GLENDALE – The Canadiens skated at Gila River Arena on Monday morning ahead of their game against the Coyotes. All players were on the ice for practice.
- Michel Therrien confirmed that Nathan Beaulieu will be back in action on Monday after missing Friday’s game with a lower body injury. The 23-year-old blue-liner left Tuesday’s game early after blocking a shot against the Lightning, but will suit up against the Coyotes alongside Tom Gilbert.
- Jacob De La Rose will get his first taste of NHL action since being called up from St. John’s on February 10. It will mark the 20-year-old forward’s fourth game of the season with the Habs and his first since January 26.
“I wanted to give Jacob a chance to play. I didn’t have a particular reason to take [Devante] Smith-Pelly out of the lineup,” explained Therrien of his decision to replace the gritty winger with De La Rose on the fourth line. “I spoke to [Devante] this morning about it. I wanted to give the kid a chance. I want the young guys to gain as much experience as possible.
“Jacob is a great skater. He really reads the play well defensively and he’s got a good stick to cut off plays,” continued the Habs bench boss. “We always want guys to create as much offensively as possible, and it’s the same for him, but you have to remember he’s a young player. He could have been playing in Junior last year, but instead he was here, playing NHL playoff games with us.”
Having spent the entire first half of the campaign in the AHL gaining some seasoning, De La Rose had four goals and 11 points in 30 games with the IceCaps earlier this year after missing significant time recovering from an upper body injury. He’s looking to make an immediate impact now that he’s back in an NHL lineup.
“First of all, the most important thing is that the team gets back to winning games. That’s all I care about. If I can help the team win, I’ll do the best I can,” said De La Rose, who will skate on a line with Torrey Mitchell and Dale Weise against Arizona. “We’re three hard-working guys so we need to be hard to play against and get pucks deep. I know what type of player I am. I know I’m not here to score a hat trick every game. For us on the fourth line, we need to be hard to play against and if we can help the team with some offense, too, that’s good.”
- After sitting out 12 consecutive games – and 44 since the start of the season – as a healthy scratch, Greg Pateryn played his 12th game of the campaign on Friday night in Buffalo, impressing his coach enough in his 13:48 of action to merit an encore on Monday in Arizona.
“Every game is important for me. At this point in my career, they’re even more important so you have to approach every game the same way,” confirmed the 25-year-old rearguard. “Every day, you’re hoping to improve and with every game you play you need to make sure you’re taking a step forward and not taking a step back, because as soon as you do you know there’s someone else waiting to take your spot. You have to improve every day whether you’re playing or not.”
Therrien confirmed on Sunday that Mike Condon would be between the pipes against the Coyotes. It will mark the rookie netminder’s second career start against Arizona after facing them on November 19 in Montreal.
Puck drop is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on RDS, Sportsnet East, TSN 690 and 98,5 FM.
PROBABLE LINES AND DEFENSE PAIRINGS FOR MONDAY’S GAME
De La Rose-Mitchell-Weise
Words from the room
Game Preview: Canadiens @ Coyotes Weekly overviewPractice notebook: Phoenix