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Game Day - Wild - Nov. 1

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

- The Canadiens skated at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday morning ahead of their tilt against the Minnesota Wild.

- Prior to the start of practice, players lined up for a group photo alongside their guests who accompanied them on the Father & Son Roadtrip to Minnesota and Colorado. Twenty fathers were on site at the rink on Friday morning, along with countless sons, friends and relatives of Canadiens players and staffers.

For Brendan Gallagher, any opportunity to play in front of his father, Ian, is something the 21-year-old looks forward to. The Edmonton, AB native believes that having family and friends in attendance at the Xcel Energy Center provides added incentive for the players to put on a good show and pick up an all-important victory.

“You always want to play well, but when you have people that are very important to you and special to you and that meant a lot to your career, you want to bring your best. You want to show up, you want to play hard,” acknowledged Gallagher, who has five goals and eight points in 13 games thus far this season. “I know the guys in here will do that because each and every one has talked how much our dads gave up so much for us to be where we are today. So, tonight hopefully we can go out there and pay a little bit back to them and reward them with a win.”

- Brandon Prust and Daniel Briere, both of whom are sidelined due to injury but accompanied the team on the current road swing, did not take part in the morning skate in Saint Paul.

- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Carey Price will make his 12th start of the season for the Canadiens on Friday night. The Habs bench boss also confirmed that Peter Budaj will be between the pipes against the Avalanche to close out the road trip on Saturday night in Colorado. He also indicated that Max Pacioretty will likely make his return to the lineup against the Avalanche. The New Canaan, CT native had been sidelined since suffering a left hamstring injury in a tilt on Oct. 15 in Winnipeg.

- George Parros will make his much-anticipated return to the Canadiens lineup on Friday night against the Wild. Parros suffered a concussion on Oct. 1 in the season-opener against the Maple Leafs.

Back on the ice in the Twin Cities sans his trademark mustache, the 33-year-old is prepared to return to active duty.

“I feel lighter and quicker [without the mustache], but less manly,” joked Parros, who shaved off his mustache in honor of Movember prior to the team’s departure on Thursday. “I feel good. I’m at the point where I can get back to playing with confidence. I’m not going to rush it. That’s important when it comes to this type of injury. I’m ready to play.”

- Michel Therrien will be coaching across from a familiar face on Friday night in Wild bench boss, Mike Yeo. The pair spent seven years together in the Pittsburgh organization. Therrien has the utmost respect for his coaching counterpart, who also just happens to be the youngest coach in the NHL.

“We worked together in Wilkes-Barre. When I got to Pittsburgh, we moved up together. I really enjoyed my time with Mike Yeo. He’s got great work ethic. He’s a smart hockey mind. He’s really well-respected by his players,” offered Therrien. “I really enjoyed my time with him. I tried to help him and he certainly helped me, too. I’m really pleased with the success he’s had with the Wild. I knew that down the road he would eventually get a shot to be a head coach in the NHL.”

Game Preview: Canadiens @ Wild
Words from the room - Nov. 1

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