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Game Day - Avalanche - September 25

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

- The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday, ahead of the team’s second pre-season game of 2014-15 opposite the Colorado Avalanche.

- Despite missing practice due to tests, Greg Pateryn should be in the line-up for the Habs on Thursday night. He’ll likely be paired with Davis Drewiske, while Francis Bouillon, who practised with Drewiske in the morning, would be the man out.

- Mike Weaver, for his part, will be paired with Nathan Beaulieu, and the 12-year NHL vet isn’t taking his role as a mentor lightly.

“[It’s going] great. He’s pretty offensive. [...] I think he’s a great skater and great with the puck. He’s learning from a pretty good player who’s teaching him the ropes. That’s what I always found in my first year in the pros, that being around the older guys really helped me out the most,” underlined the veteran defenseman with 602 games of NHL experience under his belt. “[We need to keep] it simple. It’s going to be our first game and the first game is always the toughest to get your legs going and to get into it for three full periods. Just keeping it simple, and for him, to get in on the play at every opportunity and create some offense while being responsible on the defensive side.”

- Rookies Charles Hudon and Nikita Scherbak will both be in the line-up against the Avs. Hudon should center a line flanked by Travis Moen and Michael Bournival, while Scherbak should be reunited with his scrimmage linemates Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk.

Playing his second pre-season game with the Canadiens, Hudon intends to continue impressing the Habs brass one game at a time.

“My goal was to play two games. I’ve achieved that, so now I want more and I want to stand out from the crowd,” said the Canadiens 122nd-overall pick from the 2012 NHL Draft. “I’ve been part of the youth movement here. Marc Bergevin said after his first draft that he wanted to make more room for young players. We’ve seen it with Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher and Michael Bournival. A lot of young guys are making places for themselves and opening the eyes of the coaching staff. Now it’s my turn to prove that I belong here as well.”

Although Hudon admits the competition has been fierce so far, he’s also been getting some help from the club’s veterans.

“When you’re at rookie camp, everyone’s young, so when you get to the main camp and see the pros, you put them on a pedestal. When they come up and approach you first, it helps put you at ease. The veterans have really been there for us,” explained the 20-year-old who has been learning the ropes from face-off specialists Tomas Plekanec and Manny Malhotra. “I’m always trying to learn new things. I’m not totally comfortable yet, but the harder you work, the more comfortable you become.”

- As mentioned by Michel Therrien during his press conference on Wednesday, Carey Price is set to start the first half of Thursday’s game before trading places with Peter Budaj on the Canadiens bench.

Offensive lines and defensive pairings at practice:

Moen – Hudon – Bournival
Parenteau – Desharnais – Pacioretty
Gallagher – Galchenyuk - Scherbak
Weise – Malhotra - Prust
Weaver – Beaulieu
Bouillon (Pateryn) – Drewiske
Emelin – Subban

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