POSTED ON Thursday, 02.6.2014 / 2:07 PM ET

- The Montreal Canadiens have acquired the centerman Robert Czarnik from the Los Angeles Kings, in exchange for forward Steve Quailer.

Czarnik, aged 24, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings 63rd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In 29 games with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs this season, he has one goal and four assists.

The centerman will report to the Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal’s AHL affiliate.

POSTED ON Thursday, 02.6.2014 / 11:47 AM ET
BROSSARD – The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday morning, ahead of the evening match-up against the Vancouver Canucks.

- Forwards present were Daniel Briere, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller, Michael Bournival, Ryan White, Dale Weise and George Parros.

- Defensemen Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Davis Drewiske, Nathan Beaulieu, Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray also practiced.

- As of Tuesday morning, there are no projected line-up changes for the game against the Canucks. Carey Price will get the start, most likely against Olympic teammate Roberto Luongo

- With many fans keeping a close eye on the game contested between the two potential Team Canada starters, Canadiens right-winger Brendan Gallagher plans on doing what he can to help his goalie get the win.

“Price has been unbelievable this year. He’s at the top of his game and always getting better, even if it’s hard to imagine,” underlined the second-year NHLer. “It’s up to us to put together a good game in front of him and help him out. It’s a team effort that leads to wins.”

- Gallagher’s linemate David Desharnais was pleasantly surprised to hear that his friend and role model Martin St-Louis was named to Team Canada’s Olympic roster, in replacement for the injured Steven Stamkos.

“I’m really happy for him. It seems like he’s still getting better. With the kind of season he’s been having, I was surprised that he wasn’t selected earlier. I think he will make a big difference for Team Canada in Sochi,” offered the centerman.

- Forward Dale Weise will face off against his former team three days after being traded to Montreal in exchange for Raphael Diaz.

“I’m excited. It’ll be a bit weird. I’ve never been traded before, so it’ll be special to play against my old teammates,” revealed Weise, who played ten NHL games with the New York Rangers before becoming a Canuck.

The newest Hab also warned against underestimating the strength of Vancouver’s roster. While the John Tortorella-coached team has struggled in the past weeks, it nevertheless has a core of All-Star talent and could break out at any time.

“They are dealing with a lot of injuries recently, but they’re a good team. It will not be an easy game for us,” insisted number 22, who made a good first impression on his first game in Montreal with three shots on net in a 2-0 victory over the Flames. “The Canucks have a lot of talent and it’s just a matter of time before they get going.”




POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.5.2014 / 2:05 PM ET
BROSSARD – The Canadiens held a practice at the Bell Sports Complex on Wednesday morning.

Carey Price, fresh off a shutout in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against the Calgary Flames, was first on the ice alongside Peter Budaj to work on drills with goalie coach Stephane Waite.

Speaking of the Flames, the team remained in Montreal and practiced at the other ice surface at the Bell Sports Complex.

Defenseman Davis Drewiske has been cleared for contact and skated with a regular blue jersey. He was paired with

Max Pacioretty, Douglas Murray and Travis Moen did not practice. Moen is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, while Pacioretty and Murray took a therapy day.

The morning session was an ideal opportunity for Olympics-bound players to break in new equipment. Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and Tomas Plekanec all debuted glove that they will be wearing while defending their countries’ colors in Sochi.



POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.4.2014 / 12:40 PM ET

- After a day off on Monday, the Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning ahead of their tilt against the Flames. Calgary is riding a season-high five-game winning streak, while the Habs have dropped two straight.

- All players were present and accounted for on Tuesday morning, expect for Travis Moen who did not take part in practice due to a lower-body injury. Moen will not dress against the Flames.

- Based on the pairings at practice, George Parros and Francis Bouillon will likely be healthy scratches against Calgary.

- After being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in exchange for Raphael Diaz, forward Dale Weise will make his Canadiens debut against the Flames. In the midst of his third full NHL season, the 25-year-old is ecstatic about the opportunity to suit up for the team he idolized as a kid. Now, he wants to show the Habs brass what he’s capable of.

“I’m excited to be here. I’m a hard-working guy. I want to bring some energy. I’m a reliable guy that can pitch in and maybe contribute some offense from time to time,” offered Weise, who will be paired with Michael Bournival and Ryan White against the Flames. “I think this is going to be a fresh start for me. I’m excited. It’s a new coaching staff. It’s a new organization. They’ll get to know what type of person I am, and what type of player I am, too.”

Head coach Michel Therrien believes Weise will be an imposing force in the Canadiens lineup, noting that the 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-winger will certainly be able to hold his own from a physicality standpoint.

“He fills a need for us with his physical presence. He’s very explosive on the ice, especially on the forecheck. That’s one of the reasons that we’re very happy to have acquired him,” underlined Therrien, who had the chance to sit down with Weise for a one-on-one chat prior to Tueday’s morning skate. “We told him that we want him to be himself and we want to make sure he’s playing his own game. He brings some speed, he’s good on the forecheck, he plays the wall well, and he’s got some size. He fills a need that we’ve been looking for.”

- For his part, White returns to the lineup after missing the last 14 games with an upper-body injury that he suffered back on Jan. 2 in Dallas. Needless to say, the 25-year-old is chomping at the bit to return to active duty against Calgary.

“It’s good to be back in the lineup. I’m excited to play. I just want to get out there and help my team,” indicated White, before offering up his thoughts on the acquisition of a player of Weise’s size and stature.

“The biggest thing is [Dale and I] want to help each other and contribute to our team’s success,” cited White. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup. We’re going to push each other to get better.”

- With the departure of Raphael Diaz, young Nathan Beaulieu will likely assume more responsibilities as the season rolls on. While the 21-year-old rearguard has impressed members of the Canadiens coaching staff with his stellar play in recent outings, he isn’t taking anything for granted at this point in his NHL career.

“Every day is a tryout for me. It doesn’t matter what [Marc Bergevin] decides to do. I’ve got to come in here and stay humble and treat every day like it’s a tryout, like it’s training camp,” stressed Beaulieu, who will play in his 14th game of the season for the Canadiens on Tuesday night. “I’m a young kid and I realize that they’re giving me a huge opportunity here, so the way I look at it is that every day is a tryout and I’ve got to work hard every day. I’ve got to prove that I deserve to be here.”

- Defenseman Davis Drewiske took part in the morning skate sporting a blue “no contact” jersey.

- Carey Price will likely make his 46th start of the season on Tuesday night.

- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Gionta - Plekanec  - Briere
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Prust - Eller - Bourque
Bournival - White - Weise

Gorges - Subban
Markov - Emelin
Beaulieu - Murray
Drewiske - Bouillon

Words From The Room - Feb. 4
Game preview: MTL vs. CGY
Laying it on the line

POSTED ON Friday, 01.31.2014 / 12:21 PM ET

- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Friday morning ahead of a pair of upcoming contests over the weekend. The Habs will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon before battling the Winnipeg Jets on Superbowl Sunday.

- Before practice, Carey Price and goalie coach Stephane Waite spent several minutes on the ice with a young hockey player who had the opportunity to take part in goaltending drills with the All-Star netminder as part of a Children’s Wish Foundation initiative.

- Brandon Prust did not take part in Friday’s on-ice session. He is suffering from flu-like symptoms.

- Ryan White practiced alongside his teammates for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury on Jan. 2 in Dallas. He was sporting a white jersey, indicating that he has likely been cleared for contact.

- Davis Drewiske was back on the ice again on Friday morning sporting a maroon “no contact” jersey.

- Christian Thomas took part in practice after being called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon. He skated alongside Rene Bourque and Lars Eller.

- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens against the Lightning on Saturday afternoon. He did not, however, indicate who would get the call against the Jets on Sunday. Price will be taking on Tampa Bay for the 20th time in his career. The Anahim Lake, BC native holds a 10-6-3 record, a 2.37 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage versus the Lightning.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Desharnais - Gallagher
Bourque – Eller - Thomas
Parros – Moen – Briere

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

POSTED ON Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 5:15 PM ET

The Canadiens recalled forward Christian Thomas from the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. He should join the team for practice in Brossard on Friday morning.

In 23 games with the Bulldogs in 2013-14, Thomas has racked up nine assists and 14 points.

POSTED ON Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 12:48 PM ET

BOSTON – The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the TD Garden ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Bruins.

Davis Drewiske, who is on the mend from a shoulder injury suffered in training camp, made the trip with the team and skated on Thursday morning.

Andrei Markov, who missed practice on Wednesday, was back on the ice with the team and will play against the Bruins.

Brian Gionta, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Douglas Murray and Rene Bourque opted for treatment and an off-ice workout rather.

The Habs will take on the Bruins for the second time this season, having won the previous meeting 2-1 at the Bell Centre on December 5 2013. This time, Peter Budaj will be in net, he who is 3-1-0 in five appearances against Boston in the course of his career. It will be his first start since January 8 in Philadelphia.

“It’s part of the plan that we’ve created with [goalie coach] Stephane Waite,” explained coach Michel Therrien regarding the decision to start Budaj over Carey Price, who posted a 36-save shutout in the team’s previous game, against Carolina. “We are coming up toward a stretch of four games in six days and it’s very important for us to manage Carey’s energy level so that he can be at his best when he plays.”

Other than the identity of the starting goaltender, Therrien confirmed that he will be going with the same line-up which brought his team the win on Tuesday against the Hurricanes.

Despite Boston scoring six goals in its three previous games, Brendan Gallagher believes in his team’s chances against on Thursday night.

“They come at your with all four lines and have been playing good hockey in front of their fans recently, but we’re going to show up and focus on what we need to do to win this game, things we do that make us successful” the right-winger offered. “We’ll need everyone to work together and play as a five-man unit.”

