BROSSARD - The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Wednesday morning in preparation for their game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre.
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens on Wednesday night, while the Canucks will counter with Ryan Miller. Price boasts a 6-2-2 record in 11 career appearances against Vancouver, along with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.
- Michel Therrien's troops will go in search of their eighth straight win and look to remain the only undefeated team in regulation time so far this season. For their part, the Canucks will be trying to snap a five-game winless streak that includes four straight defeats as they begin an extended six-game road swing.
With the Canucks' struggles in mind, the Canadiens know full well that their opponents on Wednesday night will be doing everything they possibly can to get back on track at their expense.
You'll recall that last October 27 it was head coach Willie Desjardins' contingent that handed the Habs their first loss of the 2015-16 season after they began the year with a perfect 9-0-0 record. That game took place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, though, and resulted in a 5-1 defeat.
"They have the skill and the ability to score goals. Every team goes through those ups and downs, but I think the way you get out of it is to shoot pucks and get pucks to the net and bodies to the net. We have to be prepared for that, to expect that they're going to throw everything at the net and have bodies there," shared Jeff Petry, who will go up against the Canucks for the 24th time in his career. "We'll have to do a good job of clearing out the front of the net and letting [Carey] Price see the puck."
Video: Jeff Petry on facing the Canucks
Petry says captain Henrik Sedin and his brother, Daniel, in particular, are always cause for concern when going up against the Canucks. They present a constant threat to their opponents on any given night.
"You've got to know where they are on the ice. They have the ability to kind of know where each other are with their backs turned. They like to make that play where it's rimmed in and just a little bump pass to the other one in the middle," explained Petry, on the subject of the Sedin twins' offensive prowess on this side of the pond dating back to their respective NHL debuts in 2001-01. "We have to prepared for that and know that they have the ability to find each other. We have to play them tight."
- While the Canadiens find themselves sitting atop the NHL standings right now, they aren't about to get complacent or take anything for granted in early November. At Wednesday's morning skate, members of the coaching staff put the players through drills focusing on everything from breakouts to line changes in an effort to keep them sharp heading into the 10th game of the year.
"We're not comfortable and we know that there's a lot of work to be done to improve our game and be where we want to be. You see us working on it daily. Today, pre-game skate, working on changes. We're paying attention to all the little details and just trying to make sure we improve every day," said captain Max Pacioretty, acknowledging that there are still areas of the Canadiens' overall game that require some fine-tuning.
Video: Max Pacioretty on the Canucks
"We're not perfect. We know that. We've just got to have the right mindset, though, that when something does pop up, that we try and tackle it right away and make sure that it doesn't linger. We didn't like our full 60 minutes against Toronto [last Saturday night]. There were some lapses in areas that we want to improve and we're looking to do so tonight," added Pacioretty, who leads all players on the Canadiens' roster with seven career goals against Vancouver.
For his part, Pacioretty is also the Canadiens' top point-getter against the Canucks along with Shea Weber. Both have put up 11 career points versus Vancouver.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, as well as on TSN 690 and 98.5 fm.
Probable lineup against the Canucks:
Radulov - Galchenyuk - Gallagher
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Shaw
Lehkonen - Plekanec - Byron
Danault - Mitchell - Flynn
Emelin - Weber
Markov - Petry
Beaulieu - Pateryn