- The Canadiens held a game day skate on Saturday at the Bell Centre, ahead of hosting the New York Rangers in a rematch of last spring’s Eastern Conference Final.
- Saturday’s game marks a milestone for Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien, even if the Habs’ bench boss insists he isn’t paying it much attention, focusing instead on the two points at hand. “I didn’t even know it was my 600th game until someone told me yesterday after practice,” offered the 50-year-old. “Every coach wants two things when they get started in this league, to have a long career and to win a Stanley Cup. This is a milestone for me and it proves how quickly time flies, but what I’m most appreciative of is all the amazing people I’ve have the opportunity to work with so far.”
- Saturday’s game also marks the first between the Habs and the Rangers since Montreal fell in six games to New York last spring, but talk of the NHL’s newest rivalry may be premature. “Every game against an Original Six team is special,” acknowledged Therrien. “Whether it’s the Rangers, Toronto, Boston, or even a team we don’t see often like Chicago, they’re always special games. Last year is in the past. They’re a different team and so are we. It’s tough to say whether it’s a rivalry, but one thing that I can say is that we’re playing against a good hockey team who went to the Stanley Cup Final and we have a great challenge ahead of us.”
- Having previously worked with the Rangers as an assistant coach a season ago, Therrien may look to his newly appointed assistant Dan Lacroix for the edge on Saturday night opposite their Eastern opponents. “He knows them well, so we’ll lean on his expertise tonight, but there aren’t many secrets in the NHL,” admitted the Habs bench boss. “Regardless of which team we’re facing, we spend hours preparing our game plans. Both teams will be well prepared.”
|Michel Therrien and Alain Vigneault talked to 700 coaches during the Tim Hortons Coaching Day. |
- No changes are expected to the roster as the Habs look to be sticking with Tuesday’s winning lineup. “I have no reason to take Dale Weise [who replaced Jiri Sekac last game] out. I really like his speed and his play around the net. Travis Moen is also doing excellent work. I like his speed. I can play him during five on fives or on special teams. He’s doing an excellent job on the penalty kill with Malhotra.”
- Carey Price will get his seventh start of the season on Saturday and his first against the Rangers since suffering a season-ending injury opposite New York in Game 1 of last spring’s Eastern Conference Final. Price holds a 2.06 GAA and 0.934 save percentage against Alain Vigneault’s squad.
- The Canadiens donned their purple jerseys at practice on Saturday in support of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. To learn more about the Canadiens’ efforts to promote public awareness and raise funds for organizations involved in cancer care and research in North America, click here.
- The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. and fans are reminded that due to newly reinforced security measures, backpacks are no longer permitted at the Bell Centre. Reentry will also no longer be permitted once entering the Bell Centre.
From the room
Game preview: Canadiens vs. Rangers
The Canadiens offer support to the fight against cancer