- After dropping a 3-2 decision to the New Jersey Devils in their preseason opener on Monday night, Michel Therrien's troops skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. EST.
- Veterans in uniform on Tuesday night include Alexander Radulov, Andrew Shaw, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn and Paul Byron up front, along with regulars Greg Pateryn and Nathan Beaulieu on the back end. Al Montoya will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. He will split the goaltending duties with Zachary Fucale.
- The Capitals, meanwhile, will be coming to town with the likes of forwards Jay Beagle, Marcus Johansson, Brett Connolly and Christian Thomas, and defensemen Karl Alzner, Taylor Chorney and Darren Dietz. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek and Drew MacIntyre will also be making the trip.
- The opportunity to make his preseason debut with the Canadiens has Radulov smiling bright. In short, the 30-year-old forward has been looking forward to the opportunity to strut his stuff in front of his new fan base for months, so he's pleased that the time has finally arrived.
"It's nice to have a chance to jump in and play. It's been a long, long summer. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, we're going to win and make our fans happy," said Radulov, who will be featured on a line with Shaw and Brian Flynn. "I've just got to show up and play hard every shift I'm out there with my line and help to make them better in all aspects - in the defensive zone, in the neutral zone, and on offense, too. We've got to score. We've got to play well, set the tone, and make sure we have a good one."
Like Radulov, Shaw is eager to get his first start in a Canadiens uniform under his belt after being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks at the NHL Entry Draft in late June.
"The atmosphere in the Bell Centre, it's just unbelievable. To have the whole city behind you, cheering for you, it's really fun to play in front of," said Shaw, who has plenty of nice things to say about his fellow Canadiens newcomer and linemate against Washington.
"[Radulov's] competitive. He works hard. He loves playing the game. All of those things together, it's a good skill set to have. You watch him with the puck, he's so patient and he makes great plays. He's going to be a fun guy to have on our team," praised Shaw, clearly a firm believer that Radulov will be an important contributor to the success of the Canadiens all season long.
- Captain Max Pacioretty spoke to members of the media before jumping on the ice with the rest of Team B following Tuesday's morning skate.
Although disappointed by Team USA's struggles at the World Cup of Hockey, Pacioretty believes it was a beneficial experience for him heading into his ninth NHL season.
"It definitely puts you into shape a little bit better. The speed is there. Obviously, you feel the bumps and bruises a little more when you play that early and that fast. But, it should be a good starter here for what's to come at regular camp," said Pacioretty, who will likely be in the lineup for Thursday night's tilt against the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre.
"I learned a lot. I played against a lot of the best players in the world. I would have liked to contribute a little bit more, but I think it got me ready for the season," added Pacioretty, who will go in search of his fourth consecutive 30-goal campaign in 2016-17. "No need to reset, just build off the foundation that was built at the World Cup."
With that in mind, the 27-year-old New Canaan, CT native couldn't be happier to be back in Montreal.
"It's a very good energy [with the group], and it's the first thing everyone's told me even since I was gone," confided Pacioretty with a smile. "I was getting texts from my teammates that said - 'It's a new year. It's a fresh feeling. Everyone is so fired up. The vibes are great.' It's really exciting."
"It's really the first game of my season, so I've got to be ready. Everything I learned in the gym over the summer, I have to put it into use on the ice," explained Hudon, who was the St. John's IceCaps' second-leading point-getter last season with 53 points in 67 games. "I need to work hard and keep doing what I've done well since the beginning of camp."
Suiting up for three games with the big club in 2015-16 has Hudon feeling at ease at training camp right now. While he knows full-well that the Canadiens' brass is paying close attention to every move prospects make on the ice, he isn't letting it throw him off his game.
"I feel more comfortable on the ice. I'm a lot less nervous," admitted Hudon. "I know I'm being looked at, but I feel a lot less watched. I'm more in my bubble than in the past. Yes, management is watching us during practice, but I'm gripping my stick a lot less tightly. That's what I've noticed the most."
