Budaj to start for Habs vs. Sens; Beaulieu called up after Murray suspended 3 games

The Canadiens practised at noon Thursday in Florida before boarding a flight for Ottawa, where they will face the Senators Friday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

After practice coach Michel Therrien announced that Peter Budaj will start in goal against the Senators. In 22 games this season, Budaj has a 9-8-2 record with a 2.41 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

The Canadiens learned after practice that defenceman Douglas Murray has been suspended for three games by the NHL for his elbow to the head of Tampa Bay’s Mike Kostka during Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Lightning. Kostka has been diagnosed with a concussion. Murray will forfeit $23,076.93 in salary.

Jarred Tinordi practised in Murray’s spot with Mike Weaver as his partner and later in the day the Canadiens announced they had called up defenceman Nathan Beaulieu from the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 54 games with the Bulldogs, Beaulieu has six goals and 19 assists. He has two assists in 16 games with the Canadiens this season.

Josh Gorges, who is out with a broken hand, skated with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard before practice and is aiming to return to the lineup on April 9 in Chicago, which will be the final game of Murray’s suspension.

In his last start on March 24, Budaj backstopped the Habs to a 2-1 shootout win over the Bruins in Boston.

“It doesn’t matter what happened on any given day in practice, what matters is what’s going to happen in the game, so you can’t really live based of memories,” Budaj told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “The win against Boston was a big win for our team, but since then we’ve played many good games. We’ve got to regroup after the game against Tampa and go out and get two points against Ottawa. I’m excited about the start. I’m glad I get a chance to play. It’s going to be a good game. Every game against Ottawa is. We’re looking forward to it.”

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Thursday’s practice:



The Canadiens will return home after Friday’s game and face the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

In other news, David Desharnais is the Canadiens’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy that goes to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. After picking up only one assist in his first 17 games this season, Desharnais racked up 48 points (15 goals, 33 assists) in his next 57 games. Five Canadiens have won the Masterton award in the past: Claude Provost (1968), Henri Richard (1974), Serge Savard (1979), Saku Koivu (2002) and Max Pacioretty (2012).

Meanwhile, Habs prospect Zachary Fucale took home two trophies from the QMJHL awards banquet Wednesday night. The Halifax Mooseheads goaltender, who was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (36th overall) of last year’s NHL draft, won the Jacques Plante Trophy for posting the league’s best goals-against average (2.26) and the Paul Dumont Trophy as the personality of the year. Another Habs prospect, centre Jeremy Gregoire, won the Marcel Robert Trophy as the scholastic athlete of the year. Former Habs defenceman Patrice Brisebois and current assistant coach Gerard Gallant were inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Murray suspended three games for illegal check, NHL.com

Budaj gets the call, Canadiens.com

Desharnais nominated for Masterton, by Pat Hickey

Montreal mayor turns into sports fan on Twitter, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Habs players enjoying extra days off, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

How the Habs made the playoffs, NHL.com

Senators Extra, Ottawa Citizen

Habs’ Stanley Cup odds now set at 22-1, Stu on Sports blog

Lecavalier joins NHL’s 400-goal club, but did Habs need him? Stu on Sports blog


  1. Coozeman says:

    I disagree, with the exception of Bergeron, Pleky is perfect for Chucky to learn from, for he is a terrific two way centre that contributes offensively and on the pk as well… The offensive side of Chucky’s game will develope from playing the position… As for NB, who is better than Markov to learn from with the exception of Lidstom or another Hall of Famer?! Smart, puck moving Dman, that has lost a step but still makes the right play most always, like Chara… Tiny needs to follow Subban through a summer workout session and beef up that big frame, but I doubt his development will benefit any further from AHL playing time… They are both young studs and in my humble opinion their time is very soon if not now!

  2. Hobie Hansen says:

    The interview EVERYONE was waiting for: Douglas Murray speaks to the media for the first time since being suspended for three games.
    WATCH -> http://goha.bs/1jbck9N

    Enjoy your rest before the playoffs Doug, you’ve been great and deserve it! Don’t listen to the haters!

