Canadiens training camp officially came to a close on Wednesday, as the Habs practiced one final time at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard before flying to Buffalo for Thursday's regular season opener.
- Prior to the start of practice it was announced that Carey Price -- still sidelined with the flu -- would not travel with the team to western New York.
"Unfortunately, he caught the flu and everyone reacts differently to medicine. He caught a nasty bug, as we're seeing now. He's day-to-day. There's a chance he'll join the team in Ottawa on Friday, but he'll have to be healthy," clarified Michel Therrien during his post-practice press conference. "It's too bad, but there's nothing we can do about it."
"That's hockey -- there will be setbacks," continued the Canadiens head coach. "We all would have liked for Carey to be between the pipes for the first game. Not only us, but our fans too. It's just going to be a matter of time now."Video: Therrien shares an update on Price
- Al Montoya will thus make his Habs debut slightly sooner than originally expected.
"The start was going to come sooner or later, but it's here now and I'm excited. I'm ready for it -- this is what I've been preparing for," underlined the 31-year-old netminder, who learned the news at practice. "I'm looking forward to stepping onto the ice with this group."
Montoya holds a 3-0-2 career record against the Sabres, earning points in all five outings to date.Video: Al Montoya on getting the start in Buffalo
- In Price's absence, former Rouyn-Noranda Huskies goaltender Francis Gaudreau was the backup at practice.
- As on Tuesday, Jeff Petry skated solo with assistant athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine prior to the start of practice. Therrien later announced that while Petry will not play in Buffalo, he will make the trip and could be in uniform against Ottawa on Saturday.
- In the meantime, Greg Pateryn will fill in for Petry opposite the Sabres, and will be partnered with Andrei Markov on the blue line.
"He had a very good camp. We're confident in his abilities, and we aren't afraid to utilize him with Andrei," shared the Habs bench boss.
- Projected forward lines and defensive pairings @ Buffalo
Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen - Tomas Plekanec - Alexander Radulov
Daniel Carr - David Desharnais - Andrew Shaw
Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Phillip Danault
Nathan Beaulieu - Shea Weber
Andrei Markov - Greg Pateryn
Alexei Emelin - Mikhail Sergachev