- The Canadiens skated at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Monday morning ahead of their tilt against the Oilers. Michel Therrien’s troops are looking for their fifth straight win, while Dallas Eakins’ contingent is riding a three-game winning streak.
- Dustin Tokarski will make his second start of the season on Monday night. The 25-year-old netminder picked up the win in his only other start of the year back on October 9th in Washington.
“Coming in, we knew full well that Dustin would play one of the two games in Alberta. We took many things into consideration when we decided to go with him in Edmonton. The fact that he comes from Saskatchewan is one of the factors, but it’s not the only one. We’re sensitive to those types of things,” offered Therrien. “It’s a new role for him. He has to adjust to it. If we don’t give him a chance, we won’t know if he’s capable of doing it. That’s one of the reasons why we went with him as our backup after training camp. Every time we put a challenge in front of him, he meets it head on. It’s a new challenge, but we have confidence in him.”
- While the Canadiens’ bench boss won’t feature any changes up front against Edmonton, he did elect to make a move on the back end. Nathan Beaulieu will see NHL action for the first time since October 13th. He will take Jarred Tinordi’s spot in the lineup.
“Tinordi was playing good hockey, but we wanted to give Nathan a chance to play an NHL game. He did well to start the year with us. He just played two AHL games with the Bulldogs over the last few days. We’re going up against a team that’s fast and that likes to skate. That’s one of the reasons we decided to go with Nathan,” confided Therrien. “We’ll go ahead and make other decisions, as needed, for the game on Tuesday against Calgary.”
- Monday night’s tilt marks the 300th NHL game of Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau’s career. The 31-year-old right-winger, who was acquired by the Canadiens in late June in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche, is enjoying a good start to the season with two goals and five points in eight games.
“It’s pretty exciting to reach 300 games in the league. I don’t think many people would have thought that I’d reach this milestone when I was 26 years old and I was still playing in the AHL,” admitted the seven-year NHL veteran, who also previously suited up for the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and New York Islanders over the course of his career. “The message that I’d like to put out there is that you must never lose faith in yourself. I was almost 27 and I was still playing in the minors before I managed to break through with the Rangers. Now, I’m playing my 300th game and I’d like to tell youngsters never to give up hope. If they have faith in their abilities, anything is possible.”
- The Canadiens’ annual road trip out to Western Canada provides a perfect opportunity for sniper Alex Galchenyuk to meet up with good friend Nail Yakupov, who, like Galchenyuk, is now in his third season in the NHL.
“We played together in Sarnia, and we’ve been good friends since then. I’m sure he wants to beat me, and I want to beat him. Hopefully, it will be a fun game,” offered Galchenyuk, who has three goals and seven points in eight games thus far this season. “He invited me over for dinner on Sunday night. He picked me up. It was great. We talked about the season and how the summer went.”
- Rene Bourque is still seeking his first goal of the 2014-15 campaign, and the City of Champions might just be the perfect spot for the Lac La Biche, AB native to light the lamp. Bourque has enjoyed plenty of success against the Oilers over the course of his career. In fact, he leads all current Habs with 10 goals and 20 points in 27 career games against Edmonton.
“It’s been a while since I’ve scored a goal. I’m looking to get on the board here, and hopefully it happens on Monday night,” mentioned Bourque, before going on to praise the manner in which his line featuring Lars Eller and Dale Weise has been clicking as of late. “Our line is coming off a good game against New York. Weise has been a good addition on the right side. He’s kind of simplified our line a little bit, and we’ve been playing better. We haven’t been scoring as much as we wanted to lately, but I think we’ve been getting a lot more chances. That’s a good sign.”
- Puck drop is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. EST.