  3. Coozeman says:

    When referring to Subban regressing I was referring from last year to this year… He doesn’t look like the same Dman at all and looks tentative in the offensive zone, with few exceptions as well… I think MT does get a great deal out of his Vets, but I see other teams advancing the curve for the younger guys at a much more accelerated rate… For example Boston’s young Dmen…

    • HammerHab says:

      The reason some other teams have accelerated development on their players is due to the vets in the system providing their expertise and helping these young players along. You’ll learn a lot more from being paired with Chara than being paired with Bouillion, Zetterberg/Datsyuk can help you more than Plekanec/Gionta, Bergeron is better to learn from than DD, etc.


      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  4. HammerHab says:

    It doesnt get a lot of talk around here but O’Byrne for Bournival was a very very very good trade for us….perhaps Gauthier’s only good move….did I say it was very good? cuz it was very good….like very….


    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  5. DipsyDoodler says:

    Below CJ mentions that: the risk of playing Beaulieu with PK is that “Beaulieu significantly outperforms Frankie and than the coach is in a tight spot to break up the pairing.”

    This assumes that Therrien is playing Bouillon out of misguided loyalty rather than as a stopgap measure. But this doesn’t fit with the facts. The Bull was benched for like 20 games this year so MT has no problem not playing him.

    I think MT knows what he’s getting with Bouillon. No need to explain anything to him, no need to remind him there’s 10 min left in a tie game, psychotherapy, benchings , etc … just tap him on the shoulder and he’ll give you what you expect.

    Plus, Gorges is coming back in 3 games anyway. He will be playing with PK.

    On the other hand it might not help a slumping PK to have a rookie with him, nor would it necessarily be the best for Beaulieu.

    Moving. Forward.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      However, having said all that, Beaulieu was recently seen turning water into wine while at the local pub in Hess Village the other night.

    • Paz says:

      No need for any psychotherapy with Bouillon, absolutely true.

      Beaulieu is way better, also true.

      Therrien will live and die with veterans on defence. It has got him this far and he’s not about to change now.

      Next year? Beaulieu, Tinordi, Patteryn, fight for 1 spot in top 6.

      As long as the coach is winning, it’s his way, point finale.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I would say that there will be 2 spots for them.
        Not at the beginning of the season, perhaps, but two will be up full-time after Xmas, I reckon.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • CJ says:

      Hi Dipsy. A lot of what you have written I agree with. I agree that Therien trusts Frankie and knows what he is getting. I get that Nate has not earned the coaches trust. I get that when Gorges returns Frankie is out.

      Sure, we are getting results, but I am concerned based on the quality of the opposition (Bruins is the obvious exception) and the manner in which these results are being acheived. The Detroit game perfectly illustrates my point. I am concerned as to the fact that we would use a “stopgap” measure with our number 1 defenceman.

      If what you say is entirely true, and I am willing to condece every point you have made, why would the stopgap number 7/8 defenceman be paired with our number 1? No other organization in hockey does that.

      Additionally, as we watch Ottawa play tonight consider this. Codi Ceci is 19 years old. He was brought up in December and given a chance to roll when they realized that Joe Corvo could not cut it. The Sens stated publicly that before they were going to make a trade they wanted to see what Ceci could do. They gave him minutes. I have watched him play live on 6 occasions. He scored the OT winner against the Blues when I was in attendance. He is on the PP. He was brought up and given a role and icetime. When you watch him tonight ask yourself if he is an upgrade over Corvo. If we would give Nate the same opportunity, I think there is a very good chance he would also prove his worth.

      I share this example because I think Beaulieu and Ceci are very comparable players. Both are excellent skaters. Their games are very close. All I am suggesting is giving the kid a chance. We all want to win now, me included. However, I don’t see that happening with our existing defence.

      • Paz says:

        CJ, some coaches will play youngsters on defence and let them learn on the fly.

