The Canadiens enjoyed their second straight day off Thursday following their first-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Canadiens will play the winner of the Boston-Detroit series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. If that series goes the full seven games it won’t end until April 30, meaning the Habs could be in for a long break between games. The Bruins led that series 2-1 going into Game 4 Thursday night (8 p.m., TSN, RDS).
An NHL spokesman told The Canadian Press on Thursday that the Habs’ next series would not start early if the Boston-Detroit series goes only five games. The Canadiens could be looking at a 10- or 11-day break between games, depending on when all the first-round series wrap up.
“Personally, it’s good to have the time off,” Max Pacioretty told reporters after scoring the winning goal in Game 4 against the Lightning Tuesday night. “We had a lot of battles in this series and the time off will be good. We’re all professionals in this room and we’ll handle it right.”
Said Lars Eller: “Rest is a weapon right now. I don’t see it as a disadvantage. Boston or Detroit, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to have to beat one of them — or any other team — to keep advancing, so we’ll just sit back and see what happens.”
The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs reached Habs forward Brandon Prust Wednesday afternoon. He was still in bed resting.
“The next couple of days are about recovering,” Prust (photo above) told Stubbs. “I haven’t gotten out of bed too much, except to grab some food and watch some TV. I’ve slept the day away. No plans. I doubt we’ll move far from the bed today.”
Prust will be watching the Boston-Detroit series.
“We’re just watching those teams punish each other and hope that they continue to punish each other more,” he told Stubbs. “The rest now will be great for a lot of guys who have bumps and bruises.
“Rest is a positive and it can be a negative — you kind of lose a little momentum and that game-feel if you’re not playing for many days. But it’s our job in the days ahead to make sure we’re really focused in practice.”
The Canadiens’ mini-vacation will end Friday when they practise at 11 a.m. in Brossard.
Carr, who signed a two year deal, helped Union College win the NCAA championship this season, posting 22-28-50 totals and 28 penalty minutes in 39 games. Crisp, who signed a three-year deal, posted 28-27-55 totals and 120 penalty minutes with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. He then played seven games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, scoring two goals. Carr is an undrafted 22-year-old, while Crisp, 20, was selected by the Canadiens in the third round (71st overall) at last year’s NHL entry draft.
(Photo by Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)