- Following the morning skate, the Canadiens confirmed that young gun Mikhail Sergachev had been given the green light to return to practice after sustaining an upper-body injury at the 2016 Rookie Tournament in London, ON.
Probable lineup against Washington:
Shaw - Flynn - Radulov
Byron - Mitchell - Danault
Matteau - McCarron - Hudon
Gregoire - Friberg - MacMillan
Beaulieu - Pateryn
Samuelsson - Johnston
Parisi - Lernout
- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Monday morning in preparation for their 2016-17 preseason opener against the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre at 7:30 p.m. EST.
- It will mark the first of five preseason contests in seven days for Michel Therrien’s troops, who will also be in action against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.
- Veterans set to play include Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher and David Desharnais up front, while Jeff Petry and Mark Barberio will form the top duo on the back end. Mike Condon and Charlie Lindgren will be the goaltenders in uniform.
- The Devils, meanwhile, will be sending a split squad to Montreal. Those players making the trip include Vernon Fiddler, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique and Devante Smith-Pelly. Goaltenders Scott Wedgewood and Mackenzie Blackwood will also be on site.
- It’s been quite a while since the Canadiens last played against an opponent in the friendly confines of the Bell Centre. It was back on April 9th, to be exact, when they handed the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-2 loss in the regular season finale.
After an extended summer break, those players being given the opportunity to suit up on Monday night simply can’t wait to hit the ice.
“It’s very exciting. It’s been a while since we played a real game. Scrimmages and playing against each other isn’t the same thing. After all, you don’t want to hurt each other,” shared Sven Andrighetto, who spent his offseason training on home turf in his native Switzerland before returning to Montreal in early August. “But now, we’re very excited to finally get things started tonight.”
Set to begin his fifth NHL season in mid-October, Alex Galchenyuk shared similar thoughts with the first preseason game just hours away, stressing the importance of making these outings count before things get going for real.
“Even though it’s preseason, it’s still nice to get back to the Bell Centre and play in front of the fans,” said Galchenyuk. “At the end of the day, we still want to come up with the win. It’s a really important time and we’ve got to make sure that we stay focused and prepare ourselves the best that we can.”
- Andrighetto is one player looking to build upon the vast NHL experience he managed to gain last year when he played 44 games in the big leagues, picking up seven goals and 17 points along the way.
“I got a lot of experience over the last year. Last year, when I got into camp, I only played 10 games for Montreal in the NHL. Now, I’m at 56. With that comes more experience, more confidence. It’s definitely something I can use right now in my game,” mentioned Andrighetto, slated to be featured on a line with David Desharnais and Daniel Carr against New Jersey.
“I know my role. I know what I have to do,” added the 23-year-old Swiss forward, keenly aware of the things he’ll have to display to earn his minutes during the upcoming campaign. “I focus on the things that I can control. Consistency-wise, it’s still a big thing that I have to be consistent every single night.”
- Monday night’s game will be particularly special for 20-year-old Blainville native Daniel
Audette, who will be playing his first career preseason game at the Bell Centre.
“I’ve been watching the Canadiens since I was young. My dad played for them, too, so it’s very special,” mentioned Audette, referencing his father Donald’s stint with the Canadiens in the early 2000’s. “[When I talk to him], he’ll tell me to play my game, to do the things that I’m most comfortable doing and to focus, not to think too much.”
Admittedly, the former QMJHL standout is somewhat nervous heading into his NHL preseason debut, but playing in Sunday afternoon’s intra-squad game helped to lessen that anxiety. He’ll also be playing alongside a few familiar faces in Nikita Scherbak and Markus Eisenschmid, which should definitely up his comfort level.
“I played with them both yesterday. We know each other a bit. We played together in St. John’s. We get along well on the ice,” said Audette, who made his pro debut with the IceCaps late last season, playing four games for Sylvain Lefebvre’s club.
