Connect with us

Habs Practice Report

Habs Practice Report: Canadiens Return From Pause, Price Update

Published

on

Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price was not on the ice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard Sunday but 14 Montreal Canadiens did practise for the first time since an undermanned Habs team fell to the Florida Panthers on New Year’s Day in Sunrise, Florida. 

That’s still less than the undermanned Montreal Canadiens squad that fell to the Panthers with just 18 players on their roster just over a week ago as 13 players remain in COVID protocol. Also of note, after being placed in COVID protocol for exposure on Dec. 29, Paul Byron now has COVID.

Seven of those COVID protocol players – Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, Jake Evans, Brandon Baddock, Louie Belpedio (returned on loan to Laval Sunday), Cayden Primeau, and Gianni Fairbrother (returned on loan to Laval Sunday) – remain stranded in the United States. 

Per Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme, Petry is scheduled to return to Montreal on Monday, practice with the team on Tuesday and then head to Boston for the Canadiens’ first game back from their second COVID pause in less than a month.

The Habs did get four key regulars back on the ice Sunday as Josh Anderson, Joel Armia, Christian Dvorak, and Mike Hoffman all skated in non-contact jerseys.  

Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher did not practice and his status remains unclear.

The Montreal Canadiens also recalled Jean-Sebastien Dea to the taxi squad from Laval.

Canadiens Await Word On Price’s Status

Thanks to another COVID pause, the planned virtual meeting with Price, Montreal Canadiens staff and doctors, and a New York doctor was postponed but Ducharme did say that he’s anticipating some news on the Habs goalie soon.

“It was delayed because the trip to New York was canceled,” Ducharme revealed in a Zoom call with the media on Sunday. “And with the protocol, and everything else, and we left for Florida and then came back and we were shut down again. So it needs to happen. It didn’t happen yet and it will and obviously we’ll know a little bit more by then.”

According to Ducharme, the last time Price skated was sometime between December 15-20. Once this meeting happens though, the plan for Price is full steam ahead.

“Next step would be to ramp it up on the ice, get some goalie practice and eventually go back to regular practice,” Ducharme said.

Ducharme And Canadiens Continue To Adjust

While the Canadiens situation and schedule continue to be a fluid situation, Ducharme and the coaching staff are doing their best to adjust.

“We had a plan to come back for five days and a little bit running it like a second training camp kind of and getting ready,” Ducharme said of the original plan before the team got shut down. 

“But obviously the situation has changed with now only three days. I thought at the time that we would have mostly our team back coming in [Sunday] but I got the list of guys skating and we had three lines and five D’s. Plus, some of the injured guys that were added this morning just to skate non-contact. 

So, a lot of things that we’ve done to prepare for each guy individually and that we prepared collectively but we needed to adjust the plan with the number of guys and the number of days that we had.”

Thanks to another pause, Ducharme hasn’t had to make any lineup decisions but when asked, given the Habs’ status in the standings, if he would start to coach not just in the present but for the future as well, he acknowledged there’s a chance there could be more youth injected into the lineup going forward.

“I would like to be able to make decisions but it hasn’t happened for a while,” Ducharme joked. “It’s always when you get in those kinds of situations, it’s a plan for the organization but right now or over the last few games when we. …not too many times this year we needed to scratch guys so it’s pretty rare that you’re almost not coaching but I mean you need to just go with what we have and that’s it. So yeah, eventually I would love to be able to make decisions.”

Here’s a list of the players that skated at practice on Sunday:

Forwards

Josh Anderson (non-contact)

Joel Armia (non-contact)

Christian Dvorak (non-contact)

Mike Hoffman (non-contact)

Cole Caufield

Laurent Dauphin

Jean-Sebastien Dauphin

Jonathan Drouin

Artturi Lehkonen

Cedric Paquette

Ryan Poehling 

Nick Suzuki

Lukas Vejdemo

Defense

Ben Chiarot

Sami Niku

David Savard

Corey Schueneman

Chris Wideman

Goalies

Jake Allen

Sam Montembeault

Michael McNiven

Montreal Hockey Now in your Inbox

Get the latest breaking news, opinion and analysis from the Montreal Hockey Now team directly in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.