- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate in Brossard on Saturday, ahead of the team’s preseason finale opposite the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre.
- Following Friday’s late return to Montreal from Ottawa, 17 players took part in the optional practice, led by coaches Clément Jodoin, Dan Lacroix and Stéphane Waite.
- Carey Price is expected to get his third full start of the preseason against the Senators. The Canadiens’ star netminder has allowed just three goals in two games since the start of training camp.
- The final game of the preseason schedule will also be a final chance for four Habs hopefuls to make their mark on the team’s coaching staff as defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi, and forwards Jacob De La Rose and Jiri Sekac are all expected to see ice time.
Despite the added pressure surrounding the exhibition contest, the European forwards are nevertheless taking the pending finale in stride.
“I think every practice and every game during this camp has been important,” explained De La Rose. “I’m just trying to show how good I am because that’s all I can do – play the best I can and see how far it takes me.”
His young linemate throughout camp shares a similar mindset.
“It’s really important, just like every game,” insisted Sekac, heading into his fifth preseason contest with the Habs. “I got to rest last night so I’ll be 100% tonight and play my best.
I’m happy that I’m still with the team at this point of training camp. I’ll do whatever it takes to stick with the team for the whole season.”
- Since the beginning of training camp, Manny Malhotra been getting better acquainted with his new teammates, paired in turn over the course of the past two weeks with Brandon Prust, Dale Weise and Travis Moen.
“Regardless of who you’re playing with, you always need to be ready, but between us four, any pairing seems to work,” said Malhotra, who played his previous two games on a line with Moen and Weise. “We play a simple style of hockey with a lot of forechecking. It works for us.”
Even if Malhotra knows that it’s still preseason, he's nevertheless aware of the fact that Saturday’s game will be a good preview of what’s to come on Wednesday in Toronto.
“Even though it’s a bit like a practice, we don’t really have an ON/OFF switch. A good part of our starting lineup will be on the ice tonight. It’s our final test before the season begins and we all want to do our best to show off what we’ve learned during camp in a game situation.”
Goaltenders : Tokarski, Price, and Budaj
Defensemen : Weaver, Beaulieu, Bouillon, Markov, Tinordi, and Dietz
Forwards : Sekac, Prust, Thomas, Moen, Eller, Bournival, De La Rose, and Malhotra.
From the room