        Therrienism is not that type of regime.

        How many jobs were filled in the NHL between Therrien’s firing in Pittsburgh and his hiring here?

        Many GM’s think like you CJ.

  6. jrs10069 says:

    Hope Parros is playing as the Sens are going to goon it up tonight guaranteed


  7. slapshot777 says:

    Didn’t Prust have some surgery done again on his shoulder?

    They originally said approx 2 weeks so I would let Weise get healthy before coming back. No doubt when he does he will have it taped up.

    Mien has a concussion so skies the limit on his return. If we can get two out of three back to start the playoffs along with Gorges. We’ll be okay.

  8. Coozeman says:

    I think MT has done a good job getting the most out of his players, but not a great job and we did make the playoffs outright (when most pundits had us scraping in, if at all) so there is that… But, Subban has regressed under him, it took him three or four games to realize Vanek should not have been playing with the teams best defensive centre, NB and Tiny should be further along in their development with the big club and it took him almost a full year and the acquisition of Vanek to realize Gionta is a third line player… Yeah, there is that!

    • The_Truth says:

      I think MT gets a B+ at least for his job this season. As you mentioned, you can’t argue with where the team is at, considering not being a top talented team and also still having a rather unbalanced lineup in regards to size and physicality.

      Subban hasn’t regressed under MT. He did win the Norris last year with MT and his staff as coaches. This year he isn’t as impressive, especially defensively. I think that is more of Subban falling back to the mean, being a young player still learning and playing as a #1 Dman. As much as we all love Subban and what he brings, he isn’t Nick Lidstrom (yet). Babcock and the best hockey minds in the business shed some light on where Subban stands at this point overall.

      I don’t believe Tinordi or NB should be further along either. By what analysis should they be? They both have not dominated the lower level AHL and although nice prospects, are not top tier like a Trouba, Maata or Seth Jones. Dmen take longer to develop and they should never be rushed into a situation they are not ready for. They are slowly being brought along and at least one of them should be a full time NHLer next season.

      Also it’s kind of hard to but Gio on the 3rd line, when there weren’t any other options for the top 6 to replace him. Now that Vanek is here, there is more depth to do so.

      All these critisisms of MT for so caled roster moves, have mostly turned out to be wrong. He is doing a great job with the roster talent he has and should be commended on a top 4 conference finish. Now comes the playoffs.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Your agenda is showing. Michel Therrien played Thomas Vanek on left wing with Tomas and Brian Gionta after a talk with the player, who stated he preferred left wing to right wing. He gave that line three games, it didn’t work, he figured “on a pas l’temps d’naiser”, and put him on right wing with David and Max.

      Michel Therrien, is the Bizarro-world Parker Lewis, he can’t win. If he’d put him on right wing right off the bat, he’d be an idiot for going against the potential UFA’s wishes. If he’d stuck with him on left wing with the Plekanec line, despite the lack of production, he’d be horrible at player management. But he successfully made a switch, after a trial period to accede to his prize acquisition’s preference, so he’s an idiot for taking so long, and not realizing that it would never work with Tomas Plekanec immediately, like a psychic.

      This refrain from all the living room coaches is getting really, really old. There is so much disdain for Michel Therrien that I wonder why some of his detractors bother being fans of the Canadiens. With so much dislike, you imagine they’d stampede over to the Blue Jackets or the Nouveau Nordiques, they’re sure to get flawless, impeccable team decisions there, that perfectly align with their personal opinion.

      But yeah, let’s blame the head coach for the fact that the prospects are developing slower than we’d like, and aren’t setting the AHL on fire. Nathan Beaulieu should be on the first-pairing with P.K. right now, but we’re a horrible organization, we should be like the Red Wings, who are patient with their youngsters in the minors.

  9. jimmy shaker says:

    Comment number 800. Thanks everyone! It was hard to get to but we worked hard and did it together as a team. Thanks again.

    Shaker out!

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