- After enjoying a day off on Sunday following Saturday’s final preseason game, the Habs were back at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Monday for a morning practice.
- The entire team was on the ice at the Canadiens practice facility, including Lars Eller, who confirmed that he will be ready to suit up for Wednesday’s season opener in Toronto.
- Prior to the start of the morning skate, the team announced the release of defenseman Francis Bouillon. Thanking the organization and its fans during a press conference, the veteran blue liner admitted that he was at ease with the decision and was ready for both outcomes.
- Marc Bergevin also held a morning press conference to discuss his club’s most recent moves, acknowledging that the decisions surrounding Bouillon and goaltender Peter Budaj were difficult to make.
OFFENSIVE LINES AND DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS AT PRACTICE
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Parenteau
Galchenyuk - Plekanec - Gallagher
Bourque - Eller - Sekac
Prust - Malhotra - Weise
Bournival - De La Rose - Moen
Markov - Subban
Gilbert - Beaulieu
Weaver - Tinordi
- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate in Brossard on Saturday, ahead of the team’s preseason finale opposite the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre.
- Following Friday’s late return to Montreal from Ottawa, 17 players took part in the optional practice, led by coaches Clément Jodoin, Dan Lacroix and Stéphane Waite.
- Carey Price is expected to get his third full start of the preseason against the Senators. The Canadiens’ star netminder has allowed just three goals in two games since the start of training camp.
- The final game of the preseason schedule will also be a final chance for four Habs hopefuls to make their mark on the team’s coaching staff as defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi, and forwards Jacob De La Rose and Jiri Sekac are all expected to see ice time.
Despite the added pressure surrounding the exhibition contest, the European forwards are nevertheless taking the pending finale in stride.
“I think every practice and every game during this camp has been important,” explained De La Rose. “I’m just trying to show how good I am because that’s all I can do – play the best I can and see how far it takes me.”
His young linemate throughout camp shares a similar mindset.
“It’s really important, just like every game,” insisted Sekac, heading into his fifth preseason contest with the Habs. “I got to rest last night so I’ll be 100% tonight and play my best.
I’m happy that I’m still with the team at this point of training camp. I’ll do whatever it takes to stick with the team for the whole season.”
- Since the beginning of training camp, Manny Malhotra been getting better acquainted with his new teammates, paired in turn over the course of the past two weeks with Brandon Prust, Dale Weise and Travis Moen.
“Regardless of who you’re playing with, you always need to be ready, but between us four, any pairing seems to work,” said Malhotra, who played his previous two games on a line with Moen and Weise. “We play a simple style of hockey with a lot of forechecking. It works for us.”
Even if Malhotra knows that it’s still preseason, he's nevertheless aware of the fact that Saturday’s game will be a good preview of what’s to come on Wednesday in Toronto.
“Even though it’s a bit like a practice, we don’t really have an ON/OFF switch. A good part of our starting lineup will be on the ice tonight. It’s our final test before the season begins and we all want to do our best to show off what we’ve learned during camp in a game situation.”
Goaltenders : Tokarski, Price, and Budaj
Defensemen : Weaver, Beaulieu, Bouillon, Markov, Tinordi, and Dietz
Forwards : Sekac, Prust, Thomas, Moen, Eller, Bournival, De La Rose, and Malhotra.
From the room
- Canadiens players who are not taking part in the game against Ottawa on Friday night skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
- Those players suiting up against Ottawa did not skate on Friday morning, as they made their way to Ottawa by bus.
- Michel Therrien confirmed that Peter Budaj will get the start in goal on Friday. Carey Price will get the start on Saturday.
- The players taking part in the first game of the home-and-home series against Ottawa are:
- After besting the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Wednesday night in the Windy City, the Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday afternoon. They’ll close out their preseason schedule with a home-and-home series against the Ottawa Senators. Michel Therrien’s troops will travel to Ottawa for a tilt on Friday night, before battling Paul MacLean’s contingent again on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
- The Canadiens reassigned five players to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League on Thursday, including forwards Sven Andrighetto, Jake Dowell and Gabriel Dumont, and defensemen Davis Drewiske and Greg Pateryn. There are still 28 players at training camp (16 forwards, 9 defensemen, 3 goaltenders). The Bulldogs are currently holding training camp in St. John’s, Nfld.
- Lars Eller was absent from practice on Thursday. He was given a therapy day. For his part, training camp invitee Drayson Bowman did not take part in practice as he is currently in contract negotiations with the Canadiens.
- Carey Price was announced as the recipient of the Jean Beliveau Trophy for the 2013-14 campaign on Thursday. It is awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualities in the community.
- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Peter Budaj will get the start in goal against Ottawa on Friday night.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
De La Rose-Thomas-Bourque
- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex on Wednesday morning just ahead of their departure for Chicago where they’ll go up against the Blackhawks at the United Center on Wednesday night. Michel Therrien’s troops will return to Montreal immediately following the game in the Windy City.
- The Canadiens will field a lineup consisting primarily of young guns in Chicago, but several veterans will make the trip as well, including Brandon Prust, Rene Bourque, Dale Weise and Lars Eller. Youngsters Jiri Sekac, Sven Andrighetto, Jacob De La Rose, Christian Thomas, Jarred Tinordi, and Darren Dietz will also suit up on Wednesday night.
- Sven Andrighetto is one of several prospects currently battling it out for a spot up front. Set to make his third appearance of the preseason on Wednesday night in Chicago, the 21-year-old right-winger is taking things in stride as roster cuts loom in the coming days.
“You never know when it’s your last chance, so I’m going to go out there, do my best and have fun,” offered Andrighetto, who finished second in scoring for the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2013-14, registering 17 goals and 44 points in 64 games. “You’re always under pressure, but it just motivates you. It’s all about how you take it. I think pressure is a good thing. It pushes you harder, and makes you play your best.”
Andrighetto, who has one goal, two points and a plus-1 differential in two exhibition tilts thus far during the preseason, is eager to don the CH in Chi-town. The opportunity to play at the United Center is something the Zurich, Switzerland native has been looking forward to for some time.
“I’ve never played in Chicago, but I’ve heard about the building,” confided Andrighetto, who could hit the ice on Wednesday night on a line with Jacob De La Rose and Christian Thomas. “I’m actually really excited to play there. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
|RAW: Brandon Prust|
- Brandon Prust is one of just a handful of veterans who’ll go up against Joel Quenneville’s contingent on Wednesday night. The 30-year-old left-winger, who is just 31 games shy of reaching the 400-game mark for his NHL career, can’t wait to kick off the regular season campaign in just seven days’ time in Toronto, but he fully appreciates the importance of contesting preseason tilts.
“I think we’re all ready and we’re wishing the season would start right now, but those preseason games are good to get your timing back and get warmed up,” offered Prust, who is set to begin his third season in Montreal in 2014-15. “It allows us to make sure that we’ll be ready to go when the puck drops on October 8th.”
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. It will be his second straight start. Dustin Tokarski will serve as Price’s back-up. For their part, the Blackhawks will counter with Antti Raanta. The Finnish netminder will be making his second start of the preseason and will play the full game.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. EST.
Probable forward lines against Chicago:
De La Rose-Andrighetto-Thomas
- After a day off on Monday, the Canadiens returned to practice on Tuesday morning at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. The team will travel on Chicago on Wednesday afternoon for a preseason tilt against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center at 8:30 p.m. EST. Michel Therrien’s troops will return to Montreal immediately after the game.
- All 34 players remaining at training camp (20 forwards, 11 defensemen and 3 goaltenders) hit the ice on Tuesday morning on the South Shore, practicing as a group on the same ice surface.
- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that he will field a relatively young lineup against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night, and that Carey Price would get the start in goal.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Prust – Malhotra – Weise
Parenteau – Desharnais – Pacioretty
Sekac – Eller – Bourque
Moen – Bournival – Bowman – Thomas
Andrighetto – Dumont – De La Rose – Dowell
Markov – Gilbert
Weaver – Beaulieu
Emelin – Subban
Tinordi – Bouillon
Drewiske – Pateryn – Dietz
- Canadiens players still attending training camp were given the day off on Monday.
- After reassigning and/or releasing a total of 17 players on Sunday, the Habs’ brass elected to reassign goaltender Joey MacDonald to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Carey Price, Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski are the only netminders that remain with the big club. Twenty forwards and 11 defensemen are still taking part in training camp.
- The Canadiens will be back at practice on September 30th at the Bell Sports Complex before making their way to Chicago for a preseason tilt against the Blackhawks on October 1st.
- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Sunday morning ahead of contesting their preseason game against the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre. It was an optional practice for players who will suit up on Sunday evening.
- In the Canadiens’ last preseason outing on Friday night in Quebec City, head coach Michel Therrien fielded a relatively young lineup against the Colorado Avalanche. That won’t be the case on Sunday evening, however, as the Habs’ bench boss will give his regulars a chance to get back to work against the Capitals in front of the Bell Centre faithful. For their part, Washington has also elected to bring a host of veterans on the trip to Montreal, including Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Orpik, among others. That suggests that fans will be treated to a good matchup with the start of the regular season just 10 days away.
While Therrien’s troops are cognizant of which players they go up against on any given night during the preseason, they aren’t necessarily game planning around them, per say, focusing instead on fine-tuning their system and how they play as a cohesive unit.