If Galchenyuk could offer up any advice to a youngster in Audette’s position, it would be this.
“I think just the number one thing is to build up that energy. I still remember the first time I skated at the Bell Centre, it was something special, something I’ll never forget. I think the main thing is not to be afraid of the crowd or the excitement of it, just use it to your advantage and have fun with it,” shared Galchenyuk. “It’s the NHL. It’s the Bell Centre in Montreal. Just enjoy it.”
Probable lineup against New Jersey:
Farnham-De La Rose-Terry
Carey Price turned aside 31 shots in Team Canada's 5-3 semi-final victory over Team Russia at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto on Saturday night.
With the victory, Mike Babcock's contingent advanced to the best-of-three final against the winner of Sunday afternoon`s matchup between Team Europe and Team Sweden. The final will get underway on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Sidney Crosby opened the scoring for Team Canada with the lone tally in the first period, before Nikita Kucherov and Evgeny Kuznetsov managed to put the puck past Price in the middle frame to give the Russians a 2-1 lead. Brad Marchand levelled the score just 72 seconds after Kuznetsov found the back of the net, though, so the two teams went to their respective dressing rooms tied at two goals apiece.
It was all Team Canada in the third period as Marchand scored again just 76 seconds into the frame, before Corey Perry and John Tavares bested goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at the 5:48 and 9:22 marks, respectively, for a 5-2 advantage.
Artemi Panarin capped the scoring for the Russians with a goal with just nine seconds remaining in regulation time.
For his part, defenseman Shea Weber was Team Canad's most utilized player, logging 22:41 of ice time on Saturday night. He chipped in with six hits while posting a plus-3 differential.
Canada 4 – United States 2
Team Canada qualified for the semi-finals at the World Cup of Hockey on Tuesday night with a 4-2 win over the United States.
Carey Price was solid once again between the pipes, turning aside 29 of the 31 shots he faced. When he gave up a goal to Ryan McDonagh at the start of the first period, he saw his shutout streak in international play snapped at 228:41, a streak that began back at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
For his part, Max Pacioretty logged just 11:34 of ice time and amassed one shot on goal.
With the win, Team Canada secured its spot in the semis, while the Americans and the Czechs were officially eliminated.
Head coach Mike Babcock confirmed that Price would get the night off when Canada battles Team Europe on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec will square off on Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Europe 3 – Czech Republic 2 (OT)
Despite erasing a deficit on two occasions during the game, the Czech Republic ultimately dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime against Team Europe.
Tomas Plekanec was held off the scoresheet, but was credited with two hits while winning 39 percent of his faceoffs during 19:07 of ice time.
The Czechs will wrap up the preliminary round on Thursday against Max Pacioretty and Team USA.
Russia 4 – North America 3
After giving up the game’s opening goal in the first period, Russia found the back of the net on four occasions in a span of 6:14 before eventually besting Team North America by a score of 4-3.
Reunited again on the blue line, Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin were solid in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, finishing the contest with a positive differential while logging 17:12 and 16:19 of ice time, respectively. True to form, Emelin made his presence felt by dishing out five hits during the game, tops amongst all players on both teams.
Russia’s win on Monday night put them in second spot alongside the North Americans in Group B. They’ll try to quality for the semi-finals on Thursday when the battle Finland.
Russia 1, Sweden 2
Canadiens defensemen Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov were both in action for Team Russia at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday. Emelin and Markov each fired a pair of shots on goal in the losing effort, registering 15:28 and 15:39 of ice time, respectively. Russia will face Team North America next on Monday.
The Canadiens’ young guns closed out their 2016 Rookie Tournament experience at Budweiser Gardens in London, ON with a 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators’ top prospects on Sunday afternoon.
After watching from the stands on Saturday night, defenseman Mikhail Sergachev wasted little time putting his full skill set on display during the opening frame.
The Canadiens’ most recent first-round selection demonstrated the full extent of his strength when he dished out a solid hip check on Senators forward Ryan Graham at center ice, a hit that got everyone in the crowd buzzing.
Then, with just over five minutes remaining in the period, Sergachev capped a remarkable end-to-end rush with a perfect feed to Daniel Audette for the game’s opening goal. The Russian rearguard split multiple Senators defenders on the play to set Audette up for the tally – his second in as many games.
Ottawa responded just 37 seconds, though, as right-winger Francis Perron managed to beat Canadiens starter Michael McNiven to tie things up 1-1 through 20 minutes of play.
With Sergachev in the penalty box early in the second period, centerman Nick Paul scored to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. But, just 17 seconds after Paul found the back of the net, Sergachev connected with Audette again to tie things up 2-2 at the 3:04 mark of the frame. Nikita Scherbak was credited with the secondary assist on the power play tally.
Sergachev found himself in the penalty box again when centerman Filip Chlapik put the Senators ahead 3-2 at the 6:26 mark of the period.
Perron’s second goal of the game at 15:26 gave the Senators a 4-2 advantage, before Matthew Bradley scored for the Canadiens at 17:52 to cut Ottawa’s lead to just a single goal. Jeremiah Addison collected the lone assist on the play.
Unfortunately, Sergachev was forced to leave the game at one point during the period and did not return to the game after taking a hit from Senators left-winger Vincent Dunn. The Canadiens announced that Sergachev had sustained an upper-body injury.
Paul’s second goal of the game just 1:39 into the third period put the Senators up 5-3. He was the beneficiary of a loose puck in front of McNiven, and managed to bury it to restore his squad’s two-goal lead.
Gabriel Gagne pounced on another loose puck around McNiven’s crease area to give the Senators a 6-3 lead at the 9:14 mark of the third period, which ultimately capped the scoring for the afternoon.
The Canadiens finished the 2016 Rookie Tournament with a record of 1-2-0. They boarded a bus bound for Montreal immediately after the game, and will resume rookie camp activities on Tuesday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard following a well-deserved Monday off.
USA 0, Europe 3
Team Europe upset the Americans with a surprise 3-0 shutout to open the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday. Former Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 35 shots to preserve the clean sheet.
Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty registered three shots on goal with just over 14 minutes of ice time in the loss.
Czech Republic 0, Canada 6
Mike Babcock’s Team Canada squad easily defeated the Czech Republic at the Air Canada Centre in their tournament opener.
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was perfect in goal, stopping all 27 shots he faced.
Defenseman Shea Weber was the second-most utilized player by Canada — behind only Drew Doughty — with three shots on goal and over 20 minutes of ice time.
Tomas Plekanec meanwhile, played 19:49 — with 4:18 coming on the power play.
The Canadiens’ youngsters managed to erase a two-goal deficit in the third period on Saturday night at Budwesier Gardens in London, but the Maple Leafs’ prospects scored a late goal to secure a 4-3 victory in the second of three Rookie Tournament games for both clubs.
Daniel Audette opened the scoring for the Canadiens at the 5:21 mark of the opening frame, converting a feed from right-winger William Bitten on an odd-man rush that beat Maple Leafs netminder Antoine Bibeau. Defenseman Victor Mete – who patrols the blue line for the hometown London Knights – picked up the secondary assist on the play.
The Maple Leafs managed to tie things up before time expired in the first period, though, as defenseman Keaton Middleton’s wrist shot from the point managed to find its way through traffic to beat Canadiens starter Zachary Fucale with 2:53 to go.
Play opened up in the second period, particularly in the latter half of the frame. After right-winger Tony Cameranesi lit the lamp at the 12:20 mark to make it 2-1 for the Maple Leafs, left-winger Tobias Lindberg beat Fucale just 53 seconds later, capitalizing on a turnover in the offensive zone. Toronto outshot Montreal by a 19-8 margin during the middle period alone.
