BROSSARD – The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday morning, ahead of the evening match-up against the Vancouver Canucks.
- Forwards present were Daniel Briere, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller, Michael Bournival, Ryan White, Dale Weise and George Parros.
- Defensemen Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Davis Drewiske, Nathan Beaulieu, Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray also practiced.
- As of Tuesday morning, there are no projected line-up changes for the game against the Canucks. Carey Price will get the start, most likely against Olympic teammate Roberto Luongo
- With many fans keeping a close eye on the game contested between the two potential Team Canada starters, Canadiens right-winger Brendan Gallagher plans on doing what he can to help his goalie get the win.
“Price has been unbelievable this year. He’s at the top of his game and always getting better, even if it’s hard to imagine,” underlined the second-year NHLer. “It’s up to us to put together a good game in front of him and help him out. It’s a team effort that leads to wins.”
- Gallagher’s linemate David Desharnais was pleasantly surprised to hear that his friend and role model Martin St-Louis was named to Team Canada’s Olympic roster, in replacement for the injured Steven Stamkos.
“I’m really happy for him. It seems like he’s still getting better. With the kind of season he’s been having, I was surprised that he wasn’t selected earlier. I think he will make a big difference for Team Canada in Sochi,” offered the centerman.
- Forward Dale Weise will face off against his former team three days after being traded to Montreal in exchange for Raphael Diaz.
“I’m excited. It’ll be a bit weird. I’ve never been traded before, so it’ll be special to play against my old teammates,” revealed Weise, who played ten NHL games with the New York Rangers before becoming a Canuck.
The newest Hab also warned against underestimating the strength of Vancouver’s roster. While the John Tortorella-coached team has struggled in the past weeks, it nevertheless has a core of All-Star talent and could break out at any time.
“They are dealing with a lot of injuries recently, but they’re a good team. It will not be an easy game for us,” insisted number 22, who made a good first impression on his first game in Montreal with three shots on net in a 2-0 victory over the Flames. “The Canucks have a lot of talent and it’s just a matter of time before they get going.”