BROSSARD – In today’s notebook, Dale Weise opens up on Milan Lucic, Max Pacioretty discusses the power play, and Michael Bournival is Hamilton-bound.
Fond memories: The Canadiens are getting set for their home opener against the archrival Boston Bruins on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. After playing four straight games on the road to start the year, Michel Therrien’s troops will suit in front of 21,273 fans for what should be a tilt to remember.
“It’s all in the past. We’re starting a new season, and we’re trying to get back to playing the style that brought us success last season. As cliché as it sounds, we’re focusing on taking things one game at a time,” stressed Dale Weise, who didn’t shy away from adding a few words about the “incident” that occurred in the handshake line between himself and Bruins forward Milan Lucic following the Canadiens’ Game 7 playoff win in Boston last May.
“What incident are you talking about? I saw a few highlights on TV. I think it was blown out of proportion. I really don’t feel like spending any time talking about it,” offered Weise with a laugh, mentioning that he knew full well what to expect from the Bruins’ power forward. “That’s how he plays every night. I don’t think he’ll play any differently against us. He’s a guy that plays hard. He plays with intensity, no matter the opponent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play without intensity. He’s a tough guy to play against. ”
Fixing things: As of now, only six NHL teams haven’t managed to light the lamp on the power play during the 2014-15 campaign. Unfortunately, the Canadiens are one of those teams. Michel Therrien and his assistants are doing everything in their power to turn things around when it comes to the man advantage. Before the start of practice on Wednesday, the Canadiens spent about 30 minutes working on special teams on Brossard’s secondary ice rink.
“We don’t have a lot of time to work on our power play on the road. We played a game, arrived late in the next city, and we had to get started preparing for the next game,” confided Max Pacioretty. “I think we’re doing well on breakouts. I think our zone entries were excellent in Washington and Toronto. We need to work on a few parts of our power play. We have to work on entries, shots and puck control. If one of those areas isn’t up to par, the results won’t be there. We all need to be clicking to have success.”
Quick trip: Michael Bournival was assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs once practice came to an end on Wednesday. While some might view it as a demotion for the 22-year-old left-winger, it certainly provides him with an opportunity to play a few games before returning to the Canadiens in short order. During his post-practice press conference, head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that the Shawinigan native would rejoin his teammates next Monday in Montreal.
“We wanted to give him a chance to play over the weekend. It was an ideal situation for him. This gives him a chance to play two games and get back with us on Monday,” mentioned Therrien, who will see Bournival go up against the Toronto Marlies on Friday and the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday. “Michael Bournival is a depth player. Right now, we have a healthy lineup. It’s tough for him to get a spot in there. There are a bunch of young guys that we want to take a look at. Every time we’ve used Michael, he’s done well. He brings a lot of energy to the team.”
Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
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