Sports Canadiens Notebook: Max Pacioretty says all Habs have a shelf life
Game Day Notebook: Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher will play 600th game
Brendan Gallagher will play his 600th career NHL game with the Canadiens Thursday when the Pittsburgh Penguins are the visitors at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Gallagher has experienced many ups and downs during his 10 seasons with the Canadiens. There was the high of making it to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in his career last season, followed by the low this season with the Canadiens getting off to a 4-12-2 start and sitting in 29th place in the overall NHL standings heading into Thursday night’s game.
Max Pacioretty played for 10 years in Montreal and there was a time the former Canadiens captain thought he’d spend his entire NHL career there.
That didn’t happen and Pacioretty was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sept. 10, 2018 in a deal that brought Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar and a second-round draft pick to Montreal.
“Montreal is an amazing place and I’m so proud of what I accomplished there,” Pacioretty said this week on the Agent Provacateur podcast with his agent Allan Walsh. “I just feel like everyone has a shelf life there.
In the Habs' Room: A near-perfect game after their worst against Penguins
How can a team that played so badly on Thursday play so well on Saturday? That was the question after the Canadiens followed their worst game of the season — a 6-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins — with a 6-3 win over Nashville on Saturday. “I think we were a little pissed off,” said Artturi Lehkonen, who started the scoring Saturday with his first goal of the season. “It was not a good effort against Pittsburgh. After the game, we couldn’t do anything about it, so we had to learn from it.” “We’re proud,” said coach Dominique Ducharme. He said the players didn’t enjoy being embarrassed and they practised hard Friday in preparation for the Predators.
“Everyone told me it … ex-players, current players, fans, and I was stubborn,” Pacioretty added. “I was heard-headed: No, that won’t happen to me. I’m going to be here for the rest of my career. I love it here. I live in Westmount, I’m down in the city with the fans, going out to dinner every night. And even when I did get traded I still thought I could be here forever and not have it affect me.
“But then when I saw the difference in Vegas, I kind of understood what everyone was talking to me about. There just seems to be so much less pressure, whether you admit it or not. You just go about your everyday life in such an easier manner that it really plays so much less of a toll on you. Whether you’re a leader, whether you’re a young guy, and even if you don’t read the media in Montreal you know what’s being said.
Canadiens Notebook: Coach says players are working 'the wrong way'
Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme believes his players are working hard enough, they’re just not working the right way. “I don’t think last night that we didn’t work, but worked the wrong way,” Ducharme said Thursday in Buffalo after the Canadiens dropped a 6-3 decision to the Capitals Wednesday night in Washington. “That’s where you look bad. It wasn’t good because you’re not in the right spot or you’re not doing your job, but you’re working and sometimes it snowballs so that you’re working but in the wrong way. That you’re working for almost nothing and you get out of position. “That first guy misses doing his job, now you need to jump in,” the coach added.
“Brian Burke’s line was: ‘Playing in Montreal is a lot harder than anywhere else because you suck in two languages.”
Video: Flames Mikael Backlund scores shootout winner over Penguins (cbc.ca)
Pacioretty suffered a broken foot in the second game of the season this year and was sidelined for just over a month. In four games, he has 2-3-5 totals. Last season, Pacioretty posted 24-27-51 totals in 48 games.
NEW: Agent Provocateur with guest Max Pacioretty discussing his road to the NHL and “shelf life” in Montreal.
YouTube:— Allan Walsh (@walsha)
New team for Guhle
Kaiden Guhle, the Canadiens’ first-round pick (16th overall) at the 2020 NHL Draft, has a new junior team.
About Last Night: Habs win 6-3 with front office in flux
It was a busy night both on and off the ice for the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. While Jake Allen made 47 saves in a 6-3 win for his club over the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena, the Habs announced assistant general manager Scott Mellanby had resigned from his post. The Canadiens may not have planned to make such an announcement during the middle of a game, but they were given little choice: rumours about the Canadiens talking to former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton were making the rounds, signalling management changes are afoot. Here’s what the insiders were saying on Twitter: Very intriguing situation in Montreal.
On Wednesday, the Prince Albert Raiders traded the 19-year-old defenceman to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a package that included Ottawa Senators prospect Carson Latimer and a first-round pick (13th overall) at the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft.
It was also announced Wednesday that Guhle has been named to Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, where he will be joined by Joshua Roy, the Canadiens’ fifth-round pick (150th overall) at this year’s NHL Draft.
In 17 games this season with Prince Albert, Guhle had 2-13-15 totals. Roy, a left-winger with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, leads the QMJHL in scoring with 15-24-39 totals in 21 games.
In exchange for Guhle, Prince Albert also receives a first-round pick at the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft, a conditional third-round pick in 2025 and a sixth-round pick in 2022.
“Today is full of mixed emotions. I want to thank Kaiden for his commitment to the organization and Prince Albert as a community,” Raiders GM Curtis Hunt said on the WHL website. “This ends an era of the Guhle family and their direct participation with the club, though they will always be Raiders.”
