- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at TD Garden ahead of Game 7 against the Bruins on Wednesday night. All players were on the ice, with the exception of Carey Price, Alexei Emelin and P.K. Subban.
- Alex Galchenyuk participated in his first full practice with the team since suffering a lower body injury on April 9 against the Blackhawks. He was wearing a blue non-contact jersey on Wednesday morning.
- Eight Habs could play in their first career Game 7s on Wednesday night, including Nathan Beaulieu, Michael Bournival, Rene Bourque, David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, Dale Weise and Emelin. Captain Brian Gionta leads the Canadiens in the rubber match experience department, having racked up four points in six career Game 7s.
- After being forced to watch the team’s most recent Game 7 in Boston in 2011 from the sidelines while recovering from a knee injury, Josh Gorges has won all three Game 7s he’s taken part in during his career and he can’t wait to put that undefeated record on the line on Wednesday night.
“Any time you get to a Game 7, the excitement of it never goes away. It’s a game you want to be in. You want to be playing this game. You want to be a guy that contributes and helps the team get this win,” shared Gorges, who helped lead the Habs to victory in Game 7 against the Bruins in 2008 and the Capitals and Penguins in 2010. “We’re excited as a group about the challenge tonight. It’s going to be a hard-fought game and it’s going to take everything we’ve got from every player we’ve got in this room.”
- Game 7s between the Bruins and Habs have become a regular occurrence in the springtime, with the two teams set to face off in a seventh game in a best-of-seven series for the ninth time in NHL history. Montreal has gotten the better of Boston in those games historically, carrying a 5-3 record into the 2014 edition of the postseason Game 7 matchup.
“This is what we play the game for. Both teams are in a do-or-die situation and you’ve got two teams that have been bitter rivals for years,” described the Canadiens’ assistant captain. “Neither team wants to go home and neither team wants their season to end, so you get the best of both teams. It’s going to be a tough game, but it’s going to be a lot of fun to be a part of.”
- Despite being hours away from taking part in his first Game 7 from behind the bench, Michel Therrien isn’t battling butterflies heading into Wednesday’s game. After watching his troops respond to adversity with a convincing 4-0 win in Game 6 to tie the series, the coach knows what to expect from his team heading into TD Garden.
“I’m excited and I’m looking forward to tonight’s game. We had the same mindset before the last game that we do now,” he confirmed. “We have a good attitude and I can see great chemistry with our players. I saw them yesterday and again this morning and they have a great attitude.”
- No one in the Habs dressing room stepped up his game on Monday night to help stave off elimination more than Carey Price, who recorded his first shutout of the 2014 postseason in Game 6. Carrying a 1-1 record in previous Game 7s – including a stellar 1.91 goals-against average and .932 save percentage – into Wednesday’s game, the All-Star netminder has been leading by example throughout the playoffs and his head coach expects that trend to continue on Wednesday night.
“He sent a message in the last game with the way he played. He’s a leader on this team and he was a leader for Team Canada when he won the gold medal,” stressed Therrien on the 2014 Olympic champ, who has a .922 save percentage through 10 games in the 2014 Playoffs. “When the players see that, it gives everyone confidence. I think the message he has to send has already been sent. For us, Monday was a Game 7 and we’ll carry that experience with us.”
- The Canadiens may be facing the Bruins in Game 7 nearly 500 km away from home, but they won’t be without the support of the Bell Centre faithful when the puck drops in Boston. Opening the doors for a special viewing party back home, the organization will welcome a full house to watch the game on the Bell Centre scoreboard after selling out tickets to the event a few hours after they went on sale on Tuesday afternoon, with all proceeds benefitting the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
“I guess it shouldn’t surprise me but it kind of does a little bit,” admitted Gallagher of the team’s ability to pack the building to watch the Habs play on TV. “That’s what you get with the Montreal Canadiens. You get the passion from the fans and it feeds us as players. Obviously we put a lot of importance on this game and so do they. Hopefully we can put on a good show. You have to really play like it’s your last shift and like there’s no tomorrow. You just have to work as hard as you can. It sounds simple, but if you go out and do that every shift you give yourself a good chance to win.”
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EDT at TD Garden.
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