- The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday ahead of their tilt against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. Michel Therrien’s troops are looking for their fourth straight win.
- After being acquired from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, defenseman Sergei Gonchar took part in the morning skate in Brossard. He will make his Canadiens debut on Thursday night. The Habs’ bench boss, however, has yet to announce which defenseman will be a healthy scratch as a result.
- Gonchar met with head coach Michel Therrien prior to the morning skate. The pair discussed team systems, and the four-time All-Star indicated that he would meet with members of the coaching staff again during the day to review other aspects of team play.
- After arriving in Montreal on Wednesday evening, the Canadiens' newest No. 55 took his first strides at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday. Following the on-ice session, the 40-year-old rearguard shared his thoughts on his new teammates.
“It’s a good first impression. The team is skating well. At the same time, it’s tough to judge from the morning skate. I know how the guys have been playing. They’ve been playing very well this year. They’ve got good chemistry and they’re winning games. My goal is not to distract them,” offered Gonchar, who will play his fourth game of the 2014-15 campaign on Thursday night after being sidelined with an ankle injury until Nov. 4th. “This morning when I walked in, I was introduced to every one of them. It seems like it’s a very good group of guys, and they’re very close.”
- While Gonchar did not reveal the identity of his playing partner at even-strength, he did discuss the possibility of playing alongside countryman Andrei Markov on the power play.
“He’s a great player. He’s proven himself through the years. He’s a great guy. I’ve had the chance to play with him in international tournaments. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a pleasure,” praised Gonchar, who boasts 798 career points, 423 of which have come with the man advantage. “I got a sense of the power play this morning. It seems like they were missing that left shot. I think I’m going to be given the opportunity to play with Andrei, and I’ll be there for the one-timer with him.”
- P.K. Subban isn’t an NHL rookie by any means, but he wasn’t hiding the fact that he was somewhat awestruck when he first came across the Canadiens’ newest rearguard on Thursday morning.
“It’s just great. I was pretty pumped up. He sits beside me in the video room, so it was good to be able to offer him a seat and see him smile. I think he likes me, so that’s a good thing,” cracked Subban, who believes Gonchar will be an impact play right from the start in Montreal. “We’re very happy to have him. He’s going to make a huge difference for our team, especially on the power play. When you think of having threats like that on the blue line, it’s only going to help our team at even-strength and on the power play, so there’s no shortage of understanding of what he brings to our hockey club.”
- For their part, the Bruins are coming off a 6-1 loss at the hands of the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night in Toronto. That defeat snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak. Despite the fact that Claude Julien’s contingent will be playing its second game in as many nights, the Canadiens know full well that their opponents won’t be short on energy as they try to erase any and all memories of their most recent outing.
“It’s always tough when you play back to back, but when you lose like that, it’s unsettling. Everybody goes through it. We went through it a little bit earlier this year. Good teams find a way to play better, so I’m sure they’re not going to want to lose two in a row, especially coming off a loss like that,” stressed Subban, whose squad downed the Bruins 6-4 back on Oct. 16th in Montreal. “I’m sure they didn’t wake up on the right side of the bed. We know how the Bruins can get. They can get a little edgy sometimes. I’m sure it’ll be a very energetic game, and it’s always fun to play these types of games. We’re prepared to see their best game.”
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. It will be his 14th start of the year. The Anahim Lake, BC native boasts an 18-8-3 record, a 2.55 goals-against average, and a .918 save percentage in 30 career appearances against Boston.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360, RDS and NESN.
Projected forward lines vs. Boston:
Game Preview: Bruins @ Canadiens
Words From The Room - Nov. 13
Welcome aboard, Sergei!