- After picking up their fourth straight win on Thursday night against Boston, the Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Friday. Michel Therrien’s troops will be back in action on Saturday night when they play host to the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre.
- Andrei Markov was the only player who did not take part in Friday’s on-ice session. He was given a therapy day.
- Michael Bournival, who suffered a shoulder injury on November 5th in Buffalo, skated with athletic trainer Vincent Roof-Racine a few hours prior to the start of practice. Bournival worked with weights and weighted pucks during the session.
- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Carey Price will get the start in goal against the Flyers on Saturday night. He also indicated that there was a strong possibility that Dustin Tokarski would play against the Red Wings on Sunday night in Detroit.
- When asked whether or not he would use seven defensemen in his lineup once again on Saturday night, Therrien indicated that it could happen, but he did not confirm anything for certain.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
- The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday ahead of their tilt against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. Michel Therrien’s troops are looking for their fourth straight win.
- After being acquired from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, defenseman Sergei Gonchar took part in the morning skate in Brossard. He will make his Canadiens debut on Thursday night. The Habs’ bench boss, however, has yet to announce which defenseman will be a healthy scratch as a result.
- Gonchar met with head coach Michel Therrien prior to the morning skate. The pair discussed team systems, and the four-time All-Star indicated that he would meet with members of the coaching staff again during the day to review other aspects of team play.
- After arriving in Montreal on Wednesday evening, the Canadiens' newest No. 55 took his first strides at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday. Following the on-ice session, the 40-year-old rearguard shared his thoughts on his new teammates.
“It’s a good first impression. The team is skating well. At the same time, it’s tough to judge from the morning skate. I know how the guys have been playing. They’ve been playing very well this year. They’ve got good chemistry and they’re winning games. My goal is not to distract them,” offered Gonchar, who will play his fourth game of the 2014-15 campaign on Thursday night after being sidelined with an ankle injury until Nov. 4th. “This morning when I walked in, I was introduced to every one of them. It seems like it’s a very good group of guys, and they’re very close.”
- While Gonchar did not reveal the identity of his playing partner at even-strength, he did discuss the possibility of playing alongside countryman Andrei Markov on the power play.
“He’s a great player. He’s proven himself through the years. He’s a great guy. I’ve had the chance to play with him in international tournaments. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a pleasure,” praised Gonchar, who boasts 798 career points, 423 of which have come with the man advantage. “I got a sense of the power play this morning. It seems like they were missing that left shot. I think I’m going to be given the opportunity to play with Andrei, and I’ll be there for the one-timer with him.”
- P.K. Subban isn’t an NHL rookie by any means, but he wasn’t hiding the fact that he was somewhat awestruck when he first came across the Canadiens’ newest rearguard on Thursday morning.
“It’s just great. I was pretty pumped up. He sits beside me in the video room, so it was good to be able to offer him a seat and see him smile. I think he likes me, so that’s a good thing,” cracked Subban, who believes Gonchar will be an impact play right from the start in Montreal. “We’re very happy to have him. He’s going to make a huge difference for our team, especially on the power play. When you think of having threats like that on the blue line, it’s only going to help our team at even-strength and on the power play, so there’s no shortage of understanding of what he brings to our hockey club.”
- For their part, the Bruins are coming off a 6-1 loss at the hands of the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night in Toronto. That defeat snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak. Despite the fact that Claude Julien’s contingent will be playing its second game in as many nights, the Canadiens know full well that their opponents won’t be short on energy as they try to erase any and all memories of their most recent outing.
“It’s always tough when you play back to back, but when you lose like that, it’s unsettling. Everybody goes through it. We went through it a little bit earlier this year. Good teams find a way to play better, so I’m sure they’re not going to want to lose two in a row, especially coming off a loss like that,” stressed Subban, whose squad downed the Bruins 6-4 back on Oct. 16th in Montreal. “I’m sure they didn’t wake up on the right side of the bed. We know how the Bruins can get. They can get a little edgy sometimes. I’m sure it’ll be a very energetic game, and it’s always fun to play these types of games. We’re prepared to see their best game.”
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. It will be his 14th start of the year. The Anahim Lake, BC native boasts an 18-8-3 record, a 2.55 goals-against average, and a .918 save percentage in 30 career appearances against Boston.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360, RDS and NESN.
Projected forward lines vs. Boston:
- After registering their third straight win on Tuesday night with a 3-0 shutout of the Winnipeg Jets, the Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Wednesday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
- On Wednesday morning, the Canadiens assigned defenseman Jarred Tinordi to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. The 22-year-old will join head coach Sylvain Lefebvre’s club in St. John’s, NL where the Bulldogs will battle the IceCaps on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14.
"It takes time before players feel confident in themselves and feel at ease, especially when it comes to defensemen. Young guys also need to adapt to the tempo of the game at this level. It goes up with every level of hockey," mentioned head coach Michel Therrien during his post-practice press conference. "It's a process, especially for defensemen. It take a little bit longer."
- Defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who was acquired from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday in exchange for Travis Moen, should arrive in Montreal on Wednesday evening. Michel Therrien could, therefore, insert the veteran rearguard into the lineup for the game on Thursday night against the Bruins. The Canadiens bench boss mentioned, however, that because of Gonchar's late arrival in Montreal, he would sit down with the 20-year NHL veteran over a cup of coffee on Thursday morning and then decide whether or not he would suit up against Boston.
- Even if the Canadiens have no extra forwards in their lineup at the moment, Michel Therrien indicated that the team does not intend to call up any players from Hamilton right now.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday ahead of their game against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell Centre. It is the first of two meetings between the two teams during the 2014-15 campaign. The Habs will be looking for a third straight victory.
- On Tuesday night, the Canadiens will feature the same lineup that went up against the Minnesota Wild last Saturday.
- After being called up from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs on Monday evening, forward Drayson Bowman took part in Tuesday’s on-ice session sporting No. 38.
- Based on the way the Jets have played as of late, the Canadiens know full well that Tuesday night’s tilt will be anything but a walk in the park. Winnipeg is 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, and they’re among the stingiest teams in the NHL, ranking sixth in goals against per game. With that in mind, the Canadiens will be looking for the same type of offensive outburst they were able to generate against the Wild last weekend, while minimizing potentially costly errors at both ends of the rink.
“As the game went on [against the Wild], I think we were able to dictate the pace of play, and that will be important against Winnipeg. They’re a team that’s been playing really well lately. They don’t give up a lot. They find ways to win. They’re pretty similar to us in that sense, low scoring, and they’ve been able to find ways to win hockey games,” offered Brendan Gallagher, who snapped a nine-game goalless drought last Saturday night. “It should be a good game. We’re definitely going to have to make sure that we’re playing well and not making any mistakes.”
Dale Weise shared similar thoughts ahead of the matchup against his hometown team.
“They don’t give many goals and we don’t score very many. That’s a tough matchup,” cracked Weise, who has four assists through 12 games this season. “I think we’ve just got to worry about ourselves sometimes. We found a way to score goals last game. We’ve got to do much of the same. Thirty-plus shots are what we’ll be looking to get.”
- The Canadiens’ power play hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far this season, having produced just three goals on the year. In fact, it currently ranks 28th in the NHL, just ahead of the Minnesota Wild and the Buffalo Sabres, clicking only 7.7 percent of the time. It’s also worth noting, however, that the Canadiens rank second-to-last with just 39 power play opportunities through 15 games in 2014-15.
“We haven’t really had many chances to get our man advantage going. We only had one opportunity last game,” mentioned David Desharnais, who should be centering a line with Max Pacioretty and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau on Tuesday night. “We’re working on our power play, and we’re hoping that we’ll break through soon.”
“We want to keep going from where we left off last game. I think there are a lot of good things, and there’s no reason to think that we can’t do the same thing again,” stressed Eller, who has registered two game-winning goals this season. “It’s just been the whole line working together as a unit, helping each other out and making each other look good by being in the right places and taking hits for each other. It’s all about working together.”
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. He boasts an 11-4-3 record, a .922 save percentage and a 2.24 goals-against average in 19 appearances against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchises. For their part, Winnipeg should counter with Ondrej Pavelec.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST, and the game will be broadcast on TSN3, RDS and Sportsnet East.
Words From The Room - Nov. 11
Game Preview: Jets @ Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens – evenko Blood Drive
- Forward Drayson Bowman is Montreal-bound once again. The 25-year-old will report to the Canadiens on Tuesday morning, joining Michel Therrien's group ahead of the game against the Winnipeg Jets. Bowman has registered six points in 11 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs thus far this season. While he sported the No. 96 during his first call up, Bowman will now wear No. 38.
- After a day off on Sunday, the Canadiens were back at practice on Monday morning at the Bell Sports Complex.
- Michel Therrien’s troops are gearing up for a busy week that will see them play four games in the next six days. On Tuesday, they’ll battle the Winnipeg Jets before taking on the Boston Bruins on Thursday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. All of those games will be at the Bell Centre. Following Saturday night’s game, the team will charter to Detroit where they’ll go up against the Red Wings on Sunday night at Joe Louis Arena.
- The Canadiens worked on special teams play for approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of practice on Brossard’s secondary ice rink.
- After being placed on waivers on Sunday, 32-year-old forward Rene Bourque was not at practice alongside his teammates. He later cleared waivers, and was assigned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs on Monday afternoon.
- In his post-practice press conference, head coach Michel Therrien indicated that the Canadiens would be calling up a forward from Hamilton as 12 forwards now remain in Montreal. He did not, however, reveal which player would join the team.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
- Rene Bourque cleared waivers on Sunday. The club has since assigned him to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League.
In 13 games this season, the 32-year-old forward registered a pair of assists with the Habs, compiling a -9 differential over that span. Since joining the Canadiens in 2011, Bourque has recorded 39 points in 141 games. The Lac La Biche, AB native was at his best during the 2014 playoffs, scoring eight goals and three assists in 17 post-season contests.
