ANAHEIM – In today’s notebook, Martin mixes it up, Leblanc prepares for his big debut and Markov isn’t ready just yet.
|Peter Budaj will make his fourth start of the year on Wednesday night. |
Shuffling the deck: With Max Pacioretty out of the lineup serving Game 1 of his three-game suspension and Leblanc called up from Hamilton for reinforcement, Martin had some juggling to do with his roster ahead of Wednesday’s game -- beginning between the pipes.
“Peter will be in net tonight,” confirmed the Habs bench boss. “Louis Leblanc will be in the lineup for the game. Frederic St. Denis will play defense and we’ll use Yannick Weber as a forward. Aaron Palushaj will be a healthy scratch.”
Welcome to the show: Flanking Travis Moen and Lars Eller in Wednesday’s practice, Leblanc is set to make
his NHL debut against the Ducks. Moen, the team’s newly-minted sniper, is looking forward to sharing the scoring spotlight with his 20-year-old teammate.
“As you’ve seen, I only have two assists,” joked Moen, who is second on the team with eight goals so far this season. “He’s playing with me and Larry so we’ll make sure we’re making the simple play. Just put some pucks deep and we’ll go get them and we’ll try to get him his first goal. I’ll definitely try to set him up a few times. It’s fun playing with young guys; they have lots of youthful energy. Communication is a big thing, but I’ll just tell him to go out, have some fun and enjoy it out there.”
|Markov won't return to the lineup against Anaheim. |
Not tonight: Andreas Engqvist turned some heads in his no-contact jersey in his first practice back with his teammates at the Honda Center, but it was a Habs defenseman who wasn’t on the ice who drew the most attention. Andrei Markov took Wednesday’s practice off and as his coach already warned on Tuesday, the All-Star blue-liner’s return is still a work in progress.
“Everything is normal,” repeated Jacques Martin during his daily press conference. “Andrei took a therapy day today. Like I said yesterday, he’s not ready to play. We’ll take it one day at a time.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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