Coming off an exciting 6-3 win over Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien gave his players the day off Wednesday.
The Habs, who are on a three-game winning streak, will be back on the ice Thursday in Brossard for a morning skate at 10:30 a.m. before facing the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Canadiens will then travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
It took Thomas Vanek six games to score his first goal in a Canadiens uniform after being acquired at the trade deadline, but he ended the slump in style with a hat-trick against the Avalanche. However, only two hats were thrown on the ice by fans at the Bell Centre.
“I thought as a line we had gotten a lot of chances lately and we didn’t get rewarded,” Vanek told reporters after the game about linemates Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. “I’m glad the coach stuck with us. I thought we made some good plays today, especially Davey and Patch. They set me up nicely and I could finally finish.”
Therrien told reporters he was happy with all four of his lines, including Daniel Briere-Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher; Alex Galchenyuk-Lars Eller-Brian Gionta; and Travis Moen-Brandon Prust-Dale Weise.
“I like our balance,” Therrien said. “When you win and you score goals, you’re going to be happy. We’ve had these lines since the third period against Ottawa (Saturday). I hope we keep it like this until the end. It makes my job easier.”
Vanek and Co. spoiled Patrick Roy’s return to the Bell Centre as head coach of the Avalanche.
“I thought both teams played really well and tonight the puck bounced their way,” Roy told reporters after the game.
Meanwhile, there was some good news Wednesday about Habs prospect Tim Bozon, who has been battling meningitis. The Saskatoon Health Region provided an update on the 19-year-old’s condition, which has been changed to critical but stable and improving. Over the weekend Bozon’s condition continued to improve and he was moved out of the intensive-care unit and into one of the hospital wards. His physicians have listed his condition as stable and his parents say he is moving around in his bed, trying to feed himself and trying to speak. While his condition continues to improve, the report says he still faces a long recovery.
The Canadiens selected Bozon, a left-winger, in the third round (64th overall) of the 2012 NHL entry draft.
(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)
(Videos by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)