- 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.
- The Canadiens held an optional skate on Thursday morning ahead of their tilt against the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre. Thirteen players hit the ice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, including goaltenders Mike Condon and Zachary Fucale.
- Forward Michael Bournival cleared waivers on Thursday. He can now be assigned to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps.
- The Capitals’ most lethal forward since being drafted in 2004, Alex Ovechkin remains a constant threat on offense, specifically when he goes up against the Canadiens. The Russian superstar boasts 38 points in 36 career games against the CH. This year, Washington’s No. 8 has amassed at least one point per game, registering 12 goals and 22 points in as many outings.
“I grew up in Moscow playing for the same team he did,” mentioned Alex Galchenyuk. “I grew up watching him play. Now, I’ve had the chance to play against him for the last few years. The first time was even more special. You get used to it over time, but he’s still a dangerous player when he’s on the ice.”
Ovechkin scored a pair of goals in his last visit to the Bell Centre on April 2 in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Canadiens. He’d actually been held off the scoresheet in the two meetings before that, though. On a side note, the Canadiens will also have to pay close attention to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who at 23 years of age is Washington’s top point-getter with 26 points in 23 games.
- The Canadiens will also have to play a disciplined brand of hockey on Thursday night, as the Capitals arrive in Montreal with the second-best power play in the league. Barry Trotz’s club has clicked 26.8 percent of the time with the man advantage so far this season. They’ve also scored six power play goals in their last three games, and picked up five straight wins.
- If the Canadiens are among the NHL’s top teams in terms of goals scored per game with an average of 3.42, the Capitals have enjoyed similar success in that department with an average of 3.22 – good enough for third spot. Washington’s forwards aren’t the only players chipping in on offense, though. With 18 points on the year, defenseman John Carlson has been leading the way from the back end.
“I haven’t had a chance to play against the Capitals much because I spent the majority of my career in the Western Conference. But, every time it happens, you can tell he has really good vision, he skates well and he’s a constant offensive threat,” explained Jeff Petry, referencing the 25-year-old defenseman. “You have to be prepared for a fourth guy joining the rush. It’s not just Carlson, though. They’ve got other dangerous guys on defense, too.”
- The Canadiens’ recent string of injuries afforded Christian Thomas another chance to show the team’s brass what he’s capable of. The 23-year-old Toronto native will play his third straight game for Michel Therrien’s troops on Thursday night, assuming a spot on the fourth line with both Brian Flynn and Devante Smith-Pelly. So far, Thomas believes it’s been a good fit.
“I think it’s great. A lot of teams like to put tougher guys out there, guys that are big, to try to push guys around. For us, I think we have a really fast fourth line,” shared Thomas, who has played 22 games with the Canadiens over the last two-plus seasons, while shuffling between the NHL and AHL ranks. “I think we catch other fourth lines off guard. Hopefully, we can keep doing that.”
Coming off a game in which he registered the first assist of his NHL career on a perfect pass to speedster Paul Byron, Thomas is feeling confident right now. Before arriving in Montreal, the former second-round selection put up seven goals and 14 points in 18 games with the IceCaps, so things appear to be clicking for the 5-foot-9, 175-pound winger wherever he goes.
“I think I’ve improved a little bit of everything [since last season]. I think the No. 1 thing is my consistency. I thought I had a better start this year compared to my other years playing in the American League,” mentioned Thomas. “I think that’s translated well here, and hopefully I can keep it going.”
- Mike Condon will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. It will be his 15th start of the year, and his first career start against the Capitals. The Holliston, MA native boasts a 2.11 goals against average and a .918 save percentage on the season.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on RDS and City Montreal.
Probable lineup against Washington:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Weise
Eller – Galchenyuk – Andrighetto
Fleischmann – Plekanec – Byron
Smith-Pelly – Flynn – Thomas
- After registering a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, the Canadiens were back at practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Wednesday.
- All players were present and accounted for at practice, except for Andrei Markov who was given a therapy day. Alexander Semin, meanwhile, who is still dealing with a lower-body injury, also took part in the on-ice session.
- Head coach Michel Therrien featured the same lines at practice that he did in Tuesday night’s tilt against Columbus. David Desharnais skated on a line with Max Pacioretty, while countrymen Tomas Plekanec and Tomas Fleischmann were paired together on a line with Paul Byron.
- The Canadiens also announced that forward Michael Bournival was placed on waivers on Wednesday afternoon. If he isn’t claimed in the next 24 hours, he’ll report to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps.
Forward lines at practice: