- The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday ahead of hosting the visiting Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre.
- Prior to the start of practice, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau skated with athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine. The 31-year-old forward, who has been sidelined with a concussion since January 16, also participated in some light contact drills. A timeline for Parenteau’s return however, remains unknown.
- Called up from Hamilton on February 5 for a second stint in Montreal, rookie forward Jacob De La Rose continues to make a case for a spot on the Canadiens roster. The 19-year-old Swede could play his fourth straight game with the big club on Tuesday, and head coach Michel Therrien has liked what he’s seen so far.
“He skates well. He’s always in position and his vision is good. Despite his young age he plays responsibly, which is rare,” praised the Habs’ bench boss. “It’s an encouraging sign for the future.”
De La Rose practiced with linemates Christian Thomas and Michael Bournival again in Brossard ahead of meeting the Flyers.
“It’s getting better and better for me up here. I’m getting to know the guys, and getting comfortable with my linemates. I feel good,” underlined the six-foot-two, 190-pounder who has averaged 11:09 of ice time thus far into his burgeoning NHL career. “The players are a lot better than the minors. I need to stay focused every shift because anything can happen.”
- Defenseman Mike Weaver and forward Manny Malhotra remained on the ice with assistant coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault following practice, suggesting the two will sit out Tuesday’s game as scratches and leave Sunday’s lineup from Boston intact.
- Although 17 points separate Montreal and Philadelphia in the standings, the Canadiens are approaching Tuesday’s game like any other.
“Tonight’s game is an interesting one. The Flyers are in the middle of a late-season playoff push. They’ve got a lot of talented forwards and an excellent power play. We’ve got a tough test ahead of us versus a team which has been playing well as of late,” acknowledged Therrien of the Flyers, who despite being nine points out of the East’s final playoff spot, have won five of their last six.
Discipline will be key against a Philadelphia team which arrives in Montreal with a 23.7% power play efficiency, ranked third in the NHL. Fortunately, recently history suggests that shouldn’t be a problem for the Habs, who have taken just four penalties over their last four games, while staying out of the box entirely during a hard-fought win in Boston on Sunday.
“We need to stay disciplined and that’s something that we try to do. We always want to be aggressive, but there’s a fine line that exists between also being undisciplined. I think the guys have gone a good job of respecting that so far,” continued Therrien.
- Named the NHL’s third star of the week on the strength of a six-point haul over his past three games, David Desharnais addressed the news for the first time on Tuesday, crediting his teammates for the honor.
“It’s cool to be recognized, but a season is made up of highs and lows. We’re riding high right now,” explained the 28-year-old forward, whose nomination also earned him a collective team-wide stick tap prior to the start of practice.
“It’s a nice honor, and I’m happy for him,” added Therrien. “He’s a guy with a good attitude who always works hard. We’re all proud of him. He deserves it.”
- The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell Centre, live on Sportsnet East and RDS.
Offensive lines at practice
Weise – Desharnais – Pacioretty
Gallagher – Plekanec – Galchenyuk
Sekac – Eller – Prust
Bournival – Jacob De La Rose – Thomas