picked up four points in a pair of wins since returning to Montreal a week ago. “There are no excuses when you’re at home. We’ve had lots of time to rest and be prepared to play.”

Likewise, Max Pacioretty is also aware of the advantage that being home for the holidays can bring.

“We were in a bit of a funk there so it was nice to come home and play in front of our fans and be at home with our families,” agreed the Canadiens assistant captain who registered a goal and an assist against the Canucks on Tuesday. “There’s no excuse, we need to have results when we’re at home and tonight’s another good opportunity to build something off of our last couple of wins. If we can do that, we can continue to build confidence and get rolling.”

With the opportunity to now make it three in a row against a Carolina team which currently sits 29th in the standings, the Habs nevertheless insist Tuesday night will be business as usual.

“When it comes to these types of games, you have to be focused and ready to go from the start. It’s on us to do so,” added Subban. “It’s up to the players to make sure they’re mentally prepared for these games. Whether it’s a first place team or a last place team in our building or on the road, we have to be prepared to play the way we need to in order to have success.”

- Despite picking up three points in as many games since being called up from Hamilton almost two weeks ago, forward Sven Andrighetto for his part is focused on improving his play on both sides of the ice in order to permanently carve out his place on the roster.

“I’ve got to focus on my defensive zone play. My defensive zone play needs to be flawless,” acknowledged the 21-year-old winger following practice on Tuesday. “I’ve got to choose the easy plays, win my one-on-one battles, and be hungry for every loose puck… If I can do that, the results on offense will come on their own.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 15.12.2014 / 6:44 PM

Michel Therrien will be inducted to the QMJHL Hall of Fame during a ceremony on April 8, 2015. In just over four seasons as a head coach in the QMJHL with the Laval Titans and Granby Prédateurs, Therrien won one President’s Cup and led Granby to a 1995-96 Memorial Cup win -- a first for Quebec since 1971. Therrien is also ranked third all-time in QMJHL history with a .707 win percentage, registering 221 victories in 322 games behind the bench.

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POSTED ON Monday, 15.12.2014 / 5:15 PM

- The Canadiens have recalled forward Eric Tangradi from the Hamilton Bulldogs. The 25-year-old registered six shots on goal against the Rochester Americans with the Bulldogs on Saturday.-

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POSTED ON Monday, 15.12.2014 / 2:48 PM

- The Canadiens held a full practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Monday.

FROM THE ROOM

- Lars Eller was back on the ice with his teammates for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury against the Blackhawks on December 5 in Chicago. Despite the good news, head coach Michel Therrien nevertheless stressed that Eller is still several days away from a full recovery as the 25-year-old forward practiced without contact.

- Mike Weaver was also back on the ice practicing without contact for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Dallas Stars on December 6. The Brampton, ON native was paired with fellow veteran defenseman Bryan Allen.

- Therrien confirmed that Carey Price will be in goal against the Hurricanes on Tuesday. In 17 career starts opposite Carolina, Price has registered a 10-5-2 record with a 2.35 GAA and 0.928 save percentage.

- Following practice, the Habs split up into two groups to visit children at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the CHU Sainte-Justine as part of the team's annual hospital visits.
 

Forward lines and defensive pairings at practice
 

Sekac – Plekanec – Andrighetto

Parenteau – Desharnais – Bournival

Weise – Malhotra – Prust

Gallagher – Galchenyuk – Pacioretty

Eller

Beaulieu - Gilbert

Emelin – Gonchar

Markov – Subban

Allen - Weaver

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POSTED ON Sunday, 14.12.2014 / 12:35 PM

- The Canadiens held an off-ice workout at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Sunday.

- Mike Weaver and Bryan Allen were the only players that hit the ice. They were accompanied by strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard and athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine. Weaver has been sidelined as of late with a concussion, while Allen was kept away from the team for precautionary reasons due to illness.

 - Following the on-ice session, Allen addressed the media to provide a status update on his recovery.

“No matter what happens, you want to play and you want to be around the team. Being a new guy in the organization, it’s a lot more difficult and frustrating to go through something like this,” offered Allen. “The coaching staff and the medical staff will have to make a decision about when I get back out there, but I feel good. I’m ready to come back when they give me the call.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 13.12.2014 / 3:00 PM

MONTREAL - Hundreds of lucky Habs fans got to hop onto the Bell Centre ice on Saturday as part of the Canadiens Skating Party in collaboration with McCain.

Joined at ice level by Alex Galchenyuk, Dustin Tokarski, Manny Malhotra, Michael Bournival, Jiri Sekac, Tom Gilbert and Sven Andrighetto, Saturday's contest winners had the opportunity to take photos and collect autographs from current Habs players.

Even Youppi! showed off his smoothest strides, lacing up his skates to join those in attendance.

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POSTED ON Friday, 12.12.2014 / 12:25 PM

- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Friday ahead of their tilt against the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre.

- The Habs are coming off a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks back on Tuesday, while Darryl Sutter’s club downed the Senators 5-3 in Ottawa on Thursday night to snap a two-game losing streak. Los Angeles will be playing the third game of a five-game road trip.

