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POSTED ON Wednesday, 06.11.2013 / 10:48 AM

- Forwards Louis Leblanc and Martin St-Pierre have been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs this morning. They will travel to Rochester today.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.11.2013 / 10:51 AM

BROSSARD - The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday ahead of their game against the St. Louis Blues.

- For a second day in a row, Brandon Prust skated before practice.

- Prospects Louis Leblanc and Greg Pateryn were the first skaters on the ice.

- Alexei Emelin and Travis Moen skated alongside their teammates. Both are on track in their recovery from injuries.

- Seventeen players took part in the morning skate, including forwards Michael Bournival, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Louis Leblanc, Lars Eller, David Desharnais, George Parros, Martin St-Pierre and Travis Moen. Defensemen Raphael Diaz, P.K. Subban, Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon also took part in practice along with goaltenders Carey Price and Peter Budaj.

- Martin St-Pierre will make his Canadiens debut against the Blues. He will play on a line with Ryan White and George Parros.

“The coach told me yesterday to be ready in case I play, and confirmed with me this morning. It’ll be a great experience,” stated St-Pierre, who has eight points in seven games with the Hamilton Bulldogs this season.

The 30-year-old will be skating for his fourth NHL club, having already dressed for the Blackhawks, the Bruins and the Senators prior to signing with the Canadiens over the summer.

“It’s been four years since I last played [a regular season game] with the Senators, so it’ll be a lot of fun to have another chance tonight,” noted the Ottawa, ON native.

- David Desharnais will not see action against St. Louis. While it’s always a hard decision to bench an established player, head coach Michel Therrien asserts that the decision to leave Desharnais out of the lineup on Tuesday night was a difficult one.

“It’s never easy to make those types of decisions because the goal of the exercise is to make sure that your players are at their best. When you don’t see results, you need to make decisions,” affirmed Therrien. “My main concern is to make sure that all the players in the lineup give a good effort and win this hockey game.”

- Lars Eller is skating on a new line with Leblanc and Bourque, which allows former linemate Alex Galchenyuk to slot in at center between Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher.

“My approach will be the same. I’ve learned in the past that things don’t stay the same for long. We have all the assets to do well as a new line,” mentioned Eller.

For the 24-year-old, the game against the Blues will be a special occasion. St. Louis drafted Eller back in 2007, before trading him to the Canadiens in 2010.

“Even though I only played seven games with them, I still spent almost three years in that organization. Of course it’s special. There will be many familiar faces in the lineup, guys I’ve played with in the past,” acknowledged Eller, who will take on his former club for the third time in his career.

Projected lineup vs. STL

Bournival-Plekanec-Gionta
Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
Leblanc-Eller-Bourque
St-Pierre-White-Parros

Markov-Subban
Diaz-Gorges
Murray-Bouillon

SEE ALSO
RAW: Eller
RAW: St-Pierre
Game preview

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.11.2013 / 11:10 AM

- The Canadiens skated in Brossard on Monday morning after a day off on Sunday following their two-game road swing to Minnesota and Colorado.

- Called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, Martin St-Pierre took part in practice at the Bell Sports Complex. The Ottawa, ON native is currently tied atop the Bulldogs’ scoring list with eight points on the year in seven games.

- Travis Moen took part in his first practice alongside his teammates since suffering a fractured orbital bone on Oct. 26 against the Sharks. Moen sported a blue ‘no contact’ jersey during the practice session.

- Alexei Emelin took part in practice alongside his teammates again in Brossard. This time, however, Emelin was wearing a white jersey indicating he is eligible for contact.

- Brandon Prust and Daniel Briere skated on the secondary ice rink at the Bell Sports Complex on Monday morning. Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Briere is no longer suffering from symptoms related to the concussion he suffered just over two weeks ago in a game against the Nashville Predators.

- Therrien also confirmed that Carey Price will get the start in goal against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
Leblanc – Eller – Bourque
Desharnais – White – Parros
St-Pierre – Moen

Diaz – Gorges
Markov – Subban
Murray – Bouillon
Emelin – Pateryn

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POSTED ON Sunday, 03.11.2013 / 12:52 PM

The Canadiens assigned Michael Blunden to the Hamilton Bulldogs this morning.

Later in the day, the Canadiens recalled forward Martin St-Pierre from Hamilton.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.11.2013 / 2:24 PM

- The Canadiens held an optional skate on Saturday morning at the Pepsi Center in Denver ahead of their game against the Avalanche. Seven Habs players took part in the skate, including Max Pacioretty, Ryan White, Michael Blunden, Greg Pateryn, George Parros and goaltenders Peter Budaj and Carey Price. Goaltending coach Stephane Waite was on the ice as well for the duration of the on-ice session.