The Canadiens fought back early in the third period, making the most of a power play opportunity. Artturi Lehkonen tipped a Mete point shot beyond Bibeau at 6:26 to cut the Maple Leafs’ lead to 3-2. It was his first goal of the tournament. Nikita Scherbak collected the secondary assist on the play.
Just under six minutes later, the Canadiens made the Maple Leafs pay for getting in penalty trouble again as Michael McCarron scored his third goal of the tournament at the 12:13 mark. The rookie tournament captain collected a loose puck along the wall and proceeded to beat Bibeau on a highlight-reel power move to the backhand to tie things up 3-3. Scherbak and Fucale assisted on McCarron’s game-tying tally. Scherbak now has five points in the tournament, one goal and four assists.
Unfortunately, Andrew Nielsen’s managed to squeak a wrist shot past Fucale with just under two minutes remaining in regulation time to put the Maple Leafs up 4-3 for good.
Martin Lapointe’s troops will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. EST against the Ottawa Senators’ top prospects. It will mark the Canadiens’ final game of the 2016 Rookie Tournament. They will then return to Montreal immediately after the contest.
- After securing a convincing 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospects on Friday afternoon in the opener of the 2016 Rookie Tournament in London, ON, the Canadiens’ young guns were back on the ice on Saturday morning preparing for a tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top youngsters at Budweiser Gardens.
- Zachary Fucale will get the start in goal for the Canadiens, while Michael McNiven will serve as his back up. Up front, Martin Lapointe will keep the line of Artturi Lehkonen, Michael McCarron and Nikita Scherbak together after they combined to generate eight points against the Penguins. Scratches on the back end include Mikhail Sergachev, Noah Juulsen and Brett Lernout.
- One of six invitees currently attending the Canadiens’ rookie camp, right-winger Guillaume Asselin will get his first opportunity to impress the team’s brass on Saturday night against Toronto.
The 24-year-old Quebec City native has been a force to be reckoned with in the Canadian collegiate ranks for the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) over the last three seasons, leading his squad with 27 goals and 47 points in 28 games during the 2015-16 campaign.
“I’m really excited. I’m feeling a little stressed, but it’s good stress. I’m just looking forward to showing what I can do on the ice,” shared Asselin, who will be featured on a line with Jeremiah Addison and Matthew Bradley. “I want to show that I play in a good league [in the OUA – Ontario University Athletics] and that there are good players that can come out of there. I’m very happy that I’m the one representing the league, in a way.”
Getting a chance to experience the historic Canadiens-Maple Leafs rivalry first-hand will surely make Asselin’s rookie tournament debut all the more memorable.
“You watch it on TV from time to time. I’m really looking forward to putting on the jersey and hitting the ice,” added Asselin, a QMJHL grad following stints with both the Montreal Juniors and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. “I’m not thinking about school right now. I’m focusing on hockey only.”
- Left-winger Jeremiah Addison expects both teams to put on a good show on Saturday night.
“This is a great game. I played in it last year. Just the whole atmosphere, you can feel it, the rivalry,” said the 19-year-old Brampton, ON native, who is coming off a two-point performance against the Penguins. “I think it’ll be a fast-paced, chippy game. Everybody is going to be in everyone’s face. It’ll be an exciting game to play in.”
These kinds of games, meanwhile, suit Addison just fine.
“I like that type of game,” said Addison, who put up 27 goals and 56 points in 66 games with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s last season. “The more you play like that, the more the ice opens up for everybody and allows me to be successful.”
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The English radio feed of the contest will be available on TSN 690.
Probable lineup against Toronto:
Lehkonen – McCarron – Scherbak
McCool – Audette – Bitten
Fiore – Eansor – Gregoire
Addison – Bradley – Asselin
Bourque – Henrikson
Parisi – Johnston
Zipp – Mete