(Photo: Allen McInnis, The Gazette)
Danny Brière made his on-ice debut as a Hab Thursday on a line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty during the first scrimmage at the Canadiens’ training camp.
A large crowd filled the stands at Brossard’s Bell Sports Complex to watch the scrimmage, which ended in a draw.
Desharnais, who is coming off a disappointing season in which he signed a four-year, $14-million contract extension, said it was fun to play on a line with Pacioretty and Brière.
The 5-foot-7 centreman has lost about five or six pounds, weighing in at 170 at training camp.
“It was my goal this summer to lose a bit of weight and get faster,” said Desharnais, adding he really worked on his explosiveness.
“It was a learning process,” Desharnais said of last season. “It was a short season. Of course, it’s frustrating. But you’ve just got to turn the page and learn from it and be ready for this season.”
Consistency is something he needs to work on, Desharnais said.
Desharnais is used to overcoming obstacles in his professional career. He wasn’t drafted into the NHL even though he put up more than 100 points in his last two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He led the East Coast Hockey League in points in 2007-08 and his point total in 2011-12, his first full season with the Habs, was third highest on the Canadiens.
“We want David to compete,” coach Michel Therrien said at his press conference after the morning sessions. “We want him to be David Desharnais. We want him to be at the net. We want him to be first on the puck, We want him to skate. This is how he’s got success. And he knows this.
“It’s not a matter of points, but usually when players compete hard, the results get there,” Therrien said.
Asked if that was lacking last season, Therrien said: “Last season was last season.”
You can listen to what goaltender Carey Price had to say after practice here: