With an extended break between games after sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs, the Canadiens decided to try something new Monday to simulate game-day conditions.
Instead of practising at 10:30 Monday morning in Brossard, the team held a “morning skate”. That was to be followed by a scrimmage at the Bell Centre at 7 p.m. that will be closed to fans and the media. The 10 members of the Hamilton Bulldogs who have been practising in Brossard will be worked into the lineups for the scrimmage. The Canadiens will also hold a “family activity” at 5 p.m. at the Bell Centre.
“We don’t yet know when our series against the Bruins will start, but we haven’t had a game in a while and we wanted to have the best preparation possible, so this is why we organized the day in this way,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Brossard. “We also thought it was important for the players’ families to experience the moment, so we added an afternoon activity which adds them to the schedule.”
The Canadiens were still waiting to hear from the NHL when their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Bruins will start.
The Canadiens will not practice on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban will not be a repeat winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenceman. The league announced the three finalists for this year’s award on Monday and they are Boston’s Zdeno Chara, Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Nashville’s Shea Weber.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Monday’s morning skate:
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)