- The Canadiens skated at TD Garden in Boston on Saturday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Bruins. It will mark the start of a tough stretch for Michel Therrien’s troops, as they will be playing three games in the next four nights on opposition ice.
- As announced on Friday prior to the team’s departure for Massachusetts, Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens, while Mike Condon will be between the pipes on Sunday night in Ottawa. Price has made 33 career starts against Boston, compiling a 21-8-3 record, a 2.38 goals-against average, and a .923 save percentage during that span.
- The Canadiens will not be featuring any lineup changes on Saturday night. That means that both Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi will be healthy scratches once again on defense, while newcomer Paul Byron will also be watching the game from the press box.
- During Saturday’s morning skate, the Canadiens focused their efforts on faceoffs and the need for wingers to support their centermen, too. The CH was a force to be reckoned with on draws last season, finishing fourth in the league in that department by coming out on top 52.1 percent of the time.
“Centermen aren’t the only people responsible for faceoffs. There are a lot of 50-50 situations where pucks come loose and our wingers need to help us out,” explained David Desharnais, who won just 29 percent of his draws during the season-opener in Toronto on Wednesday night. “That’s something everyone needs to be thinking about. We lost a lot of faceoffs last game. The pucks were loose in front of or behind us. As centermen, we need to do a better job, but we also have to work better as a unit of five.”
- Saturday night’s tilt at TD Garden will be the first of five regular season meetings between the Canadiens and the Bruins during the 2015-16 campaign. It’s a matchup both squads have marked on their respective calendars, especially with valuable points at stake in a highly competitive Atlantic Division.
“Any time we play Boston, it’s a playoff atmosphere. Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada, that brings out the best in our team, too. Regardless of who they have in their lineup, Boston-Montreal is always going to be a rivalry,” offered Dale Weise, referencing the noticeable changes the Bruins’ lineup underwent during the offseason, including the departure of tough guy Milan Lucic. “It makes our job a little easier without having him out there. He’s a horse to handle and you’ve always got to be aware when he’s on the ice. But, picking up [Matt] Beleskey, I know him from the West a little bit. He’s a big body. He plays hard. There’s also Jimmy Hayes who we saw a lot of in Florida. And, with a goaltender like Rask, similar to us, you always have a chance.”
While contests pitting Michel Therrien’s troops against Claude Julien’s contingent tend to get ultra-competitive and highly emotional, Weise says it’s all a part of what makes this particular matchup so unique and special.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a game that we’re playing out here. Emotions do get a little heavy. After games, people might say things that they regret later. At the end of the day, though, we probably sit around as a team and laugh about some of the stuff that comes up,” admitted Weise, who has two goals and four points in six career regular season games against Boston. “It’s all part of the game. Boston-Montreal rivalry. That’s what everyone wants to be a part of.”
- One line that certainly held its own in the Canadiens’ last outing was that of Brian Flynn, Torrey Mitchell and Devante Smith-Pelly. Even if they logged just 12 minutes of ice time, they still managed to give the Leafs’ defenders serious fits all game long by playing a physical brand of hockey and being aggressive with their forechecking.
“We’re all similar guys. They’re fast and they get in on the forecheck. Mitchy and I played a lot together last year, so we’re all pretty familiar with each other’s tendencies. It’s pretty easy for us to play as a group,” offered Smith-Pelly. “You know they’re going to dump it in and we’re going to have to get in and chase it and play physical on their defensemen. It’s easy for any of us to anticipate, keep our feet moving and get in and forecheck.”
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Probable lineup against the Bruins:
Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller – Alex Galchenyuk – Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann – David Desharnais – Dale Weise
Brian Flynn – Torrey Mitchell – Devante Smith-Pelly
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin – Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu – Tom Gilbert
Words From The Room - October 10
Game preview: Canadiens @ Bruins
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