- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning ahead of their game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre. Following the game, the Canadiens will fly to Buffalo where they’ll take on the Sabres on Wednesday night at the First Niagara Center.
- Tuesday night’s game will mark the first meeting between goaltending coaches Stephane Waite, and his brother, Jimmy, who joined the Blackhawks prior to the 2014-15 campaign. While Stephane will be monitoring the work of Carey Price, Jimmy will be paying close attention to Corey Crawford. Price has played four career games against Chicago. He holds a 3-1-0 record, a 1.49 goals-against average, and a .953 save percentage during that span.
- Head coach Michel Therrien decided to make several changes to his lineup ahead of the tilt against Chicago. Michael Bournival will play his first game of the season. He will take Travis Moen’s place in the lineup. For his part, Jiri Sekac will also be a healthy scratch.
“I’m excited. I’ve been preparing to play since the start of the year. I feel ready,” offered Bournival, who played 60 games with the Canadiens last season. “You have to stay positive. I kept telling myself that I’d get a chance to play. It’s happening, and it’s up to me to seize the opportunity.”
And, Bournival’s teammates are excited to see the 22-year-old take to the ice against Chicago after a few stints with the Hamilton Bulldogs to stay in game shape.
“I hope he can create a spark,” mentioned Lars Eller, who should center a line flanked by Rene Bourque and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau. “We know that he’s going to bring energy and enthusiasm. We know what we’ve got in Bourney, and I’m sure he’s going to bring his “A” game.”
- The Canadiens have put the lopsided loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames behind them. That’s a good thing considering a game against one of the NHL’s perennial powerhouses in the Chicago Blackhawks is on tap on Tuesday night. So, are Michel Therrien’s troops ready to give everything they’ve got to best a team that is widely considered among the best in the league? The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
“After you’ve been embarrassed like that, there’s so much pride in the room that I’m confident we’re not going to repeat the performance we put on last game at home,” stressed Lars Eller, who scored his second goal of the season in Sunday night’s 6-2 loss to Calgary in Montreal. “I say that from experience from the past. Even last year, I think we were good at responding, even when we had difficult periods or difficult games. There’s a lot of pride in this room, and I’m sure we’re going to come out and play the right way.”
Needless to say, Joel Quenneville’s contingent won’t make things easy for them. The Canadiens are well aware of Chicago’s capabilities at both ends of the rink, and they aren’t taking their latest opponents lightly despite the fact that the Blackhawks have struggled out of the gate this season with just six wins in their first 12 games.
“They’re a great team. We know what they’ve accomplished over the past couple of years. We know what type of players they have on that team. They have a dynamic group,” offered P.K. Subban, who should be paired with Andrei Markov on Tuesday night. “But, we can’t focus on them. We need to focus on our group and what we can control. That’s how we play. If we play our team game and we play our system right, we’ll be just fine.”
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on RDS and Sportsnet East.
Projected lineup vs. Blackhawks:
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Making his point