Sports Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price in goal for Dominique Ducharme's debut
Stu Cowan: Canadiens coach Ducharme hit every rung on coaching ladder
Dominique Ducharme was never certain he could make it as a player in the NHL, but he was convinced he could make it as a coach. After playing one season as a centre with the Junior A Hawkesbury Hawks, posting 58-82-140 totals in 55 games, Ducharme went to the University of Vermont, where he played four seasons with the Catamounts. Future Hockey Hall of Famer and fellow Quebecer Martin St. Louis was a teammate for his last two seasons in Vermont. Ducharme posted 12-31-43 totals during his best season with the Catamounts.
Carey Price will be in goal Thursday night against the Jets in Winnipeg when Dominique Ducharme makes his debut as head coach of the Canadiens (8 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
Price has a 5-3-3 record with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage. He is 1-3-1 in his last five starts.
Backup goalie Jake Allen has a 4-2-1 record with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. The Canadiens were shut out in both of Allen’s regulation-time losses.
Stu Cowan: It's a new start for Canadiens with Dominique Ducharme
New Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme looks and speaks like a hockey professor. It’s very interesting listening to him. On Thursday morning, Ducharme held his second video conference with the media since being named interim head coach on Wednesday, replacing Claude Julien. Ducharme said the message to his team ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Jets had to be simple. “Obviously, we don’t want our guys to be overthinking on the ice,” he said. “We want to be active. So guidelines, rules in certain situations. That’s how we’re going to be taking the first step.
Ducharme was named interim head coach on Wednesday after GM Marc Bergevin fired Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller.
Alex Burrows will make his debut behind the Canadiens bench Thursday night as an assistant coach after spending the last three seasons as an assistant with the AHL’s Laval Rocket.
Ducharme has decided to reunite the line of Phillip Danault between Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher against the Jets and will make Jake Evans a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Paul Byron will move into Evans’s spot as the fourth-line centre.
Defenceman Victor Mete will also be a healthy scratch.
This will be only the third time this season Price has started in goal for two straight games and the first time since a 5-2 win over the Canucks in Vancouver on Jan. 23 and a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre on Jan. 28. Since then, Price has a 2-3-1 record.
Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price will be back in goal vs. Jets
Carey Price will be in goal when the Canadiens face the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., SNE, SNW, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Head coach Dominique Ducharme is hoping right-winger Josh Anderson can return to the Canadiens lineup after missing the last three games with a lower-body injury. Anderson will be a game-time decision after skating on a new line with centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi and left-winger Tyler Toffoli Saturday morning in Brossard. Before the injury, Anderson had been playing on a line with Nick Suzuki and Jonathan Drouin. If Anderson plays, Joel Armia will replace him on that line.
Price allowed four goals on 39 shots and two more in three shootout attempts in his last game, a 5-4 shootout loss to the Senators in Ottawa on Tuesday night.
When asked following Thursday’s morning skate what this opportunity to play two straight games means for Price with a new head coach, Ducharme said: “Like everyone else … we want to have a strong start. We want to have a strong game. For everyone, I think it’s the same. I don’t see him being different than the others on that side.”
This Game Day notebook will be updated.
Full rosters for tonight's game between the— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) and Jets in Winnipeg :
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings will look for the Canadiens against the Jets:
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Drouin – Suzuki – Anderson
Toffoli – Kotkaniemi – Perry
Lehkonen – Byron – Armia
Chiarot – Weber
Edmundson – Petry
Kulak – Romanov
A look at the NHL North Division standings ahead of tonight's game between the— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) and Jets in Winnipeg :
The Canadiens and Jets will play again Saturday night in Winnipeg (10 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio).
Next week, the Canadiens will play three straight games at the Bell Centre. The Senators will be the visitors on Tuesday (7 p.m., TSN2, TSN5, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM), followed by two games against the Jets on Thursday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and Saturday (7 p.m., SNE, SNW, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
The Canadiens have a 3-5-0 record at the Bell Centre this season.
Stu Cowan: Canadiens need to revive dormant offence .
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is hoping a new goalie coach will help Carey Price get back on track. But firing Stéphane Waite and replacing him with Sean Burke won’t help the Canadiens’ struggling offence. The Canadiens scored 44 goals in their first 10 games this season while getting off to a 7-1-2 start. After losing 4-3 in OT to the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens are 3-5-4 in their last 12 games while scoring only 27 goals over that span. They have scored less than three goals in seven of their last 12 games. The Canadiens have scored 10 goals in their first four games with Dominique Ducharme as head coach and have a 1-1-2 record.