- The Canadiens had the day off on Sunday after picking up a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. Michel Therrien's troops will be back at practice on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
- Drayson Bowman, who was called up from the Bulldogs on Saturday, returned to Hamilton on Sunday evening without seeing any game action. The 25-year-old has registered six points in 11 games for Sylvain Lefebvre's contingent thus far this season.
- For his part, Jarred Tinordi returned to Montreal after being assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs on November 6 where he was scheduled to play two games over the weekend. Tinordi did not get on the scoresheet while with Hamilton, amassing a minus-2 differential. He has two points in nine games with the Canadiens this season, and he's also chipped in with 11 hits.
- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Saturday ahead of their tilt against the Minnesota Wild at the Bell Centre. While the game is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. EST, Guy Lapointe’s jersey retirement ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on TVA and CITY Montreal.
- Travis Moen will return to the Canadiens’ lineup after missing the last two games as a healthy scratch. Jiri Sekac will also see action against Minnesota.
- After snapping a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night, Michel Therrien’s troops are eager to give Mike Yeo’s contingent all it can handle at the Bell Centre. Like Montreal, the Wild have struggled as of late, dropping their last two outings to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, respectively. It’s no secret what the Canadiens have to do in order to be successful against the Wild, who currently rank atop the league in shots against per game (22.3).
“We’ve got to shoot the puck more, go to the net more, be more aggressive in front of the net, be hungrier and try to get a shot on net every chance we get because you never know if the shot will go in or not,” offered Alex Galchenyuk, who boasts four goals and eight points in 14 games during the 2014-15 campaign. “Sometimes, we overthink things and try to make a nicer play which doesn’t always work out.”
That being said, the Canadiens are still satisfied with their style of play, even if the group has collectively struggled to light the lamp on a consistent basis.
“We’ve let in too many goals in a couple of our games recently. At the same time, we like the way we’re trending right now. We put in a solid 65 minutes in the Buffalo game. Ultimately, what we’re looking at is playing and competing for a full game,” stressed Max Pacioretty, who leads the team alongside Tomas Plekanec and P.K. Subban with nine points on the season. “Obviously, the results haven’t always been there, but I think they’ll come.”
- That’s something Brendan Gallagher stressed on Saturday morning, too. The 22-year-old right-winger is in the midst of a scoring drought of his own, having failed to find the back of the net over the last nine games.
“I just think I have to execute on my chances. I feel like the scoring chances haven’t gone away. If anything, I’m getting more chances than I did earlier in the year. I’ve just got to find ways to put them in,” offered Gallagher, who has been held off the scoresheet since putting up two goals and three points in the Canadiens’ home opener back on Oct. 16. “The hard part is not letting it affect your play and continuing to play the same way. You have to know what the most important thing is, whether you’re scoring or not, and that’s winning hockey games. That’s what our job is, and if we continue to keep that as our main focus, we should be fine.”
- Manny Malhotra might be in the veritable infancy of his career with the Canadiens, but he’s well aware of just how significant jersey retirement ceremonies in Montreal can be.
“It’s something very special. When you head into the room here [in Brossard] and you see all of the photos on the wall and the faces behind you, it’s special. I had a chance to be a part of the retirement ceremony for Bob Gainey when I was with the Columbus Blue Jackets,” mentioned Malhotra, who was in the Bell Centre when Gainey’s No. 23 jersey was raised to the rafters back on Feb. 23, 2008. “I’ve seen just how special it is for the players and the fans, too. I’m excited to experience it.”
Pacioretty shared similar sentiments on Saturday morning.
“It’s definitely nice, especially a Saturday night game, to have some alumni here who’ve had so much success in the league and in this organization,” praised Pacioretty. “It’s a special night for everybody, not just for Guy. We’re honored to play in a game where his jersey and number are retired. It will be a lot of fun.”
- Carey Price should get the start in goal for the Canadiens on Saturday night. He boasts a 3-2-0 record and 2.79 goals-against average in five previous outings against Minnesota. For their part, the Wild will likely counter with Darcy Kuemper.
Game Preview - Canadiens vs. Wild
Words From The Room - Nov. 8
Here is the complete broadcast schedule for the fifth episode of the third season of 24CH.
Saturday, November 8 - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 8 - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 8 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 15 - 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 9 - 12:00 a.m. - Canal D
Sunday, November 9 - 9:00 a.m. - Canal D
Sunday, November 9 - 1:00 p.m. - RDS2
Monday, November 10 - 6:00 p.m. - RDS2
Tuesday, November 11 - 10:30 p.m. - RDS2
Wednesday, November 12 - 5:00 p.m. - RDS2
Friday, November 14 - 11:00 p.m. - RDS
24CH Premiere, including extra footage, will be available every Friday night on the Bell TV app. 24CH The Quiz will be available on demand on Bell Local (channel 1217) for Fibe TV customers, with a new episode every Saturday.