- After recharging the batteries with a day off on Friday, the Canadiens were back on the ice in Brossard ahead of their match-up against the Ottawa Senators Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
- All players were accounted for with the exception of Devante Smith-Pelly, Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price who are currently on the injured reserve list. Torrey Mitchell returned to practice with teammates for the first time since suffering a lower body injury in mid-November.
- Dustin Tokarski will be back in goal to face the Senators Saturday night at the Bell Centre. It will be the 26-year-old goalkeeper’s second start of the season. Tokarski, who has a 0-2-0 record against Dave Cameron’s Senators, will look to improve upon his 3.09 goals-against average and save percentage of 0.917.
"When Pacioretty and Plekanec are together, at this point that’s when they have been the most productive. Your best players have to be your best players and we rely on them to contribute.” explained coach Michel Therrien about the Habs most productive duo, tied with the Tomas Fleischmann/David Desharnais, with 13 goals where both players contributed points. “Pacioretty and Galchenyuk did not score in two games, so we decided to go back to that combination that worked so well at the beginning of season.”
- Lines at practice
Pacioretty – Plekanec – Byron
Eller – Galchenyuk – Weise
Carr – Desharnais – Fleischmann
Andrighetto – Flynn – Hudon
Petry – Emelin
Gilbert - Beaulieu
Markov – Subban
Pateryn – Tinordi
- Charles Hudon will play his second career game and his first at the Bell Centre since being recalled on December 8 from the St. John’s IceCaps. If he felt nervous Thursday night in Detroit, number 54 says he will probably feel even more butterflies in his stomach but expects that Saturday night will be quite the memorable evening.
"The magic comes back every time I set foot in the Bell Centre, even when I don’t play. Since I was drafted, it is always incredible playing at the Bell Centre, even for preseason games," noted the former fifth round pick at the 2012 draft in Pittsburgh. “It's always great to be there, but tonight is going to be a big game. You have to play hard for the full 60 minutes, not just 40 minutes like last game."
"Sven and I have known each since last year. We have played almost the entire season together and we have good chemistry on and off the ice,” provided Hudon, who collected his first NHL point Thursday night with an assist on Andrighetto’s second period goal. “He's a fast skater. When I give him the puck, his goal is to skate hard and get the puck in the zone quickly. He’s a hard worker and I think things are going well these days."
“I think I can improve all parts of my game from the way I played last couple games,” acknowledged Beaulieu who watched the Canadiens previous game against the Red Wings from the press box of the Joe Louis Arena. “Just as a defensive core we haven’t been good enough. All areas can improve. We were generating more offense at the beginning of the season. So I think we just need to get back to basics. We need to get pucks through and get bodies to the net.”
Coming off a career high 64 games played last season, the 23-year-old defenseman looks for the silver lining in an otherwise frustrating situation.
“As a pro you always have to look for the positive in things. Whether you are being sent down or called up, or having ups and downs during the season, as a pro you always have to try and find the positive in those situations. I’ve been pro for a couple years now and it’s my job and my duty to try to find the positive in the situation,” offered Beaulieu, who has already matched his point totals from last season with 9 points through the first 29 games this year. “I have time to think and regroup. Obviously my play hasn’t been up to standard so they gave me a night off to think about it.”
- Having watched back-to-back third period leads slip away against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night and the Detroit Red Wings the following evening, Jeff Petry and the Habs defense corps look to rebound tonight against the Senators.
“Throughout the course of the season you are going to go through ups and downs. I would say this is our chance to face adversity. Losing four in a row is not the ideal situation but I think it is important to show what kind of character this team has. It is not just going to happen that we just snap out of it. We have to work hard to get out of this and I think this group has the ability to do so,” explained the rearguard who recently turned 28-years-old on December 9. “I think we just need to clean up a few aspects. The last couple games we had leads in the third period and we have given up chances that have resulted in goals. It’s just a matter of when we have a lead in the third period to not give up chances. We have not been as sharp getting pucks out of the zone and teams are dangerous when you turn the puck over.”
At the beginning of the 2015-16 season timely goals from the blue-line helped propel the team to a record start to the year. With a lineup depleted by injuries, the Canadiens are looking to recapture that offensive spark.
“I do not have an explanation for why goals from the defensemen are down. Through the course of the season you will get bounces that go your way,” continued the Ann Arbor native who has three goals and eight assists to his credit this season. Obviously we have to put more pucks on net, our forwards are doing their job of getting to the net, so we as defenseman have to find a way to get more pucks through.”
- Saturday night’s contest marks the third clash between the two Atlantic Division rivals this season. The two combatants split the first two games of the season series, with both victories going the way of the road team.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on CBC, TVAS and CITY
The Canadiens announced on Thursday a mutual agreement with Alexander Semin and his advisors to terminate the forward's working agreement with the Club.
Semin had signed a one-year contract with the Canadiens on July 24.
The 31-year-old played 15 games with the team in 2015-16, registering one goal and three assists.
- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Wednesday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. Following the game, Michel Therrien’s troops will travel to Detroit where they’ll battle the Red Wings on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
- Prior to the start of practice, Torrey Mitchell hit the ice in full gear along with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard – who was also sporting full gear – to continue his rehab work on his lower-body injury. The pair worked on all the basics, and there was some contact along the boards, too.
|Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is expecting the Canadiens to come out strong against the Bruins on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.
- After being called up from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps on Tuesday, forward Charles Hudon took part in Wednesday’s on ice session. It marked the first NHL call-up of the 21-year-old’s career. Hudon is off to a solid start in his second season in the pro ranks, having put up 10 goals and 20 points in 24 games so far this year, along with a plus-6 differential.
“When Sylvain [Lefebvre] told me the news, I didn’t really react right away. He asked me if I was happy, and I answered: ‘You’d see it on the inside. I’m really happy right now,’ shared Hudon, who is among several recent call-ups now plying their trade up front with the Canadiens, including Sven Andrighetto, Christian Thomas and Daniel Carr. “When my teammates started getting called up, I was always happy for them. Now, it’s my turn. It was worth the wait.”
Hudon, however, will not be making his NHL debut on Wednesday night. He might not be in the lineup on Thursday night, either. According to head coach Michel Therrien, the likelihood that Hudon sees game action is yet to be determined. It all depends on how the team performs going forward. That suits Hudon just fine right now.
“I’m here to learn, to be a sponge and to absorb as much as I can,” explained Hudon, who was recently named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week back on November 30, becoming the first IceCaps player to achieve the feat all year. “I have to take as much positive information as I can from the locker room and on the ice, and bring it along with me as another important experience.”
- On Wednesday night, the Canadiens will go in search of their third straight win over the Bruins so far this season – and their eighth straight regular-season victory over their Original Six rivals dating back to March 24, 2014, too. That win streak isn’t going to the Canadiens’ heads right about now, especially after dropping their last two outings to Washington and Carolina, respectively.
“Their power play is the best in the league. It’s a different Boston team than we’re used to. We know that we haven’t played our best hockey in the last few games, so it’s an opportunity for us to step up. There should be no shortage of intensity on our part,” mentioned P.K. Subban, who has picked up one assist in the Canadiens’ two previous meetings with the Bruins during the 2015-16 campaign, while logging 54:19 of total ice time. “The games against Boston always get us hyped up. There’s always a lot of energy. It shouldn’t be any different tonight.”
- Nathan Beaulieu hasn’t been pleased with his performance as of late. Amassing a combined minus-2 differential over the last two games isn’t sitting well with the 23-year-old rearguard, who is hoping to right the ship with a new defensive partner in Tom Gilbert on Wednesday night. Having already played alongside the veteran defenseman for the bulk of the year, the transition should be a relatively seamless one.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing moving things around. We haven’t been happy with the results we’ve had the last couple of games. We’re just trying to find a little spark here and there. Change is never a bad thing when things aren’t going the way you want them to. We know that we have to step up and play a good game tonight,” shared Beaulieu, who was most recently paired with Jeff Petry on the back end. “New looks are always fun, and everyone is really comfortable playing with each other. We’re fortunate to have so much depth. We’re able to move guys around to so many different places. We’re very flexible like that. It’s a positive thing for us in this room.”
Therrien is eager to see Beaulieu respond to the test head on.
“He knows that he hasn’t met our expectations over the last two games. We expect more from him,” admitted Therrien. “It’s a challenge to work with young players. We’re looking for consistency. The challenge for young players is to have the least amount of ups and downs as possible over the course of the year.”
- Following practice, Therrien provided an update on the health status of Devante Smith-Pelly, who has been sidelined with a lower-body injury.
“It’s not a serious injury, but it’s serious enough that it’s keeping him from performing at the level that we expect of him and he expects of himself,” explained Therrien, who hasn’t been able to feature Smith-Pelly in his lineup since the Canadiens battled the Washington Capitals on December 3. “We’re going to give him a few more days to rest. We really want him to make the most of the time to get back to 100 percent.”
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet and RDS.
Probable lineup against Boston:
Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Andrighetto
Eller – Plekanec – Byron
Fleischmann - Desharnais – Weise
Carr – Flynn – Thomas
The Canadiens recalled forward Charles Hudon from the St. John’s IceCaps on Tuesday afternoon. He will join the team for practice on Wednesday morning.
