St. Patrick’s Day at Bell Centre; Habs send Bournival to Hamilton for conditioning

Avalanche a perfect fit for Patrick Roy – and vice-versa: Stubbs column

Coming off back-to-back weekend victories over the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres, the Canadiens held an optional practice at noon Monday in Brossard. Meanwhile, St. Patrick held court at the Bell Centre downtown.

All three goalies – Carey Price, Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski - took part in the practice along with Rene Bourque, George Parros, Ryan White, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Dale Weise, Jarred Tinordi, Douglas Murray and Michael Bournival.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin announced after practice that Bournival has been assigned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs for conditioning. Bournival has been sidelined since Feb. 6 with a concussion, missing 11 games. Bournival will be in the Bulldogs’ lineup Wednesday when they play host to the Abbotsford Heat.

In 50 games with the Canadiens this season, the 21-year-old Bournival has 6-7-13 totals and 14 penalty minutes. He spent all last season in Hamilton, posting 10-20-30 totals and 26 penalty minutes in 69 games.

Bournival was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round (71st overall) of the 2010 NHL entry draft and was acquired by the Canadiens later that year in exchange for defenceman Ryan O’Byrne, who is now playing for Prague Lev in the KHL.

On Sunday night in Buffalo, Tokarski got the call in goal for the Canadiens instead of Budaj and made 29 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 2-0 victory. Price, who earned the victory Saturday against the Senators, didn’t make the trip to Buffalo.

“Obviously, I would like to play,” Budaj told reporters after practice. “The coach is going to decide whose playing and if it is me I’ll be ready to help the team to try to climb in the standings and keep climbing.”

Budaj has an 8-8-2 record this season with one shutout, a 2.50 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.

When Budaj was asked in a media scrum Monday if he felt he had coach Michel Therrien’s full confidence, the goaltender said: “I think so. I’m doing everything I can. There’s stuff that I can control. … My work ethic, my preparation, my time when I get a chance to play when they decided to play me. That’s what I’m trying to do. So I think so. They make the decisions whose playing and I’m just going to control the stuff that I have in my hands.”

Tokarski was asked if he felt he’s created a good impression overall in his three appearances with the Habs, posting a 2-0-0 record with a 1.84 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.

“I hope so,” he said. “That’s what you want to do, you get an opportunity you try and seize it. I think I’ve played well and did a good job and hopefully can continue doing that.

“It was time for me to take another step in my career and I definitely think this is it, whether I play another game or not this season,”  the 24-year-old added. “It was a great step and look to build off it for the rest of the season and next year.”

The Canadiens announced late Monday afternoon that Tokarski had been assigned to the Bulldogs.

Therrien didn’t speak with the media on Monday.

While the Canadiens were practising in Brossard, Colorado head coach Patrick Roy was putting the Avalanche through a practice at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens will face the Avalanche Tuesday night (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690) in Roy’s first appearance at the Bell Centre as the Avalanche’s head coach.

Roy, in his rookie season behind an NHL bench, is a leading candidate to win the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach. After finishing with the second-worst record in the NHL last season (16-25-7), the Avalanche has a 44-19-5 record this season and sits second in the Central Division standings.

When asked by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs during a press conference Monday at the Bell Centre whether he had looked up at his No. 33 hanging from the rafters during practice, Roy said: “I forgot. See how focused I am for the game?”

Roy then said he was just kidding and added: “I made sure it was there with no dust on it.”

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

You can watch what Roy had to say on Monday at the Bell Centre here: (Video by Pierre Obendrauf/The Gazette)

Price focuses on Avs’ scorers, getting his timing back in net by Brenda Branswell

Habs Notebook, Canadiens.com

Post-practice interviews (video), Canadiens.com

Habs sweep weekend, move into second place, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Tokarski doesn’t have time for pregame jitters, by Pat Hickey

Tokarski delivers Montreal bagel, Canadiens.com

Looking back on 20 years of sports columns, by Jack Todd

St. Patrick’s Day in Montreal for Roy, Stu on Sports blog

Subban starts his own website, Stu on Sports blog

All Things Avs, Denver Post

Sens-ational win for Avalanche, coloradoavalanche.com

 

658 Comments

  1. Lafleurguy says:

    A Magical Mystery Tour unravelled on HIO today
    “Why?,” scamorza asked, and we had lots to say
    Great feats by torch-bearers past seen by many
    Recalled for young ones who read with quiet envy

    A Magical History Tour was waiting to take us away
    To treasured family love and vitality back in its day
    We are spiritually connected and we want to bear the torch
    To aid the true bearers and shield them from a scorch

    We read, we shared, we were warmly transported
    To those memories and deep feelings many reported
    Live long and prosper good friends of Les Habitants
    And cheer on Les Boys to survive tonight’s Avalanche.

