BROSSARD – On Monday morning, a few Canadiens players took part in a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex, hours before Game 2 against the Rangers
- Daniel Briere, Dale Weise, Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Carey Price were the only players not on the ice for the optional workout.
- Dustin Tokarski was in the net usually occupied by Carey Price at practice. Peter Budaj remained at his usual visiting side goal.
- After practice, coach Michel Therrien had some bad news to share with those present at the team training facility.
“Carey Price will not be available for Game 2, nor will he be able to play for the rest of the series against New York,” announced Therrien. Price had suffered a lower-body injury after being run into by the Rangers’ Chris Kreider in the second period of Game 1. “We are losing our best player, but we have faced adversity this year already.”
The Habs’ head coach did not announce who will start on Monday night, though he did say that his decision regarding the starter has already been made. In nets for the home team at the Bell Centre will either be dependable backup Peter Budaj, who is 10-8 on the season, or former AHL champion and World Junior gold medalist Dustin Tokarski.
- Assistant captain Josh Gorges gave his thoughts on what his team must do better in Game 2 against the Rangers.
“Everything. We have to get back to playing our brand of hockey. We have to be first on puck, play hard and impose our style. We can’t sit and watch the game and let the Rangers dictate,” insisted Gorges, whose team allowed a playoff-high seven goals, including three on the penalty kill, on Saturday afternoon. “Refocusing was the priority. Win or loss, you try to figure out what you did well, what you can do better and get your mind right for the next game. We’re excited about playing a big game tonight.”
“Systems are one thing. You have to be on the same page, but at this time of the year, it comes down to who wants it more in the battles in the corner and the battles in front of the net,” the defenseman added. “That’s what makes the difference. It’s a state of mind and we want to get back to that.”
- Like Gorges, veteran Mike Weaver believes that taking care of details can add up to a big swing in momentum in the series.
“I don’t think it was one thing which caused the Game 1 outcome. I think it was a lot of little things which added up to the final result,” offered the 36 year-old. “We’ve gone over it the last two days and focused on the things we’ve done right in the Boston series and the Tampa series. As long as we’re moving forward with that then we have a chance against New York.”
- Sniper Thomas Vanek figures to be a big part of the Habs’ offense going forward. The Austrian saw his team being outshot 28-22 in the series opener and will look to generate more scoring chances off the rush in Game 2.
“It’s an adjustment coming from the Bruins. The Rangers play a similar style as us, with a lot of quickness and puck movement. We didn’t do that in Game 1 and we have to get back to using our speed.”
Jack Han is a writer for canadiens.com.