The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes that Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau has some tough decisions to make concerning his defensive corps after the oustanding training-camp performances of Josh Gorges and Ryan O’Byrne.
Carbonneau must balance their performances against veterans Francis Bouillon and Mathieu Dandenault.
“You know what the veterans can do, but some of the young guys have come to camp well prepared and they’re making the decision tough,” Carbonneau said.
Said O’Byrne: “I know that if I stay, there’s a chance I won’t be playing every night. The question is whether I’d be better off playing 20 minutes every game in Hamilton or playing 10-12 minutes in Montreal and maybe not playing every night. I played in Hamilton last year and I made progress there, and I think I’d be better off here. It’s the coach’s decision, but this is where I want to be.”
But Gorges has impressed Carbonneau with his steady play in camp.
“I knew I had to work hard and be in good shape for training camp,” Gorges said. “I saw that they signed some guys in the off-season with NHL experience, but that just made me more determined to work hard.”
The one disadvantage for O’Byrne is that he is on a two-way contract and would not have to clear waivers if he is sent to Hamilton. Gorges would need to clear waivers before being sent to the Bulldogs.