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