Sports Canadiens Game Day: Jake Allen will be in goal for Habs vs. Jets
Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price in goal, Paul Byron back in the lineup
Carey Price will be in goal for the Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and forward Paul Byron will return to the lineup. The Canadiens placed Byron on waivers last Sunday and after clearing waivers he was placed on the team’s taxi squad on Monday. Byron has struggled this season with 0-3-3 totals in 14 games. The 31-year-old is in the second season of a four-year, US$13.6-million contract with a $3.4 million salary-cap hit.
Jake Allen will be in goal for the Canadiens when they face the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
Allen has a 4-2-2 record this season, along with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. The Canadiens were shut out in both of his regulation-time losses.
The Canadiens are coming off a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, in which Carey Price made 26 saves for the win, improving his record to 6-4-3 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage. Canadiens goalie coach Stéphane Waite was fired after the second period of that game.
What the Puck: Aura of negative energy envelops fragile Canadiens
Is Carey Price trying to get Dominique Ducharme fired? That, by the way, is a joke. The US$10.5-million goalie certainly played a role in getting Claude Julien fired . As former Habs netminder J osé Théodore said in his Journal de Montréal column this week, when National Hockey League coaches get tossed overboard, it’s often because the starting goalie is playing like a minor-leaguer. After Thursday’s pathetic performance by Price in a 6-3 loss to the high-flying Winnipeg Jets, it’s clear Saint Carey is in one of his all-too-frequent funks, pretty well business as usual for the most overrated player in the NHL.
Sean Burke will take over from Waite as the new director of goaltending, but must go through a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine after arriving in Montreal from his home in Arizona. Marco Marciano, the goaltending coach for the AHL’s Laval Rocket, will work with Allen and Price in the meantime.
“We looked at the schedule,” head coach Dominique Ducharme said after Thursday’s morning skate in Brossard when asked about Allen starting in goal. “We were happy with Carey’s performance in the last game. Jake has done good work, so he’ll get the start tonight. Jake was going to play one of the two games against Winnipeg, tonight or Saturday. We decided to go with him tonight.”
That would suggest that Price will be in goal when the Canadiens face the Jets again Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
Canadiens Game Day: Dominique Ducharme trying to put his stamp on team
Dominique Ducharme was thrown into the deep end without a life jacket as new head coach of the Canadiens. Ducharme didn’t even have a chance to hold one full practice before his first game behind the bench, Thursday night’s 6-3 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg, one day after taking over from Claude Julien It would have made much more sense for GM Marc Bergevin to have made the coaching move early last week when the Canadiens had a six-day break in the schedule and Ducharme would have had time to make the changes he wants to put in place.
The Canadiens have a 10-6-5 record and are in fourth place in the all-Canadian North Division standings. The Jets are in second place with a 14-7-1 record.
After getting off to a 7-1-2 start, the Canadiens are 3-5-3 in their last 11 games. The Jets have a 5-1-0 record in their last six games, including 6-3 and 2-1 overtime wins over the Canadiens last week in Winnipeg.
Connor Hellebuyck will start in goal for the Jets. He has a 10-6-1 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.
This Game Day notebook will be updated after Thursday night’s game.
Full rosters for tonight's game between the— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) and Jets at the Bell Centre :
Anderson still sidelined
Josh Anderson took part in Thursday’s morning skate but isn’t ready to return to the lineup and will miss his third straight game because of a lower-body injury.
Canadiens Notebook: Dominique Ducharme keeps working on his new system
New Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme likes to limit his practices to 30-35 minutes, but he wants them to be intense. About 30 minutes into practice Monday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Ducharme blew his whistle, stopped the action and held a mini team meeting on the ice. The Canadiens were working on Ducharme’s new forechecking system and the coach didn’t like what he was seeing. “I said instead of keeping going for three minutes and not doing it the right way I’ll stop, we’ll walk through it and they’ll understand and we’ll leave here better,” Ducharme explained after practice. “You always start with a plan,” Ducharme added.
“Josh had made good progress,” Ducharme said. “He won’t play tonight, though. We’ll see about Saturday. Ideally, we want to ensure that he’s 100 per cent before he plays again. We don’t want him to come back when there’s still a risk of injury. We’re taking that into consideration when it comes to his injury.”
Here’s how the forward lines and defence pairings looked at the morning skate:
Drouin – Suzuki – Toffoli/Anderson
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Kotkaniemi – Armia
Byron – Evans – Perry
Chiarot – Weber
Edmundson – Petry
Video: Oilers use power-play to defeat Canucks (cbc.ca)
Kulak – Romanov
???? Josh!!— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
Tyler Toffoli has taken Anderson’s spot at right wing on a line with Nick Suzuki and Jonathan Drouin.
“I think with Toffs coming on our line all of us like to make little plays within small areas,” Suzuki said. “I think all of us are smart players so we can use each other well, jump to open ice. We’ve had some really great shifts hemming the other team in the defensive zone for long periods of time and that will help the next line coming out if we make a good change. But as a line I think we have everything we need to score and produce offence and play well in the D zone. (Ducharme has) been trusting us in defensive-zone draws against other team’s top lines, so I think we have everything that the line needs.”