- Budaj will be making his third start of the season for the Canadiens on Saturday night against the Avs. The Slovakian netminder holds a 54-37-13 lifetime record at the Pepsi Center with a 2.63 GAA. Saturday night’s tilt will mark Budaj’s first career start in the building as a member of the Canadiens. He called the Pepsi Center home as a member of the Avalanche for six seasons.

- Max Pacioretty will return to the Canadiens lineup on Saturday night for the first time since suffering a left hamstring strain on Oct. 15 in a game against the Jets in Winnipeg. Absent for the last nine games, the power forward, who has amassed two goals and three points in five games thus far this season, has been chomping at the bit to return to action.

"A few days ago, they made a plan for me that I would play one of the two games on the trip. Obviously, I wanted to play them both. I have to do everything I can to help the team win tonight," affirmed Pacioretty, who as of the morning skate hadn't been made aware of his linemates for the tilt against head coach Patrick Roy's squad. "I felt bad for about a week after the injury. I’ve been feeling 100 percent for around a week now. I’m ready to play my game."

- Prior to the start of Saturday night’s game, the Avalanche will raise defenseman Adam Foote’s number 52 to the rafters at the Pepsi Center. Foote spent 17 of his 19 NHL seasons in the Nordiques/Avalanche organization. The ceremony will be held at 6:55 p.m. MT.

SEE ALSO
Game preview: Canadiens @ Avalanche
Top - Patrick Roy
24CH: Flash #15
Onward and upward

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.11.2013 / 1:40 PM

- The Canadiens skated at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday morning ahead of their tilt against the Minnesota Wild.

- Prior to the start of practice, players lined up for a group photo alongside their guests who accompanied them on the Father & Son Roadtrip to Minnesota and Colorado. Twenty fathers were on site at the rink on Friday morning, along with countless sons, friends and relatives of Canadiens players and staffers.

For Brendan Gallagher, any opportunity to play in front of his father, Ian, is something the 21-year-old looks forward to. The Edmonton, AB native believes that having family and friends in attendance at the Xcel Energy Center provides added incentive for the players to put on a good show and pick up an all-important victory.

“You always want to play well, but when you have people that are very important to you and special to you and that meant a lot to your career, you want to bring your best. You want to show up, you want to play hard,” acknowledged Gallagher, who has five goals and eight points in 13 games thus far this season. “I know the guys in here will do that because each and every one has talked how much our dads gave up so much for us to be where we are today. So, tonight hopefully we can go out there and pay a little bit back to them and reward them with a win.”

- Brandon Prust and Daniel Briere, both of whom are sidelined due to injury but accompanied the team on the current road swing, did not take part in the morning skate in Saint Paul.

- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Carey Price will make his 12th start of the season for the Canadiens on Friday night. The Habs bench boss also confirmed that Peter Budaj will be between the pipes against the Avalanche to close out the road trip on Saturday night in Colorado. He also indicated that Max Pacioretty will likely make his return to the lineup against the Avalanche. The New Canaan, CT native had been sidelined since suffering a left hamstring injury in a tilt on Oct. 15 in Winnipeg.

- George Parros will make his much-anticipated return to the Canadiens lineup on Friday night against the Wild. Parros suffered a concussion on Oct. 1 in the season-opener against the Maple Leafs.

Back on the ice in the Twin Cities sans his trademark mustache, the 33-year-old is prepared to return to active duty.

“I feel lighter and quicker [without the mustache], but less manly,” joked Parros, who shaved off his mustache in honor of Movember prior to the team’s departure on Thursday. “I feel good. I’m at the point where I can get back to playing with confidence. I’m not going to rush it. That’s important when it comes to this type of injury. I’m ready to play.”

- Michel Therrien will be coaching across from a familiar face on Friday night in Wild bench boss, Mike Yeo. The pair spent seven years together in the Pittsburgh organization. Therrien has the utmost respect for his coaching counterpart, who also just happens to be the youngest coach in the NHL.

“We worked together in Wilkes-Barre. When I got to Pittsburgh, we moved up together. I really enjoyed my time with Mike Yeo. He’s got great work ethic. He’s a smart hockey mind. He’s really well-respected by his players,” offered Therrien. “I really enjoyed my time with him. I tried to help him and he certainly helped me, too. I’m really pleased with the success he’s had with the Wild. I knew that down the road he would eventually get a shot to be a head coach in the NHL.”

SEE ALSO
Game Preview: Canadiens @ Wild
Words from the room - Nov. 1

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POSTED ON Thursday, 31.10.2013 / 10:35 AM
The Canadiens held a morning practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday. The day marked the comebacks of several Habs who had been sidelined by injury.

Max Pacioretty and George Parros both practiced with their teammates in white full-contact jerseys. Pacioretty had been out due to a lower-body injury, while Parros’ recovery is on schedule after suffering a concussion during the season-opening game against Toronto.

