TOR@MTL: A warrior returns
The Canadiens will have Andrew Shaw back in the lineup against the Maple Leafs on Saturday nightby Pierre-Antoine Mercier. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski. @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com
BROSSARD - Andrew Shaw will play his first game since December 31 on Saturday night.
Shaw missed the Canadiens' last 15 games with a neck injury suffered on New Year's Eve in a tilt against the Dallas Stars.
The Belleville, ON native will play on a line with Max Domi and Tomas Tatar.
It goes without saying that the gritty forward is pleased to be returning to active duty as the squad continues to enjoy success.
"It's good to come back when the team is playing well. I know that my linemates will do their best to help me tonight," mentioned Shaw. "I'm ready and I'm excited."
Video: Andrew Shaw on his return to the lineup tonight
In 36 games this season, the former fifth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011 has registered 11 goals and 24 points.
Head coach Claude Julien is thrilled that Shaw is good to go again. He knows just how hard he worked to get back to help the rest of the group.
"He's a guy who works hard in practice. He isn't afraid to put in time when he returns from an injury," mentioned Julien. "With his experience and the fact that he's so dedicated to his training, it makes returning easier. He has always worked hard."
Video: Claued Julien's pre-game press conference vs. TOR
Everything is set for an exciting game between the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
"I don't think there's a better matchup than Montreal against Toronto on a Saturday night," said defenseman Victor Mete. "Everyone understands the importance of the game. We have to leave the rink with a win."
Video: Victor Mete on the game against Toronto
Second spot in the Atlantic Division is at stake as the Canadiens find themselves just one point back of their Original Six rivals.
Julien is confident that his players are prepared to meet the challenge.
"It's always fun to play against the Leafs. The guys love it. Montreal and Toronto has always been a nice rivalry. There's a lot of history between the two teams," said Julien. "It's a real three-point game. We're still behind them and they have two games in hand. We won't hide the fact that it would be nice to be in second on Sunday."
Shaking things up
Following the morning skate, the Canadiens announced that they'd acquired defenseman Christian Folin and forward Dale Weise from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman David Schlemko and forward Byron Froese.
Julien believes that Folin's arrival will give the Canadiens' defense corps a bit of a different look.
"He's 6-foot-3 and he also has experience. He's different than Schlemko. I think that we have a lot of defensemen who are really mobile, like Reilly, Mete and Kulak," explained Julien. "In this case, we went out and got a player who has size and can give us depth along the way."
Folin has participated in 26 games this season with the Flyers, collecting two assists and posting a plus-5 differential.
In 209 career NHL games, Folin boasts seven goals and 38 points.
For his part, Weise will join the AHL's Laval Rocket.
He previously played 152 games with the Habs, amassing 27 goals and 59 points.
Julien believes Weise is another good addition.
"We know that he had good years here. He was very good for the Canadiens. It gives us some more experience. We lost Michael McCarron for the rest of the season. We have to make sure that we have depth both in Montreal and in Laval, too," insisted Julien.
The 30-year-old Winnipeg native has 54 goals and 120 points in 481 career NHL games.