BROSSARD - Here are a few key storylines from Thursday's practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
Byron's feeling good
Forward Paul Byron was on the shelf earlier in training camp with an upper body injury. He shed some light on what that injury was and gave an update on his health status following the skate in Brossard.
"It was not a concussion, it's safe to say that. I just had a little neck soreness and the team kept me out for precautionary reasons. I'm a guy who battles pretty hard every shift. I don't think they needed me out there every game; they wanted to make sure everything was good to go," explained Byron. "The whole purpose of training camp is to make sure you're ready for game one of the season and I'm going to prepare these next two days to make sure I get in the lineup Saturday. It's an important game for our team to gel and make sure we're doing the right things for game one."
Video: Paul Byron on being ready to return to action
More cuts, but Suzuki and Fleury avoid the axe
The Canadiens announced more training camp cuts on Thursday, with Matthew Peca, Phil Varone, Dale Weise, Karl Alzner, and Xavier Ouellet being placed on waivers.
Two names that were notably not included in that list were 20-year-olds Nick Suzuki and Cale Fleury, who have both enjoyed strong training camps.
In Fleury's case, he's not reading too much into the Club's decision to keep him around, keeping an even keel as training camp reaches its conclusion.
"I can't look too much into it. For me, it's just taking it one day at a time," outlined Fleury, who did not dress in Wednesday night's 3-0 loss in Toronto but played 17:05 on Monday night at the Bell Centre. "Just making sure I'm the best every best I can be every time I'm on the ice."
Video: Cale Fleury on being close to earning a roster spot
When asked what he's been most proud of so far in camp, the Carlyle, SK native pointed to his level-headedness and ability to bring the same quality of game every time he's deployed.
"My consistency so far," Fleury said. "I keep saying that, because especially for young guys the biggest thing you can show in camp is that you're ready and you're ready every night. I feel like for the most part, I've done that."
As for Suzuki, head coach Claude Julien gave the forward good grades following the Canadiens' loss in Toronto, despite facing some tough opposition against a mostly NHL-caliber roster.
"It felt good. Just getting that experience is huge and to play against some of the top talent in the league is challenging and a lot of fun for me," relayed Suzuki. "I've been watching them for a while so it's good to be out there again.
"The speed that they ramped up, the size and the skill level definitely went up too. That's the position I want to be in playing against those guys. It was a tough game, but I think once we face them again, it should get better."
Video: Nick Suzuki on facing top-tier NHL players
The Canadiens are scheduled to hit the ice at 11:00 a.m. at the Bell Sports Complex on Friday.