BROSSARD – On Monday morning, the Canadiens held an optional practice at the Bell Sports Complex. As the team only returned from its road win in Buffalo in the wee hours of the morning, only a few players took to the ice for the workout.
- Present at practice were all three goaltenders currently on the Montreal Canadiens roster. Carey Price, Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski took turns facing shooters in two-on-one drills. Price looked especially sharp after getting a day off and will likely face off against a childhood hero Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
“Patrick Roy is obviously a special player,” Price said regarding the Avs’ head coach. “He was one of my favorite goalies growing up, and he was the favourite of many in my generation. It’ll be great to have a chance to play against him, even if it’s indirectly.”
After giving up four goals against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, Price shut the door and did just enough to help his team complete an unlikely comeback in his first start since the Olympics.
“Of course it’s challenging when you don’t play for a while. It’s all about timing,” acknowledged Price. “Playing fewer games due to the injury definitely could be beneficial toward the end of the season. Moving forward, it might help, but now I’m just focused on getting my timing back.”
Former Avalanche Peter Budaj also added his two cents about the visiting team’s head coach.
“He had a lot of success in juniors as a coach and I have heard a lot of good things about him from other players. Guys like playing for him because he knows how to motivate them and because he’s tough but fair. The Avalanche has played well offensively and defensively this season. It’ll be a good game tomorrow and we’re looking forward to playing them,” Budaj offered.
- After practice, the Canadiens assigned Michael Bournival to the Hamilton Bulldogs on a conditioning stint. Bournival is recovered from a concussion and will be ready to resume game action in the AHL.
“I was expecting the news a bit. I hadn’t played in a month and a half so it’ll be a chance for me to get back in shape and be ready to play. The American Hockey League is the best league in the world after the NHL, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the game,” Bournival revealed, he who had been out for over six weeks after being accidentally hit on the jaw by a teammate’s stick. While some may consider the move a temporary demotion, Bournival believes he’ll be back in Montreal in no time.
“Since the start of the year, I’ve been taking things one day at a time. Everytime I go on the ice, I try to get better as much as I can. I plan on doing the best I can, playing with intensity and forcing the coaches to give me more responsibilities,” Bournival insisted.