- Thirteen players elected to hit the ice for the duration of the skate, including forwards Tomas Plekanec, Michael Bournival, Jiri Sekac, Sven Andrighetto, Dale Weise, Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Brandon Prust, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Manny Malhotra and Eric Tangradi. Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was also present, as was goaltender Dustin Tokarski.

- The Habs aren’t expected to make any lineup changes for Friday night’s game, meaning that head coach Michel Therrien will likely field the same lineup that went up against the Canucks on Tuesday night in Montreal.

- The Kings were anything but kind to the Canadiens last season, winning both matchups between the two clubs by outscoring Michel Therrien’s troops by an 8-1 margin. That included a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champions just over a year ago in Montreal. Brendan Gallagher certainly hasn’t forgotten about that loss.

“It’s going to be a challenge. We remember last year when they came in here and things didn’t go so well for us. Hopefully, we can get a better result this year,” mentioned Gallagher, who boasts two goals and three points in his last three games. “We know what they’re all about. They play hard. All throughout their lineup they’re going to finish checks, they’re going to make it tough on us, they’re going to try to grind us down. It’s going to be important for us to try to stick to our game plan and what our strengths are. We’re going to try to use our speed and play on the forecheck in the offensive zone. Hopefully, we can generate offense that way.”

That will be easier said than done against a Kings contingent that ranks third in the league in goals-against per game. Los Angeles, however, has struggled away from the friendly confines of the Staples Center, posting just four road wins thus far this season. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau insists that while the Kings are a complete team, they aren’t unbeatable.

“They’re very good defensively, they have a good goalie, they play as one team. They haven’t won two Stanley Cup titles as of late for nothing,” mentioned Parenteau. “But, they still have some weaknesses in their game that we can exploit. If we skate and put pressure on them, it won’t be any different than going up against any of the other teams.”

- Alex Galchenyuk put on a brilliant performance on Tuesday night against the Canucks, demonstrating that he was perfectly comfortable playing the center position on a line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. After going head-to-head with the Sedins earlier in the week, Galchenyuk & Co. will likely match up against the likes of Anze Kopitar on Friday night.

“When the game starts, I’m trying to focus on my game and what I can bring to the table to help my team win. I don’t worry about what the players on their team will do,” insisted Galchenyuk, who won 62 percent of his draws on Tuesday night. “When you start to think too much about them, you lose your focus on your own game.”

Gallagher is adamant that Galchenyuk is ready for this next challenge.

“I think he’s excited for it. When you look at the job he did last game, I think he was really excited to play against one of the best players in the world and it’s no different tonight. He did a really good job last game of using his speed, and being above the puck and on the right side of the puck. That created a lot of chances offensively,” praised Gallagher. “That’s really the only way you can play to be successful. He did a really good job last game and I’m confident he’ll do it again.”

- Tuesday’s game was emotional for everyone in attendance at the Bell Centre, especially the players. It should come as no surprise that Michel Therrien’s troops have broached the subject of dedicating the 2014-15 campaign to one of the greatest legends in team history, Mr. Jean Béliveau.

“I think amongst ourselves it’s something we’ve talked about a little bit. We paid a little bit of a tribute to him last game with the energy we had. Just looking up and seeing Mrs. Béliveau sitting there and cheering, and Mr. Béliveau’s sweater sitting on his seat. That’s going to stay there all year, so we can draw some inspiration from that for sure,” explained Gallagher. “He’s a guy who represented this organization better than anyone and set the bar for what the standards are going to be for everyone that gets to put on that jersey. There is certainly some inspiration that we can draw from him. Hopefully, we can use it going forward.”

- Carey Price will make his 25th start of the season for the Canadiens on Friday night. He boasts a 3-1-0 record, a 2.64 goals-against average, and a .910 save percentage in four career outings against the Kings.

- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on RDS and Sportsnet East.

SEE ALSO
Words From The Room - December 12
Making noise
The ultimate farewell 

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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.12.2014 / 11:29 AM

- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday morning in preparation for their Friday night tilt against the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre.

- Defenseman P.K. Subban did not take part in Thursday’s on-ice session as he was suffering from flu-like symptoms. Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed, however, that he should be good to go against the Kings on Friday.

- In Subban’s absence, Andrei Markov’s D partner was assistant coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault, who patrolled NHL blue lines himself for 10 different teams over the course of his playing career. Nathan Beaulieu lined up alongside Tom Gilbert, while Alexei Emelin skated with Sergei Gonchar.

- Therrien did not feature any changes to his forward lines at practice, keeping the lines that were used against the Canucks back on Tuesday night intact.

- In his post-practice press conference, the Canadiens' bench boss indicated that defenseman Bryan Allen, who is currently sidelined due to illness, was kept away from the team for precautionary reasons. He should, however, rejoin the team over the weekend.

- For a second straight day, injured forward Lars Eller hit the ice prior to the start of practice with athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine. On Wednesday, the Canadiens announced that Eller would be sidelined for 1-2 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Gallagher – Galchenyuk – Pacioretty
Sekac – Plekanec – Andrighetto
Parenteau – Desharnais – Bournival
Weise – Malhotra – Prust
Tangradi

Beaulieu-Gilbert
Emelin-Gonchar
Markov

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