- After a day off on Monday, the Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning ahead of their tilt against the Flames. Calgary is riding a season-high five-game winning streak, while the Habs have dropped two straight.
- All players were present and accounted for on Tuesday morning, expect for Travis Moen who did not take part in practice due to a lower-body injury. Moen will not dress against the Flames.
- Based on the pairings at practice, George Parros and Francis Bouillon will likely be healthy scratches against Calgary.
- After being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in exchange for Raphael Diaz, forward Dale Weise will make his Canadiens debut against the Flames. In the midst of his third full NHL season, the 25-year-old is ecstatic about the opportunity to suit up for the team he idolized as a kid. Now, he wants to show the Habs brass what he’s capable of.
“I’m excited to be here. I’m a hard-working guy. I want to bring some energy. I’m a reliable guy that can pitch in and maybe contribute some offense from time to time,” offered Weise, who will be paired with Michael Bournival and Ryan White against the Flames. “I think this is going to be a fresh start for me. I’m excited. It’s a new coaching staff. It’s a new organization. They’ll get to know what type of person I am, and what type of player I am, too.”
Head coach Michel Therrien believes Weise will be an imposing force in the Canadiens lineup, noting that the 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-winger will certainly be able to hold his own from a physicality standpoint.
“He fills a need for us with his physical presence. He’s very explosive on the ice, especially on the forecheck. That’s one of the reasons that we’re very happy to have acquired him,” underlined Therrien, who had the chance to sit down with Weise for a one-on-one chat prior to Tueday’s morning skate. “We told him that we want him to be himself and we want to make sure he’s playing his own game. He brings some speed, he’s good on the forecheck, he plays the wall well, and he’s got some size. He fills a need that we’ve been looking for.”
- For his part, White returns to the lineup after missing the last 14 games with an upper-body injury that he suffered back on Jan. 2 in Dallas. Needless to say, the 25-year-old is chomping at the bit to return to active duty against Calgary.
“It’s good to be back in the lineup. I’m excited to play. I just want to get out there and help my team,” indicated White, before offering up his thoughts on the acquisition of a player of Weise’s size and stature.
“The biggest thing is [Dale and I] want to help each other and contribute to our team’s success,” cited White. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup. We’re going to push each other to get better.”
- With the departure of Raphael Diaz, young Nathan Beaulieu will likely assume more responsibilities as the season rolls on. While the 21-year-old rearguard has impressed members of the Canadiens coaching staff with his stellar play in recent outings, he isn’t taking anything for granted at this point in his NHL career.
“Every day is a tryout for me. It doesn’t matter what [Marc Bergevin] decides to do. I’ve got to come in here and stay humble and treat every day like it’s a tryout, like it’s training camp,” stressed Beaulieu, who will play in his 14th game of the season for the Canadiens on Tuesday night. “I’m a young kid and I realize that they’re giving me a huge opportunity here, so the way I look at it is that every day is a tryout and I’ve got to work hard every day. I’ve got to prove that I deserve to be here.”
- Defenseman Davis Drewiske took part in the morning skate sporting a blue “no contact” jersey.
- Carey Price will likely make his 46th start of the season on Tuesday night.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
Gionta - Plekanec - Briere
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Prust - Eller - Bourque
Bournival - White - Weise
Gorges - Subban
Markov - Emelin
Beaulieu - Murray
Drewiske - Bouillon
Words From The Room - Feb. 4
Game preview: MTL vs. CGY
Laying it on the line