The Canadiens’ sellout streak will continue at the Bell Centre even though Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Bruins will be played in Boston Wednesday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
The Canadiens decided to open up the Bell Centre for fans who wanted to watch Game 7 on the arena’s giant screens, selling tickets for $10 with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. It was announced after 6 p.m. on Tuesday that the Bell Centre was sold out with more than 20,000 fans expected. There will also be a pregame Fan Jam outside the Bell Centre starting at 5:30 p.m., and fans inside the arena will be treated to the same pre-game show as when the Canadiens play at home. The Canadiens have a sellout streak of 406 consecutive games at the Bell Centre, dating back to Jan. 8, 2004.
The Canadiens held an optional practice Tuesday morning in Brossard before flying to Boston with Alex Galchenyuk skating with his teammates for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on April 9 during a game in Chicago.
“He’s progressing really well,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Brossard about Galchenyuk. “(Obviously) he’s not going to play tomorrow.”
Goaltenders Carey Price and Peter Budaj also took part in the optional practice along with Ryan White, George Parros, Michael Bournival, Travis Moen, Douglas Murray, Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Francis Bouillon. Assistant coach Gerard Gallant ran the practice.
When asked about getting ready for a Game 7, Therrien said: “It’s all about preparation … it’s all about attitude. Tomorrow won’t be any different for us than yesterday.”
Therrien said his team played “a helluva game” in Game 6, beating the Bruins 4-0 to force Game 7.
“The only thing that we got to do now is reset the focus and make sure we get another good game tomorrow,” the coach added.
Therrien was asked about his team turning the other cheek at the end of Game 6 when the Bruins started getting physical with Zdeno Chara taking slashing and roughing penalties against Mike Weaver and Jarome Iginla taking a roughing and misconduct penalty against Brian Gionta. Weaver also received a slashing and misconduct penalty.
“This is playoff hockey, you know,” Therrien said. “It’s going to be physical at times. We’re ready to compete.”
The coach added: “I don’t like to talk about the other team. I’m focusing on my players, on my team. Yesterday it was a huge challenge for us. We got the right attitude and we responded the right way. Tomorrow is another huge challenge and we need to have the right attitude again.”
Canadiens captain Gionta said his team has felt confident all series against the Bruins.
“We know we can bring it to them when there’s no tomorrow,” Gionta said. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.
“(Game 7s are) fun, you have to go out there and enjoy the moment,” he added. “Every kid dreams of it. They’re special to be a part of. It’s win or go home. If you’re a competitive person, and you’re not in this profession if you aren’t, then that’s what you look for.”
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)