Olympic champions Carey Price and P.K. Subban arrived back in Montreal Monday morning about an hour before their teammates hit the ice for practice in Brossard at 11 a.m. Max Pacioretty, who was part of Team USA, joined Price and Subban on a flight from Newark, N.J., on a private jet arranged for by Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer.
Goalie Peter Budaj, who was part of the Slovakian team in Sochi, was in goal for practice with Francis Desrosiers of the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix in the other net. The other Canadiens who took part in the Sochi Games – Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec – were all on the ice for practice.
Price met with reporters for about 15 minutes after his arrival in Brossard.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling,” the goaltender said about being an Olympic gold medallist. “Obviously, it was a really, really cool life experience and I was really, really honoured and grateful for the opportunity to take part in that.
“It was a complete effort from everybody, no matter what position guys were put in,” he added. “Everybody contributed in some way and I think that was probably the most special feeling. Because everybody out on that ice when our anthem was played had a part in it in some way.”
Brandon Prust, who has an upper-body injury, skated before practice, while Michael Bournival, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms, didn’t skate. Both are listed as day-to-day.
Defenceman Jarred Tinordi, who was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, practised Monday and will be in the lineup Wednesday night when Team Canada coach Mike Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings visit the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Tinordi, a left-hand shot, spent part of practice on the right side with veteran Douglas Murray as his partner.
“It’s always a bit of surprise to get called up; you never really expect it,” Tinordi told reporters after practice. “But I had a stretch of about two or three weeks where I was playing well and feeling good, so it’s good to be recognized for that with a call-up.”
On Thursday, the Habs will be in Pittsburgh to take on Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (7 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690), before returning home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
An exhausted Price told reporters in Brossard Monday that he’s not sure when he will return to the Habs’ net, adding Babcock encouraged him to have a few more beers Sunday night following Canada’s gold-medal victory. Price also said he wasn’t in touch with Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite or his Habs teammates during the Games, instead staying in his own bubble.
Price, who said he was looking forward to going home to spend time with his wife and dog while getting some sleep, will get the day off Tuesday when the Habs practise in Brossard at 11 a.m.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice on Monday:
(Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)