All Habs News — Thursday March 24, 2011
► Reinforcements?: As reported by All Habs from practise on Wednesday, Tomas Plekanec, Jeff Halpern, Brent Sopel and Mathieu Darche skated with their teammates for a one hour long workman-like practise at Brossard.
Carey Price, nursing a thigh contusion, took a therapy day. Alex Auld and goaltender coach Pierre Groulx were in the nets.
While some mainstream media outlets reported that Brian Gionta also took a therapy day, he was indeed on the ice for practise.
It’s unclear how many of the injured players will be back in the line-up for today’s game against Boston but of the four, Darche looks most ready to take a regular shift. Darche practised on the fourth line with Andreas Engqvist and Tom Pyatt. He also participated in power-play drills lining up on the second unit with Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez.
Halpern and Plekanec sported an ‘extras’ practise jersey on a line with Nigel Dawes but it could have been a bit of gamesmanship by Coach Jacques Martin. Plekanec and Halpern did participate in special team’s drills with Tomas manning the point on the power-play. Dawes has been ineffective since his recall from Hamilton, and looks to be struggling with the pace of the NHL game and his conditioning level.
Sopel took a regular turn on defense and seemed to be poised for a return to action against the Bruins or the Capitals.
► Friendly-fire: We continue to wonder how Alexandre Picard continues to be penned into Jacques Martin’s lineup card despite his dreadful play. The decision may have been removed from the coac’s hands for the time being as Picard took a shot off the foot from Benoit Pouliot in practise on Wednesday.
Picard laid on the ice for several minutes and then was helped to the dressing room.
► Captain Kirk approves: Wednesday’s practise included several break-out drills as the Canadiens have struggled to move the puck out of their own zone in recent games. Players also participated in a one-on-one drill as forward and defenseman battled in front of the goal.
Yannick Weber may lack some size but makes up for it with smart play. Weber’s fine positioning helped him to be the only defenseman to successfully fend off all forwards. Weber earned a “nice work” from coach Kirk Muller after the exercise.
► Leadership: As practise concluded on Wednesday a players huddle formed at center-ice. Hal Gill delivered a message to his attentive teammates.
Forward lines from practise:
Gomez – Gionta – Moen
Eller – Kostitsyn – Cammalleri
Desharnais – Pouliot – White
Engqvist – Darche – Pyatt
Plekanec – Halpern – Dawes
► Amateur medical degree: On Boston radio, Bruins forward Mark Recchi revealed that he has been “run into the turnbuckle about 40 times in [his] career.” Recchi then when on to prove the effect of his head injuries by ridiculously questioning the motives of the Montreal Canadiens and the severity of Max Pacioretty‘s injury.
“I believe they were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished (Pacioretty’s concussion) a little bit,” said Recchi.
Audio link – 98.5 CBS Boston Sports Hub with hosts Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti
Category: All Habs news