- The Canadiens held a full gameday practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday.
- Andrei Markov was the only player absent from the morning skate, although the veteran defenseman will be in uniform against the Hurricanes.
- No changes are expected to the Canadiens roster, as Lars Eller, Eric Tangradi, Bryan Allen and Mike Weaver should all be out of the line up once again on Tuesday night.
- Carey Price meanwhile, will be back in goal for the Habs, making his seventh straight start since December 1, and 18th career start opposite the Hurricanes.
- Coming off a tough four-game road trip earlier in December during which the team picked up just two of a possible eight points, the Habs are eager to continue making the most of a five-game homestand before closing out 2014 on the road.
“It’s important to take advantage of the time we have at home. Obviously coming off that road schedule was tough for us but now we have the opportunity to be at home, sleep in our own beds, be around family and friends, and use that to our advantage,” explained P.K. Subban, who has picked up four points in a pair of wins since returning to Montreal a week ago. “There are no excuses when you’re at home. We’ve had lots of time to rest and be prepared to play.”
Likewise, Max Pacioretty is also aware of the advantage that being home for the holidays can bring.
“We were in a bit of a funk there so it was nice to come home and play in front of our fans and be at home with our families,” agreed the Canadiens assistant captain who registered a goal and an assist against the Canucks on Tuesday. “There’s no excuse, we need to have results when we’re at home and tonight’s another good opportunity to build something off of our last couple of wins. If we can do that, we can continue to build confidence and get rolling.”
With the opportunity to now make it three in a row against a Carolina team which currently sits 29th in the standings, the Habs nevertheless insist Tuesday night will be business as usual.
“When it comes to these types of games, you have to be focused and ready to go from the start. It’s on us to do so,” added Subban. “It’s up to the players to make sure they’re mentally prepared for these games. Whether it’s a first place team or a last place team in our building or on the road, we have to be prepared to play the way we need to in order to have success.”
- Despite picking up three points in as many games since being called up from Hamilton almost two weeks ago, forward Sven Andrighetto for his part is focused on improving his play on both sides of the ice in order to permanently carve out his place on the roster.
“I’ve got to focus on my defensive zone play. My defensive zone play needs to be flawless,” acknowledged the 21-year-old winger following practice on Tuesday. “I’ve got to choose the easy plays, win my one-on-one battles, and be hungry for every loose puck… If I can do that, the results on offense will come on their own.”