  2. Gazza Strip says:

    This has been the most fun I’ve ever had reading HIO. I’ll keep my own story short. I started watching hockey at four years old. My father didn’t really like hockey, or being a father for that matter. Being the hard ass semi-racist that he was, he would always say that his favorite team was whoever was playing the Canadiens. I’m sure I started to like Montreal just to piss him off. Guy LaFleur was always my favorite and I’m so glad I got to see him play one time at the Forum during his time as the best player in the league.

  3. 44har48 says:

    I wish I could share more but duty calls. I’ll just say that my love of the Habs came in the late 1970’s as a 6-7 yr old. I live in northern NY and I used to sneak my AM radio on in my room (I was supposed to be sleeping) so I could here them on Saturday nights while my parents watched Hockey Night in Canada downstairs. I won a ton of Stanley Cups with Lafluer and Shut in my driveway and the pond across the street – too many to count. Nobody had an answer for me centering them.

    :)

  4. SPATS says:

    Since we’re all sharing… I grew up with Stu Cowan in Brossard and played hockey with him from about 5 yrs old. At the time (late 60’s) my uncle was the PA announcer at the old Forum and my Dad was the official scorer upstairs. 18 yrs earlier Dad was drafted by the JR Habs and played a few games with them before accepting a job at Northern Electric and meeting my Mom. He remembers the Richard Riots like it was yesterday as he was there and playing with the JR habs around that time. In the late 60’s I remember him taking me to a Jr Habs game at the forum where I met Rejean Houle and got his autograph. Rejean was the next star in the making (or so it seemed) and I was hooked. The next year I won Atom’s best goalie in the BYRA Brossard hockey league and got my trophy handed to me by Bobby Rousseau. My brother was the leagues top scorer and he also got his trophy handed to him by Rousseau. I still have the photos.

    Then things got dark… There was a lottery at the Forum back then which paid out on the time goals were scored (ie 19:43) if you had the last 2 numbers you’d win. I was only 6 or 7 but I remember my Dad getting called into court as a witness as the lottery had gotten rigged somehow and was making headlines. Sadly, the timekeeper blamed my uncle (they sat next to each other) and my uncle took the blame. Many years later, the timekeeper confessed that it was in fact he who was being paid off to let an extra second or 2 tick off so whoever was bribing him would win the lottery.

    My uncle was finally cleared several years later but in the day, he took the fall and was found guilty by the media. He passed a few years ago in his 80’s with severe alzheimers in the vets hospital in Ste Anne de Bellevue. I have many old Montreal Star clippings from that era. I shared this story with many of you at this years summit. I was living around the corner from the legendary Ian Cobb at the time…

    In 1979, now old enough to make my way downtown, myself and a few friends ( I think Stu was with us) skipped school to attend the annual Stanley Cup parade. It was our 4th in a row (78/79) and we snuck into Toe Blakes tavern to watch (Now the Faubourg) I’ll never forget it.

    Fast forward to 1992 and I’m working on call as a stage hand for I.A.T.S.E. local 56 setting up and tearing down concerts at the Forum. Mike Keane was hanging around one day and if memory serves, he was not captain yet. He was a fun guy to talk to though and we kidded him about helping us load some of the road cases into the trucks.

    A few months later I was fortunate to be offered the bassist gig with local hearthrob Francis Martin (think Bieber for the 12 yr old Quebecois girls) and we were lucky enough to be with Sony records who also had an up and coming English singer named Celine Dion who had just had her first #1 English hit. We opened the show for 2 sold out nights at the Forum. I was the first guy to setup a show, play in it and tear it down, but I wish I followed my true talent and stayed between the pipes… I’d have been the guy to hand the torch to St Patrick I tellzya! ;) Hey Ian, Hey Stu… when are we gonna get that golf game?

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH


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