The Canadiens practised Monday morning in Brossard and all hands were on deck.
Raphael Diaz (flu) and Douglas Murray (lower body), who both missed Saturday’s game in Toronto, were back on the ice. Alex Galchenyuk, who has missed five games after suffering a broken hand against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 6, skated on the second sheet of ice in Brossard with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard. Davis Drewiske, who hasn’t played all season after undergoing shoulder surgery, also skated before the regular practice.
And Rene Bourque, who was a healthy scratch Saturday night in Toronto, practised on a line with Daniel Brière at centre and Michael Bournival.
Late Monday afternoon, the Canadiens announced they have called up Louis Leblanc from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In 36 games this season with the Bulldogs, Leblanc has nine goals and 11 assists. Montreal’s first-round draft pick in 2009 (18th overall) played five games with the Canadiens earlier in the season, going pointless.
“It’s been a tough year,” Bourque, who has six goals and one assist in 36 games and is minus-4, told reporters after practice. “I’ve been good some games, some games I haven’t. I had a feeling (the benching) might be coming soon and it just happened to fall on Saturday.”
Bourque added that coach Michel Therrien didn’t have to say anything to him about being a healthy scratch.
“Obvously, I know what it’s about,” Bourque said. “So I have to pick up my play and get better.
I think I just have to be a little bit more aggressive … play with the puck more, be more confident with it … challenge the defencemen one on one,” said Bourque, adding his poor performance has nothing to do with any injury. “It’s a lot of things. Hopefully it’s a wakeup call and I get back to playing my game and helping produce a little bit.”
Goaltender Carey Price started breaking in a new pair of pads at practice that he will wear for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics. Price has two assists this season, one more than Bourque.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:
The Canadiens play their next game Wednesday night in Pittsburgh against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Habs then travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings Friday night and will play host to the Washington Capitals Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)