George Parros will be in the lineup against Minnesota on Friday, while Pacioretty is also close to making a return, as per head coach Michel Therrien.

Alexei Emelin participated in a full practice session for the first time wearing a blue non-contact jersey.

After the practice, the Canadiens announced that they have agreed on a four-year deal with Emelin.

Carey Price will start against the Wild.

Lines at practice:

Galchenyuk – Eller - Gallagher
Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
Bourque – Desharnais – Leblanc
Blunden – White - Pacioretty
Parros

Markov – Subban
Gorges - Diaz
Murray – Bouillon
Emelin - Pateryn

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POSTED ON Monday, 28.10.2013 / 12:30 PM
NEW YORK - The Canadiens held a morning skate on Monday at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden. They will play the New York Rangers in the evening. The Rangers are only 3-6 since the start of the season, but one cannot underestimate a team featuring perennial All-Stars Henrik Lundqvist and playing at long last from its home bench.

“You can’t forget that [the Rangers] will be playing their first game at home, in front of their crowd. They’ll be ready,” warned the Canadiens’ head coach Michel Therrien.
Louis is back

- Recalled from the Bulldogs on Sunday night, Louis Leblanc and Greg Pateryn skated in company of their new teammates. Leblanc will line up alongside Rene Bourque and David Desharnais to give the team a third offensive option behind the productive lines of Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher and Bournival-Plekanec-Gionta. Called up after a series of dominating performances in the AHL, Leblanc is eager to get a chance to make a mark at the top level.

“I’m happy to be here,” said the 2009 first-round draft pick, who lined up alongside Nick Tarnasky and Gabriel Dumont on Hamilton’s top line.  A late cut during training camp, Leblanc took to heart the advice of the Montreal coaching staff. “I know that management recall players based on merit; I’ve played well in the last few games and I’m excited for tonight.”

“You can skate well and shoot well, but when the puck doesn’t go in, it’s tough on your energy level. But once you’ve scored, you get on a roll and you have to use that momentum,” continued Leblanc, who has four goals and two assists in his last three AHL appearances.

- Douglas Murray skated wearing a regular red jersey and will play his first regular season game as a Hab. A veteran of 465 regular season games, Murray will be stepping on the ice for the first time wearing the CH crest.

“It’s exciting. I definitely would have liked to get into a match earlier in the year, but it’s good to be able to play finally. I don’t play hockey just to train in the gym or do off-ice workouts. Playing matches is a lot more fun,” an enthusiastic Murray stated after practice. His coach believes that the Swede will bring value to the team’s blueline corps during a busy week.

“Murray will play tonight. For sure I would have liked to have him practice a few more times with the team, but we have five matches in eight days,” offered Therrien. “He’s a veteran, he brings a presence, and he’s good on the penalty kill. Of course, it’ll take some time for him to find his timing; we’ll be patient with him.”

After missing out on game action due to an upper-body injury suffered in training camp, number 6 will no doubt feel a tinge of nervousness when the puck drops, but his likely defense partner Francis Bouillon doesn’t think it will negatively affect the pairing’s effectiveness.

“For me, I find it’s good to be a bit nervous before a game. It means you want to make a good impression. I’ll have some butterflies in my stomach for sure, but it won’t prevent me from playing my game,” insisted Bouillon, a native New-Yorker.

- Peter Budaj will be get his second start of the season, as the Habs will be playing on back-to-back nights. They will be back at the Bell Centre to take on the Stars Tuesday night. Budaj has a 2-1 career record against the Blueshirts.

- Travis Moen did not make the trip due to a facial injury suffered after he was hit by a puck on Saturday night against the Sharks. Coach Therrien clarified the situation after practice.

“When I first spoke about Travis’ injury [Saturday night], I said he had a cut to his face. After some tests, it’s been determined that he has a small fracture [to his orbital bone]. It’s not too serious,” the Habs’ coach explained. The bruising forward will be out for about a week.

- George Parros, still on the mend, traveled with the team to New York and took to the ice wearing a blue no contact jersey.

Lines at practice:

Galchenyuk – Eller - Gallagher
Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
Bourque – Desharnais – Leblanc
Blunden – White - Holland
Parros

Markov – Subban
Gorges - Diaz
Murray – Bouillon
Pateryn

SEE ALSO
RAW: Murray
Game Preview: Canadiens @ Rangers
On the road: NYC
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POSTED ON Monday, 28.10.2013 / 9:42 AM

The Canadiens have recalled defenseman Greg Pateryn from the Hamilton Bulldogs. He will be at practice this morning in New York.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 27.10.2013 / 6:10 PM

- Travis Moen will not make the trip to New York (injured).

- Patrick Holland remains with the team and will be on the trip to New York today.

- Louis Leblanc was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs tonight. He will meet the team in New York and should be part of the morning skate on Monday.

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