Hickey on hockey: Canadiens seeking solutions to overtime failures
Overtime continues to be a major stumbling block for the Canadiens, who dropped a 4-3 OT decision to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. The Canadiens are 0-6 this season in games that have extended beyond regulation time. Four of those losses have been decided in 3-on-3 play, while the others ended in shootouts. An optimist will say the Canadiens salvaged six points in the standings. A realist understands they lost six points. The last two overtime An optimist will say the Canadiens salvaged six points in the standings. A realist understands they lost six points.
Suzuki started the season with a seven-game point streak and had points in eight of the first 10 games. But the 21-year-old centre has only two goals and two assists in the last 11 games, giving him 5-10-15 totals for the season. Suzuki is also struggling in the faceoff circle, winning only 42.3 per cent of his draws.
L'entraîneur-chef par intérim, Dominique Ducharme, répond en direct aux questions des médias.
Interim head coach Dominique Ducharme is live taking questions from reporters.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) |
Power play gets a spark
The Canadiens went 2-for-3 on the power play in Tuesday night’s win over the Senators and now rank 17th in the NHL on the PP with a 21 per cent success rate. Before Tuesday, the Canadiens had gone 2-for-25 on the power play in their previous 11 games.
New assistant coach Alex Burrows is now in charge of the power play after associate coach Kirk Muller was fired last Wednesday, along with head coach Claude Julien. Burrows had been an assistant coach with the Rocket.
“He’s brought a lot,” Suzuki said about Burrows. “New energy, new kind of philosophy and plays that he’s worked with in Laval. I’ve seen a couple of clips of successful power plays from down there and I think he’s been doing a great job with us so far.”
By the numbers: Blue-liner Victor Mete could give Habs' offence a boost
The Canadiens are looking to build some semblance of consistency under interim head coach Dominique Ducharme and while they’ve managed to take points in eight of their last 10 games, only three were wins. A lot of the changes Ducharme is instituting are about creating more mobility in the offensive zone, varying the points of attack and getting defencemen more involved low in the zone, while attempting to get a lower proportion of shots from far out.
The Canadiens rank 20th in the NHL in penalty-killing with a 76.8 per cent success rate.
A look at the NHL North Division standings ahead of tonight's game between the— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) and Jets at the Bell Centre :
Marciano working with goalies
Ducharme and Marciano have a history together going back to their days with the QMJHL’s Montreal Juniors.
Ducharme was an assistant coach with the Juniors in 2010-11 when Marciano was the team’s goalie coach. Joël Bouchard, now head coach of the Rocket, was also an assistant coach with that team under head coach Pascal Vincent, who is now head coach of the Manitoba Moose, the Jets’ AHL farm team.
“Obviously, when you work with someone like Marco in the juniors and now to see him being here today it’s always nice to see people going from one step to the other and making it to this level,” Ducharme said.
Ducharme added that while Burke is going through his quarantine he will be working closely with Marciano on video conference.
“They’re talking all the time,” Ducharme said. “Obviously, everything that Marco does on the ice with our goalies they talked about it and they prepare drills together. So until Sean is coming here that’s the way they’re going to be working.”
Marco Marciano duétait l'entraîneur des gardiens aujourd'hui, en attendant l'arrivée de Sean Burke.
The Laval Rocket’s Marco Marciano was the goaltending coach today, as the Canadiens await Sean Burke's arrival with the team.
Canadiens Notebook: GM Marc Bergevin says it's unlikely he'll be making trades
Don’t hold your breath waiting for Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to make a deal before the NHL trade deadline on April 12. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Canadiens only had $65,398 of current salary-cap space, according to CapFriendly.com . During a video conference Tuesday, Bergevin stressed that he has very little financial flexibility to make any significant moves before the trade deadline, but he didn’t totally rule out the possibility. Bergevin added that he expects Ben Chiarot will return to the lineup before the end of the regular season after the defenceman had surgery Monday to repair the right hand he fractured during a fight with the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
The Canadiens have a day off scheduled for Friday before facing the Jets again Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., SNE, SNW, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens will then fly to Vancouver on Sunday to start a six-game Western Canada road trip.
Next week, the Canadiens will play the Canucks on Monday (10 p.m., TSN2, SNP, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and Wednesday (11 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). After that, they travel to Calgary to play the Flames on Thursday (9 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and Saturday (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
The week after that, the Canadiens play the Jets in Winnipeg on Monday (8 p.m., ,TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and Wednesday (9 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM), before returning to Montreal for six straight games at the Bell Centre.
Canucks at Canadiens: Five things you should know .
Here are five things you should know about the Canucks-Canadiens game Friday at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN Radio 690, 98.5 FM). The matchup: If it seems like forever since the Canadiens played a home game, that’s almost the case. Montreal hasn’t used its own dressing room since March 6, when it pasted Winnipeg 7-1. The Canadiens then embarked on a six-game road trip, taking them to Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg for two games each. They completed the excursion with a 2-2-2 record, taking six of a possible 12 points. The Canucks are in the midst of a four-game road trip and are coming off successive 3-2 victories at Ottawa, in overtime and a shootout, respectively.