PHILADELPHIA – The Canadiens held an optional morning skate ahead of Wednesday evening’s game against the Flyers.
George Parros, sidelined since late December with a concussion, practiced with his teammates and could play tonight.
“I’m cleared to play, I’m good to go, and it’ll be a game time decision tonight,” announced Parros after coming off the ice. The Habs could very well call upon him tonight, since the team is currently short on forwards with the injuries to Ryan White and Alex Galchenyuk. Neither made the trip down to Philadelphia.
Wednesday morning, forwards on the ice for the skate included Parros, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller, Brandon Prust, Travis Moen and Michael Bournival. They were joined by defensemen Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges, Douglas Murray, Alexei Emelin and Raphael Diaz. All others stayed back but are expected to be available against the Flyers.
Peter Budaj was the first goaltender off the ice, while Carey Price stayed to work on technique with goalie coach Stephane Waite. Budaj will make his eleventh appearance in 2013-14 against the Flyers.
Having centered a line with Alex Galchenyuk for the better part of the last two seasons, Lars Eller talked about the impact of losing the sophomore winger to a hand injury for the next six weeks.
“Alex is a big offensive guy for us, so we will miss him. But it’s a chance for other guys to step up and show that they can play. All in all, it shouldn’t affect our results on the ice too much, I think. Everybody is going to carry a little more, and we’ll be okay,” Eller offered. He pivoted a line with Rene Bourque and Michael Bournival on Monday against Florida after Galchenyuk left the game. The Dane also added his impressions on the Habs’ opponents on Wednesday.
“It’ll be a very hard game tonight. I haven’t gotten many points [here in Philadelphia] as far as I can remember. The Flyers play physical, they’re fast. I certainly don’t expect an easy game; we’ll have to focus on ourselves and what we can do. If we follow the game plan and bring a good effort, we’ll have a good chance to win,” Eller opined.
Carey Price will get a rare night off. The Habs’ starting goaltender was just named to Team Canada’s Olympic roster on Tuesday thanks to his strong play to start out the season, having allowed two goals or less in 23 of 35 starts so far.
“Going into this year, I wanted to be consistent. Finding that level was the priority for me. I don’t think the last week went as well as I wanted to, but everybody goes through that at some point in the season. Stephane Waite has done a good job at keeping my focus on the task at hand. We’ve done a lot of video to iron out issue and talk about how to manage situations better. Mentally, going through everything in my career so far has definitely made me stronger,” Price revealed. He currently holds a lower goals-against average and a higher saves percentage than in his previous seven NHL seasons (2.22GAA, .928sv%).
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