BROSSARD - The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday morning before departing for Toronto.
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Following the on-ice session, goaltender Jake Allen, forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme spoke with reporters via Zoom.
Here are a few highlights from their respective chats:
Allen on his mindset moving forward with starter Carey Price on the sidelines:
Nothing changes for me. Carey, he's done a great job for us and now I get a chance to go in there and play and have some fun with it. Nothing changes from my end. I'm preparing the same way as I would whether I'm playing or not playing. It really doesn't change for me. I think consistency in that routine really just benefits you in the long run when these things come up. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to getting back in there tomorrow against a good team. I haven't faced Toronto yet, so it'll be fun.
Video: Jake Allen on Carey Price's absence
Allen on the challenge of playing without Brendan Gallagher in the lineup:
He's the engine. He really is. Even when I wasn't here and part of this organization, you knew from afar this guy was the engine of the team. He's the bulldog out there. You know what you're getting from Gally every game. He's going to be in the hard areas, he's going to do the things that you need to do and pay the price to win. Don't get me wrong, those are tough shoes to fill, but I think we have a lot of guys in this room that can really fill that. I think we put a lot of pieces together in this puzzle that when one piece is taken away, we can fill in another piece and gap that solution. It's obviously unfortunate news for Gally, but when a door closes, another one opens for someone else. That's just the way you've got to look at it. You've got to look at the next man up.
Kotkaniemi on playing right-wing alongside Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar:
Playing as a winger is always a little bit different, but I did that back in the day in Finland, so I've hopefully still got it somewhere inside of me. It's always an honor to play with them. They're great players. It couldn't be better than to have a chance to show what I've got with those types of players. They're both really good with the puck, so I probably need to fill Gally's dirty area five-foot role a little bit, and I'll just try to help Phil and Tuna as much as I can.
Video: Jesperi Kotkaniemi on playing wing
Kotkaniemi on taking Gallagher's spot on the top line:
I think everyone knows you can't beat Gally. He's a heck of a player and a really important guy for this team. I'll just try to be me, do what I can, and hopefully the results will be good.
Ducharme on the health status of Price:
He's day-to-day. It's a lower-body injury, but it wasn't one specific play. It's something that has been carrying on for a little bit of time, and we just want to make sure that he can take care of it and come back and be 100 percent.
Video: Dominique Ducharme provides an update on Carey Price
Ducharme on utilizing Kotkaniemi on the wing:
I just want him to be KK. He's at his best when he's dynamic, when he skates, when he carries the puck and when he's physical and uses his shot and his talent. Once the puck is dropped, playing wing or centre, it's really just a question of knowing who'll be the first forward back in the defensive zone, among other things. Once the game has started, there really isn't that big of a difference for a player to make the change. It's a lot easier for a centreman to switch to the wing.