BROSSARD - Here are a few key storylines from Friday's practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
Health update on Ryan Poehling
The 20-year-old center met the media for the first time since suffering a concussion on September 18 in the Kraft Hockeyville game against the Florida Panthers in Bathurst, NB.
Poehling offered up his own recollection of what happened in the Canadiens' 4-3 win.
"It was something I had never experienced before. The [medical] staff was great about it, they just had my safety in their best interests," explained the Lakeville, MN native. "For them to have that makes it a lot easier. It sucks at the time, but in the long term it's good for my health. For them to have my back… it's good to see that they could tell I was off when I couldn't tell."
Montreal's first-round pick (25th overall) in 2017 was enjoying a strong night in that win, setting up Alex Belzile's game-winner with just over six minutes to play.
Poehling has missed the four preseason games his team has played since. The American forward admitted he's been frustrated to be missing so many opportunities to show what he can bring, but recognizes that his health is what's most important at the end of the day.
"Obviously not playing kind of sucks, but it's up to your health. Hockey is not the ultimate thing in life, you can't go through life with many concussions," outlined Poehling. "For them to have my best interests in myself and just keep my life outside of hockey [in mind], it's huge for them to have my back."
Video: Ryan Poehling on his recovery
The Canadiens hopeful still doesn't have the green light from doctors to take part in the final game of the preseason on Saturday when the Ottawa Senators will pay a visit to the Bell Centre.
Poehling might have a chance to show his stuff before the start of the regular season, but if not, head coach Claude Julien will make a decision on his file based on what he's seen from him in training camp.
"Sometimes, you have to make a decision based on what you've seen. These are things that are out of our control," mentioned Julien of Poehling's injury. "You can always send a young player to the minors. It's an asset you can always use. That said, it's clear that if the player is ready and it's to his advantage for him to be here, we'll make that decision at the right place and time."
Price gets closer to a return
For his part, goaltender Carey Price took part in a full practice with his teammates on Friday at the Bell Sports Complex.
The 32-year-old also took the opportunity to give more details about his injury following the skate.
"I was unlucky. The puck hit the back of my hand in the wrong spot," explained Price. "It's part of the game."
Price told reporters he's feeling great and said he'd be ready to start for his team's final exhibition contest on Saturday, but the head coach wasn't ready to confirm if he'd go with the Habs' first-round pick (5th overall) in 2005 against the Sens.
"If he's ready to play, there's a strong chance he'll be in net tomorrow. I know he's feeling much better. That's part of the plan we discussed together," described Julien. "We have to give him some time to heal a bit, but there's a good chance we'll see him tomorrow."
Video: Carey Price on his health status
The Anahim Lake, BC native also offered up his thoughts on Canadiens training camp thus far, and said he's been impressed with the intensity level and by the way youngsters like Poehling, Nick Suzuki, and Cale Fleury have performed.
"I found the pace has been excellent throughout camp. I find the guys are pushing each other a lot," explained the veteran backstop. "Lots of players have had good camps. It's one of the highest-paced training camps I've been a part of since I started in the NHL."
A well-deserved honor
Captain Shea Weber was recognized for his community involvement in 2018-19 on Friday when he was announced as the winner of the Jean Beliveau Trophy.
The 34-year-old said he was touched by the nomination.
"It's an incredible honor. I can't find the words to describe what it means," he told reporters after practice. "I'm very honored to be receiving this award."
Weber beat out forwards Phillip Danault, Max Domi, and Jonathan Drouin for the distinction, and succeeds Brendan Gallagher, who won it in 2017-18.
Video: Weber on being selected for the Jean Beliveau Trophy
The 14-year veteran believes it's important for pro hockey players to use their status and voice to give back to the community.
"I think we're in an excellent position to give back to the community. We have a lot of influence, especially in a community like this one," affirmed Weber. "It's the least we can do. The fans here are so passionate about their team. It's a way to say thank you."
Weber will be honored at a brief ceremony just prior to the game between the Canadiens and Senators on Saturday at the Bell Centre.