- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning ahead of their tilt against the Anaheim Ducks at the Bell Centre.
- Prior to the start of the on-ice session, Brendan Gallagher, Daniel Carr and Brian Flynn suited up in full equipment and skated with athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine. Following practice, Carr and Flynn even returned to the ice to take shots on Carey Price and assist in his rehab work.
- During Sunday night’s game against the Calgary Flames, head coach Michel Therrien elected to put Phillip Danault on the wing. On Tuesday, Danault was skating on a line with Michael McCarron and Stefan Matteau.
“I sat down with Phillip before the last game and I told him why I wanted to see him on the wing,” explained Therrien, who watched Danault pick up an assist on Michael McCarron’s first career NHL goal on Sunday. “A forward who can play different positions is a big asset for us. I think it was his first game on the wing, and he did well.”
For his part, Danault embraced the opportunity to try out something different.
“I didn’t expect to be playing wing when I got to Montreal, but at the same time, the more versatile you are, the more value you have as a player. That’s important for any team,” explained the Canadiens’ No. 24, who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on February 26. “I was still taking faceoffs, but to be able to play on the wing is good for my development.”
- P.K. Subban and David Desharnais skated alongside their teammates on Tuesday morning. They were, however, sporting light blue “no contact” jerseys during the on-ice session.
“We’re hoping to see certain players back over the course of the week,” said Therrien. “P.K. had a high-intensity workout with Pierre Allard. He looked good on the ice. In the end, it’s always the player – in conjunction with the doctors – who decides when they’re ready to return. He won’t play tonight, and I can’t guarantee that he’ll be back in the next game, either.”
- Despite their position in the standings, the Canadiens still have nine games left on their regular season schedule. For some players, especially the youngsters, the remaining contests represent an excellent opportunity to strut their stuff ahead of training camp next year. The veterans, meanwhile, also want to offer up solid performances, too.
“People think we come to the rink, collect our paycheque and go home and spend our money, but that’s not the case at all,” said captain Max Pacioretty. “We want to win. We want to be happy. We want to have good vibes at the rink. That’s definitely not the case. I wish people could see what goes on behind closed doors, the amount of work, the amount of stress, pressure. We want this in this room, even more so than people think. It’s not going to change with what’s being said about our team. That’s not the truth.”
- Bruce Boudreau’s contingent certainly represents a good challenge for the Canadiens on Tuesday night. Anaheim is currently in the midst of a five-game road trip that will see them make their way to Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton after tonight.
“This is a very good team we’re playing against tonight. It’s going to be a good test for us,” said Nathan Beaulieu, referencing Anaheim’s ranking as the top defensive squad in the league. “Obviously, our team looks a little different from the beginning of the year, but it’s just another opportunity. It’ll be a good challenge for us.”
The Canadiens will have to play a disciplined brand of hockey against Anaheim. Not only do they boast the best power play in the NHL, clicking 24.3 % of the time, but they also boast the league’s top penalty killing units, denying the opposition 87.3 % of the time, too.
- Mike Condon will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. It will be his 45th start of the season.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.
Words From The Room - March 22
Game Preview: Canadiens vs. Ducks
IceCaps report – March 21