Stu Cowan: Canadiens might benefit from a simpler on-ice system
The Canadiens look like a team that’s thinking too much and playing too little. They also looked that way last season after Dominique Ducharme took over from Claude Julien as head coach and worked to implement his new system without much practice time because of the condensed schedule caused by the pandemic. The Canadiens went 15-16-7 while finishing the regular season with Ducharme in charge. They fell behind three games to one to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs before the system finally started to click and they went all the way to the Stanley Cup final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Guhle’s older brother, Brendan, also played for Prince Albert and is now with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.
“The toughest thing is to differentiate what was Kaiden’s biggest contribution,” Hunt said. “Was it the person, the leader, the intangibles, the player, or the pride he had in being a Raider? We certainly wish him nothing but the best as he goes for gold with Team Canada and in the next phase of his career with the Edmonton Oil Kings and on to Montreal.”
A numerical look at why Kaiden Guhle and Joshua Roy have definitely earned their invitations to Canada's National Junior Team Selection Camp.
????— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
Progress for Poehling
Ryan Poehling has only played 10 games with the Canadiens this season but he’s tied for third on the team in goals with four.
Josh Anderson (seven) and Tyler Toffoli (five) are the only two Canadiens with more goals than Poehling, who is averaging only 10:41 of ice time per game.
Poehling started the season with the AHL’s Laval Rocket, where he posted 3-3-6 totals in seven games.
“It’s always a process,” Canadiens head coach Dominique said about Poehling, who was selected in the first round (25th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. “He had to go to Laval. He had ups and downs there. He grew. We talked about him in (training) camp … he went back, was playing solid hockey. He comes here and one of the first things sitting down with him was: Make sure you stay yourself. There’s a reason why you had success in the AHL. This was the part that we talked about before him going back to Laval and what he’s done there.
About Last Night: Habs still searching for the first win of the Jeff Gorton era
I’m going to talk about the game, I promise, but first I want to talk about something personal. Way back in, I want to say 2008, I was working on finishing up university when I discovered this website called HI/O that was building a community of Habs fans. Before long, Mike Boone’s liveblog and About Last Night were like caffeine straight to the veins of this early-20’s Canadiens-crazed political science student. After a year of screaming about how awful the Scott Gomez trade was, I started my own little blog, based on the encouragement of Boone himself.
“To be facing adversity, he faced a lot of different situations and he seems to be finding his way and figuring things out for himself,” Ducharme added. “He’s been playing pretty good. I told you guys that I liked what he was doing, so at the end of last game he was playing more with (Jonathan) Drouin and (Joel) Armia and power play. Again, it’s up to him to keep playing that way. When you do good things, good things happen to you.”
Sacrebleu!— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
The Canadiens held an optional practice Wednesday morning at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard with 10 players taking part.
Poehling, Cole Caufield, Cédric Paquette, Mathieu Perreault, Michael Pezzetta, Brett Kulak, Sami Niku, Mattias Norlinder, Chris Wideman and goalie Samuel Montembeault took part.
Ducharme said after practice that Perreault, Kulak and Wideman are close to returning from injuries and could be in the lineup Thursday at the Bell Centre against the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Joel Edmundson, who has been sidelined since the start of training camp, needs to see the team doctors again and there’s no clear answer on when he might return.
Carey Price, who is still recovering from off-season knee surgery and also spent 30 days in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program dealing with substance use, skated without equipment with athletic therapist Matthew Romano.
Ducharme said Price will meet with team doctors in the coming days for more tests.
Game Day Notebook: Jesse Ylönen latest player called up by Canadiens
Jesse Ylönen, come on down! Or make that, come on up! Ylönen is the latest player to be called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket by the Canadiens because of a growing injury list and the 22-year-old right-winger will be in the lineup Thursday at the Bell Centre against the Chicago Blackhawks (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens selected Ylönen in the second round (35th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft. In 17 games with the Rocket this season, Ylönen has 4-10-14 totals. He has only played one previous game in the NHL last season. Ylönen will take Christian Dvorak’s spot in the lineup.
Carey ????— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
The Canadiens have a morning skate scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday ahead of their game against the Avalanche.
The Canadiens are scheduled to practice at 10:30 a.m. Friday before flying to Nashville, where they will face the Predators Saturday (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
Next week, the Canadiens will play the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) before facing the Blues Saturday in St. Louis (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
About Last Night: Bolts beat Habs in final three minutes .
The decimated Montreal Canadiens hung on for the first 57 minutes of their rematch against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre on Tuesday, but late goals by Corey Perry and Ondrej Palat sealed a 3-2 victory for the champs. These were not the same Habs as the ones who faced the Bolts in the Stanley Cup final back in June/July. Because of offseason moves and injuries, only eight players from that squad suited up Tuesday. That includes backup Jake Allen, who got the call tonight. It could have been an anticlimactic game, given where each team currently stands, but the plucky, depleted Canadiens gave a spirited effort.