After a tough loss to the Buffalo Sabres in a Sunday matinee, the Montreal Canadiens were back at practice this morning as they prepare for their tilt with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday at the Bell Centre.
Grateful For Toffoli
Following this mornings’ skate, Montreal Canadiens’ alternate captain Nick Suzuki expressed disappointment about Tyler Toffoli leaving, considering the chemistry the two have built.
“It’s tough to lose a good friend, a good teammate. I know the guys will miss him a lot, but he’s got a good opportunity to go try and win again,” said Suzuki. “It’s part of the business. Once you turn pro, and even in Junior, trades are a big part of life as a hockey player, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
Suzuki also discussed how Toffolli provided him with valuable lessons and knowledge to carry with him moving through this rebuild and indicated he’s ready to take a leadership role as the team moves toward the future.
“We have a lot of good young players in the system already, and probably this time next year we’re going to have more through the draft, so I think the future’s bright for this team,” Suzuki said. “I am very happy to be here in Montreal, I want to be here and I want to win here.”
Price Update, Habs Getting Healthier?
Prior to practice Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens announced that Carey Price would not skate this week, but he is rehabbing in the Montreal Canadiens’ off-ice gym.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot will continue practicing with the Montreal Canadiens until he returns from the injured reserve next week.
Another guy not quite ready for a return is Christian Dvorak. The six-foot-one left-winger practiced this morning but is still not at 100 percent.
The Habs are full of fringe returns. Another is forward Mathew Perreault (lower-body), who practiced in a no-contact jersey this morning. This 13-year NHL veteran has not laced them up in Canadiens’ jersey since December 14 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Looking at some distant returns, Jonathan Drouin (wrist) and defensemen Joel Edmunson (lower-back) rehabbed with training staff before the start of the Habs’ practice, but they remain out. Drouin has not played since January 20 against the Vegas Golden Knights. Edmunson is yet to make his 2021-22 season debut.
Here is what the Montreal Canadiens lined up like at the Bell Sports Center Tuesday as they prepared for the last game of their eight-game homestand, against the St. Louis Blues, who hold a 36 point lead differential over the Habs in the standings.
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki-Artturi Lehkonen
Mike Hoffman-Paul Byron-Brendan Gallagher
Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Josh Anderson
Joel Armia-Ryan Poehling-Cedric Paquette
Brett Kulak-Jeff Petry
Corey Schuenman-Alexander Romanov
Kale Clague-Chris Wideman