BROSSARD - In Wednesday's notebook, Mark Barberio and Greg Pateryn will face the Hurricanes, Artturi Lehkonen and Zach Redmond make some important progress, and Andrei Markov just keeps on putting up points.
Switches on D: After learning that Nathan Beaulieu wouldn't be available to patrol the blue line against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, the Canadiens elected to recall Mark Barberio from the AHL's St. John's IceCaps to take his spot in the lineup alongside Greg Pateryn, who spent the last two games as a healthy scratch. Joel Hanley, meanwhile, was reassigned to Sylvain Lefebvre's club in conjunction with Barberio's arrival.
Barberio, who put up two goals and 10 points in 30 games for the Canadiens last season and boasts 133 games of NHL experience on his resume, has been an offensive force on the IceCaps' back end with three goals and 14 points in 18 outings so far this year.
Video: Michel Therrien on Nathan Beaulieu and Mark Barberio
"Barberio will play. He's played good hockey lately. He's been the best defenseman in St. John's. He earned the chance to play," praised head coach Michel Therrien, on the subject of the 26-year-old Montreal native. "Obviously, Nathan won't play [against Carolina] and we needed a defenseman with experience. It's a good opportunity for him, but also for Greg Pateryn to get back into the lineup. With Nathan out, we need a guy with NHL experience. Last year, he proved what he could do in the NHL."
It goes without saying that Pateryn is eager to get another opportunity to suit up after being forced to watch from afar as the Canadiens bested the Maple Leafs over the weekend, before dropping a 4-3 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Having been a healthy scratch for seven games already this season, Pateryn admits it's been somewhat of a mental challenge to maintain a positive mindset. But, he's been doing his best to stay focused and confident in his game.
"It's definitely been a lot harder than times before, but you can't let stuff like that get you down too much. Obviously, everyone's human and you're not just going to go about it like nothing's happened or nothing's bothering you," said Pateryn, who has averaged 14:20 of ice time through 13 games this season. "It's pretty obvious when guys have confidence and when they don't. You can tell right away on the ice. It's definitely been hard, but that's part of the game. You try to kind of block everything out as much as you can, worry about yourself and just take it one day at a time."
Video: Greg Pateryn on returning to the lineup
Injury updates aplenty: Pateryn was one of eight players who took part in Wednesday afternoon's optional practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, which also saw a pair of injured Habs hit the ice with the rest of the group.
Both Artturi Lehkonen (upper-body injury) and Zach Redmond (broken foot) were skating alongside their teammates in full gear for the first time since going down with their respective injuries.
Therrien confirmed that both Lehkonen and Redmond are inching closer and closer to returning to active duty, and that the pair should be on the upcoming extended road trip to Michigan, California and Missouri as well.
Lehkonen, who hasn't played since November 5 - a span of eight games - insists that his recovery is headed in the right direction.
"It's getting closer and closer and hopefully I can get back in there soon," said Lehkonen, who has two goals and three points in 12 games this season. "It was [a] longer [recovery] than I thought it would be, but you've got to take care of these things so they won't start bothering you during the season."
Video: Artturi Lehkonen on recovering from his injury
Still sidelined with an upper-body injury, Brian Flynn worked out with athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine before the on-ice session got underway. Therrien confirmed that in his case a return is probably still a week away.
Amazing Andrei: At 37 years of age, Andrei Markov's play continues to impress everyone around him - including fellow Russian standout Alexander Radulov. After watching the 16-year NHL veteran assist on all three of the Canadiens' goals on Tuesday night - including his own highlight-reel marker that set social media platforms ablaze with excitement - Radulov spent a few minutes talking about what he believes makes No. 79 so successful at this stage of his career.
"He knows what it takes. He's always the first one in the locker room and the first one at practice. We come into the rink and he's already in the gym preparing himself. That's what all of us should know, that when you get older, you have to take care of your body. That's what he's doing. That's part of his secret that makes him good," explained Radulov. "His hockey IQ is big, but at that age you have to prepare yourself all of the time. It's not like you're 20 years old where you can take some time off and come and play the game after that. It's not going to happen."
Video: Alexander Radulov on his success so far this season
With that in mind, the fact that Markov currently sits tied for second on the Canadiens' roster with 17 points - including a team-leading 15 assists - doesn't come as a shock to him in the least.
"I watched some games last year and I played with him on the [Russian] National Team. I know what he can do," insisted Radulov, who also boasts 17 points this year, as does defenseman Shea Weber. "It doesn't surprise me at all."