Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was asked after Thursday’s practice in Brossard if he would use defenceman P.K. Subban more if he were coaching Team Canada in Sochi.
“I don’t want to second-guess the coaches there because I’ve been second-guessed enough,” Therrien said.
Therrien added that he’s rooting for Team Canada.
“In situations like this, I’m just a fan, and it’s Canada all the way,” the coach said.
The Canadiens players who aren’t in Sochi practised for the second straight day Thursday in Brossard and for the second day the club recruited some extra players to join them.
After former Hab Jocelyn Thibault was in goal Wednesday, Jimmy Waite – the brother of Canadiens goalie coach Stephane Waite – put on the pads Thursday along with former minor-leaguer Martin Houle. Former Habs forward Sebastien Bordeleau also took part in the practice along with three members of the NAHL’s Laval Braves.
Jimmy Waite was the Chicago Blackhawks’ first-round pick (eighth overall) at the 1987 NHL entry draft and played with the Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes.
Michael Bournival, who continues to suffer from concussion-like symptoms, didn’t take part in the practice, and neither did Brandon Prust, who has an upper-body injury. Both are listed as day-to-day. Davis Drewiske was also absent after his mother died on Wednesday.
Alex Galchenyuk is fully recovered from his broken hand and has been cleared for contact.
“We brought in the extra players to help us in practice,” Therrien said.
“The one thing that has impressed me is that the (Canadiens) players showed a lot of discipline during the time off and they all came back in good shape.”
The four Canadiens players who were already eliminated at the Sochi Olympics – Peter Budaj, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and Tomas Plekanec – were expected to arrive back in Montreal on Thursday, but won’t practise with the Habs until Monday. Carey Price and Subban remain in Sochi with Team Canada, while Max Pacioretty is with Team USA. Canada faces the U.S. in the Olympic semifinals Friday at noon ET.
The non-Olympic Habs will practise Friday and Saturday in Brossard at 11 a.m. – with no media availability – then have a day off Sunday before taking to the ice again Monday at 11 a.m.
The Canadiens’ first post-Olympic game will be Wednesday night at the Bell Centre against the Detroit Red Wings. The next night the Canadiens will face the Penguins in Pittsburgh.
The AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs are at the Bell Centre Friday night at 7:30 p.m. to take on the Binghamton Senators.
(Photo by Allen McInnis / The Gazette)