“The fact that they’re coming to town with a veteran lineup doesn’t change anything for us. We don’t put too much thought in terms of who’s in the other lineup at this point in the season or throughout the entire season,” offered Manny Malhotra, who boasts 933 games of NHL experience. “Our mentality has to be on what we have in this room, how we play, the effort we bring and how we execute. You never really think about who they’re bringing to town. It’s all about us.”
Nevertheless, the 15-year NHL veteran fully expects Washington to bring their ‘A’ game come Sunday evening, even if it’s only a preseason matchup. It’s only natural given that the 2014-15 campaign is set to begin in early October.
“I think games automatically do step up. There’s that feeling of urgency as those games start winding down and game one of the regular season starts creeping closer,” confided Malhotra. “Guys get a little bit sharper. The intensity is upped out there. The physicality is upped out there. I don’t think anything needs to be said or spoken. It’s just something that happens.”
|RAW: P.A. Parenteau|
- After suiting up for both preseason tilts against the Avalanche, David Desharnais will get the night off against the Capitals. In his absence, Alex Galchenyuk will assume the veteran pivot’s spot at center between Max Pacioretty and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau.
“It will be fun to play with Galchenyuk. He’s had a good training camp up until this point, and he’s done some really nice things at center,” praised Parenteau. “That’s how training camp works. David played in Quebec the other night, and I think he deserves his day off. It will be fun. They’re different players. Patch and I are ready for that.”
Having spent the last two seasons competing in the Western Conference as a member of the Avalanche, Parenteau also chimed in on what impact he believes new Capitals head coach Barry Trotz will have in the District of Columbia.
“I think Barry Trotz will really change the identity and the overall strategy of the Capitals. He’s proven that his system works, and what he brings to the table has worked everywhere he’s been,” offered Parenteau, who went up against Trotz’s former club, the Nashville Predators, time and again during his stint in the Mile High City. “They’ll be a better team because of it. I don’t doubt that. It will only lead to good things for Washington down the road.”
- After being given the night off against the Avalanche on Friday, goaltenders Carey Price and Peter Budaj will be back in the lineup for the Canadiens on Sunday evening. Braden Holtby and Justin Peters could split time in goal for Washington.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. EST.
- After a pair of back-to-back wins over the Colorado Avalanche, the Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex on Saturday ahead of their tilt against the Washington Capitals on Sunday evening.
- Lars Eller returned to practice on Saturday after being sidelined due to injury. He centered a line with Jiri Sekac and Rene Bourque. Eller indicated that he's ready to return to active duty. He was unaware whether or not he would be in the lineup against Washington. For his part, Tomas Plekanec centered a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher.
- Peter Budaj donned a new mask at practice for the first time.
Forward lines and D pairings at practice:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Sekac – Eller – Bourque
Prust – Malhotra – Weise
Moen – Thomas – Bournival
Weaver – Beaulieu
Subban – Emelin
Markov – Gilbert
- The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Friday before traveling to the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City to take on the Avalanche.
- The players were separated into three groups at practice; Group A, Group B, and the group traveling to Quebec City.
- Brandon Prust, David Desharnais, Nathan Beaulieu and Nikita Scherbak will suit up for a second game in as many nights against the Avs, while a number of Habs rookies will also get to experience an NHL game at the former home of the Nordiques.
- Rene Bourque wasn’t at practice on Friday, benefiting instead from a day of therapy.
- Tim Bozon, who battled meningitis over the winter and is now at the Canadiens main camp, will play his first game in a Habs uniform in Quebec City.
“I’m extremely happy and proud. It’s another step in my rehabilitation. I think about my family and everything I’ve accomplished over the last five months. To wear the Canadiens uniform for the first time is an honor,” said the young forward who should be paired with Gabriel Dumont and Nick Sorkin. “I hope I can produce offensively and see how I stack-up to NHL competition. I’m an offensive player and that’s what the Canadiens are expecting from me, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m going to go out and have fun with my teammates.”
If being at camp at all is an accomplishment in itself for Bozon, then getting to play in an NHL exhibition game is an added bonus that the French left-winger is more than happy to undertake.
“I’ve always believed, but I also need to be realistic. I’m coming back from a lot. I told myself that when I’d get the chance to play in a game again, it would be a gift, and tonight it's finally happening.”
- While officially, it’s the Habs versus the Avalanche in Quebec City on Friday, some players are expecting to see more than a few Nordiques jerseys in the stands.
“I think it’s going to be intense tonight. I imagine the fans in Quebec will want to show their colors,” said Francis Bouillon ahead of his first game of the preseason. “Quebec has wanted a team for a long time now, and with a night like tonight, the atmosphere will be electric. I’m eager to see whose side the crowd is on. It could be half-half, but it’s been awhile since the Nordiques left for Colorado. I think the fans will be behind us, but it should be interesting to see.”