While Gallagher knows that the home team will throw everything they’ve got at him come game time, he relishes the opportunity to ply his craft in one of the toughest buildings of the NHL.

“I like this building and its atmosphere. Every game we play against the Bruins is emotional, it’s competitive; it’s a lot of fun,” revealed the second-year Hab.

One player intimately familiar with the intensity of the Montreal-Boston rivalry is defenseman P.K. Subban, the recipient of cheers and boos in equal measure when playing at the Bell Centre and the TD Garden respectively.

“I think we’ve done a great job of sticking together in the rough times this year,” acknowledged the reigning Norris Trophy winner, who has seen his team snap a four-game losing streak with a 3-0 win in its previous outing. “We’re just focusing on every game, taking it one step at a time and realizing that not everything will go the way we want all the time. I think we’ve responded well to adversity so far.”

For Subban, fighting for a win against the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins means having to play a controlled, disciplined game in all three zones.

“Last game, we played a good team game. The win was the icing on the cake, but mostly we played the right way and supported each other in all three zones. We were good on the breakout, our gap was tight in the neutral zone and we made sure to keep the pressure on. We did a lot of great things [against Carolina on Tuesday],” stated Subban.


Game preview: MTL @ BOS
On to the next one

Restoring order 

POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 12:42 PM ET

- The Canadiens skated in Brossard on Wednesday morning ahead of their afternoon departure for Boston where they’ll take on the Bruins on Thursday night.

- Defenseman Davis Drewiske skated alongside his teammates for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery in mid-October. He was sporting a “no contact” jersey and will accompany the team to Boston.

- Andrei Markov did not take part in the practice session on Wednesday morning. He was given a therapy day.

Lines and D pairings at practice:



POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 2:03 PM ET

Louis Leblanc has been reassigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs this afternoon. In three games with the Canadiens, the centerman obtained two shots on net while averaging over six minutes of icetime per game.

POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 12:14 PM ET
BROSSARD – The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday, hours before taking on the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre.

Forward Louis Leblanc was back on the ice after missing Monday’s practice due to the flu. After practice, the team announced that Leblanc would be returning to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Brandon Prust was the only player not to skate on Tuesday morning. He opted for a therapy session and will play against the Hurricanes.

Nathan Beaulieu, who practiced alongside Douglas Murray, is looking forward to making an even bigger mark on his team since being called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs ten days ago.

“I feel good. This has been my best stint with the Canadiens so far, and the big thing is to keep plugging away and keep getting better with every game. It’s a big game for us tonight. We want to get back to the type of good, sound hockey we’ve been playing for the past year and a half,” commented the Habs’ 2012 first-round pick, who has experienced his share of ups and downs in his two seasons as pro. “Last year was a tough year for the Bulldogs, so I’ve been both how much fun it is to win and how much it stinks to lose. It’s a learning experience. I want to be here and help the club through the tough times. I’ve been on some good teams in juniors, but losing streaks happen with any team. The biggest thing is to stick together.”

Having coached the offensive-minded blueliner on several occasions in the past two years, Michel Therrien believes his charge is definitely headed in the right direction in his most recent NHL stint.

“We know that Nathan’s got the skills to play in the NHL. He can skate and move the puck. The key is consistency. He has to prove to himself that he can play well game after game. So far, we’ve been pleased with what Nathan has accomplished,” Therrien offered.

The Habs’ coach also had encouraging things to say about another one of his young guns.

“Michael Bournival’s work ethic has not changed since the first game of the season. He’s a guy who competes hard and has an exemplary work ethic. Even if he is a rookie, he has been a leader in his way, by blocking shots and using his speed to create chances on the ice,” revealed Therrien about the 21 year-old’s contributions. Having firmly established himself as a team-first player in the first 50 games of his NHL career, Bournival is focused on helping his team reverse its recent skid.

“Playing sixty minutes of disciplined hockey is the key to success. Lately we haven’t been doing that so we’ll try to get back to that,” vowed the Shawinigan, QC native. “I think every team at every level goes through times where it’s hard to win a game. It’s up to us to work hard and make sure it turns around.”

Before wrapping up his game day press conference, Michel Therrien gave his impression on Tuesday night’s opponents.

“The Hurricanes is a team which works extremely hard. They have two good lines, centered by the Staal brothers. This give two powerful combinations which put a lot of pressure on their opponents,” emphasized Therrien. “Preparation is really important, and I felt that we had a good practice yesterday and a good skate this morning as well, which will help us be at our best tonight. The NHL is a league with a lot of parity among its teams. Every team has something to prove on a given night, and being well prepared is going to give us the best chance to succeed.”

Carey Price will start for the Canadiens. His counterpart on the Hurricanes will be Justin Peters.





Game Preview: Canadiens vs. Hurricanes
Notebook - Jan. 27, 2014

Iron will