The 21-year-old center has 10 goals and 20 points in 24 AHL games this season, good for second on the IceCaps in points so far in 2015-16. The Canadiens’ fifth-round pick from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft is in his second professional season, having finished second on the Hamilton Bulldogs’ scoring leaderboard in his rookie campaign last year with 19 goals and 57 points.
This is Hudon’s first NHL call up.
- After holding off-ice workouts yesterday in Brossard, the Canadiens returned to the ice at the Bell Sports Complex Tuesday morning for practice. The Habs used the ice time to prepare for their upcoming match up against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night.
- Massachusetts native Mike Condon will start in goal for the Canadiens, after defeating the Bruins on November 7, 2015 where he made 25 saves in a 4-2 victory at the Bell Centre.
- The coach also confirmed that Dustin Tokarski will get his first start of the 2015-16 NHL season Thursday night against the Red Wings in Detroit
- After practice, the Canadiens confirmed that forward Alexander Semin has cleared waivers and has been reassigned to the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
- The Montreal Canadiens players are scheduled to visit the kids at Sainte-Justine Hospital and the Montreal Children's Hospital this afternoon as part of their annual tour of children's hospitals.
Lines at practice:
Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Andrighetto
Eller – Plekanec – Byron
Fleischmann - Desharnais - Weise
Carr – Flynn - Thomas
Subban – Markov
Emelin – Petry
Gilbert – Beaulieu
Tinordi - Pateryn
The Canadiens announced Tuesday afternoon that Alexander Semin has cleared waivers and has been reassigned to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
The Russian sniper was placed on waivers on Monday after being removed from the team’s disabled list.
In 15 games with the Canadiens this season, the winger scored one goal and added three assists.
- Following the Canadiens 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on the road Saturday night, the Habs returned to Brossard where they held an off-ice workout at the Bell Sports Complex Monday morning.
- Torrey Mitchell, who has been sidelined for the Canadiens last eight games while rehabbing a lower-body injury, skated in Brossard Monday morning and is nearing a return to the lineup.
- Recalled from the St. John’s IceCaps on Sunday, Dustin Tokarski joined his teammates in Brossard where he participated in the off-ice workout and later addressed the media. In two games with Sylvain Lefebvre’s IceCaps last week, Tokarski earned a 0-1-1 record with a 2.45 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage in starts against the Binghamton Senators and Albany Devils.
- Brendan Gallagher also spoke to the media for the first time since undergoing surgery on November 23, 2015 to repair two fractured fingers on his left hand suffered while blocking a Johnny Boychuk shot against the New York Islanders the previous night. The tenacious winger explained that he has yet to resume skating as he is awaiting the green light from the doctors before returning to the ice. Though he did not give a specific return date, Gallagher did mention that the recovery process is going well thus far.
Canadiens fans will likely see some of the team’s top prospects compete at the 2015-16 World Junior Championships as 2015 first-round pick defenseman Noah Juulsen has been added to team Canada’s selection camp, while center Lukas Vejdemo was added to Team Sweden’s preliminary roster.
Juulsen, who previously won a silver medal with Canada Pacific in the 2014 U17 World Hockey Challenge, will be in attendance when team Canada’s selection camp kicks off December 10, 2015 in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Vejdemo, the Habs 3rd round selection in the 2015 entry draft, earned his spot with his impressive play thus far in the SHL where he has three goals and seven assists in 23 games with Djurgården this season.
Both Team Canada and Team Sweden are expected to trim their rosters before the tournament begins on December 26.
MONTREAL -- The Canadiens announced on Sunday that goaltender Zachary Fucale has been reassigned to St. John's in the AHL, and that goaltender Dustin Tokarski and defenseman Jarred Tinordi have been recalled from the IceCaps.
Fucale was called up last Monday, November 30, and was Mike Condon's back up for three games, although he did not see any ice time.
Tokarski went 0-1-1 with a 2.45 goals against average and 0.925 save percentage over his two-game stint in the AHL.
Tinordi was assigned to the IceCaps on November 26 for conditioning purposes, registering a pair of assists over six games with St. John's.
- The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Friday morning a few hours before traveling to Carolina to battle the Hurricanes on Saturday night.
- Prior to the start of practice, Torrey Mitchell hit the ice in his track suit to skate with athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine. You’ll recall that Mitchell suffered a lower-body injury on November 19 in a tilt against the Arizona Coyotes. Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Mitchell has been sidelined a little longer than expected, but his recovery is on the right path.
- Clément Jodoin, Jean-Jacques Daigneault, Dan Lacroix and Craig Ramsay ran Friday’s practice session, focusing primarily on special teams work.