Multimedia: Gionta returns to Habs practice, not ready to play yet


Brian Gionta’s skates at his locker at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. No, this photo is not actual size (though Gio does wear 3 1/2s).

AUDIO: Randy Cunneyworth

The Canadiens practised in Brossard Tuesday morning, preparing for Wednesday’s home game against the Winnipeg Jets.

The big news: captain Brian Gionta, who has missed the past 10 games with a groin injury, practised with his teammates for the first time since being hurt, and he wasn’t wearing a non-contact jersey. But Gionta said after practice he’s not ready to return Wednesday. It’s day to day as he increases the tempo of his practising.

Video below of Gionta and P.K. Subban, who didn’t have a rematch with sparring partner Tomas Plekanec after Monday’s tussle.

Follow Stubbs here on Twitter for updates of practice as they happened and for other Habs news throughout the day.

Scott Gomez and Ryan White skated on the second sheet. No sign of Andrei Markov. And no word on the return status of any of the three.


  1. LL-not the hockey player says:

    What a mess of a game.

  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Russians, too many with high-end skill with speed in this year’s version of 2012 ? …Kills !!!
    …only way to match is with Seguin, Couturier and a Nugent-Hopkins, etc.
    …Stevie Y and Anaheims’ GM were the few NHL-types wise-enough to let their still-eligible junior-age draft-choices savor the WJHC experience
    …got to respect the Russskies gettin’ their act together developing their youth at an elite-level
    …We, Canadians (TSN ?), have brilliantly made the WJHC and junior hockey high-profile, similar to high school and college basketball/football in the USA …but man, the result also includes young Canadian hockey players have many more expectations put upon them, compared to the Russians, Swedes, Americans, Finns, etc. …quite amazing really Our Kids have done as well under such a microscope
    …much ‘tougher’ for Canadians to lose

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  3. Rad says:

    Hey, let’s draft Isangulov, 6’3″, 227 lb Russian defensemen, 2012 draft-eligible.
    Edit: He’s the guy that laid out Boone Jenner.

  4. JIMVINNY says:

    falling apart. Totally collapsing.

  5. RiverviewCanadien says:


  6. get_real says:

    Why is PK wearing a Nike cap? I guess he is not sure which team he plays for .. nothing new.

  7. Rad says:

    A Nathan Beaulieu sighting!

  8. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Wow, the Canadians are not playing well at all. Everyone seems to be on a different page.

    No gold this year everyone.

  9. Rad says:

    Russians are the better team. Great skaters, and very opportunistic on offence.

  10. montreal ace says:

    I am going to have to give up hockey, I can only take so many losses

  11. JIMVINNY says:

    5 goals on 15 shots. It’s easy to say that goaltending let them down again. But that wasn’t the case. Not a single goal has been the fault of the guy in net.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      I think the 3rd one is on Wedgewood, but that’s it. He was too deep in his net. But, like you said, this game isn’t on the goaltending. Although I certainly think the Russian goalie making a couple of terrific saves early may have changed the tide of the game. No matter, Canada has not shown up.

  12. Propwash says:

    I think that’s about all she wrote.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  13. Duracell3 says:

    Yeah I’d call a timeout too.

  14. LOOOL 5-1 hahaha…

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry

  15. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I know Russians tend to scare teams away on draft day, but Washington landing Kuznetsov 26th in 2010 looks to be quite a steal.

  16. habs-fan-84 says:

    This IS like watching a Habs collapse lol.

  17. Duracell3 says:

    When the other team is coming down on you, you generally want to be on the ice, #protip~

  18. Propwash says:

    Deep hole to get out of.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  19. habs-fan-84 says:

    and no Canadian player does anything after their goalie just gets completely run over? At the very least that should have been a penatly. Wow, hope to see some push back NOW!

    This is like watching the Habs lol

  20. JIMVINNY says:

    I realize it’s 4-1, but the russian that smoked wedgewood should be thrown out of the game. He had no reason to be anywhere near Wedgewood.

    • Duracell3 says:

      I thought so at first, if you see it again, he gets pushed in and like, tries to stop with his hands. At least a 2 minute penalty for not putting more effort into stopping ( he sort of tries to stop with his hands which is why it looks so goofy)I would have thought though. Although to be fair someone straight up punched the Russian goalie in the face earlier.

  21. Rad says:

    Kuznetsov just scored his 3rd goal of the game, from Yakupov, 4-1 Russia.

  22. OVER. DONE. Horrendous defence.

  23. JIMVINNY says:

    Ryan Murray’s worst day EVER.


    BENCH. Nvm.. whatever I don’t even care anymore.. okay a bit, but not much.

  25. Rad says:

    Russian captain Kuznetsov is a helluva player, 6’3″, 200lbs, 1st round Washington draft choice in 2010.

  26. habs001 says:

    plecks our leading scorer is 57th in the nhl…

  27. Propwash says:


    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  28. solomio says:

    Russians playing their typical style, very organized with set plays on offence and defence. They have a hot goaltender.
    2-0 Russia already. Canada imo…no chance. No gold for us.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  29. J.J. of Turku says:

    Just came to tell you guys. It hurts to lose to sweds. I really hope Canada beats the crap out of them in the final. Now back to bed to continue watching nightmares…

  30. habs-fan-84 says:

    Just curious, was D. Hamilton taken after Beaulieu in the draft this year? I think I remember him going around 20th overall and we picked Beualieu around 17th…is that right?

    Dougie would have been a nice pick, he’s going to fit in nicely in Beantown…

  31. ooder says:

    2 – 0 WOOHOO!!
    on the other hand the Russians look pretty tired from their game yesterday and the injuries are really starting to take thier toll :S
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  32. Duracell3 says:

    This crowd is insanely dead.

  33. habs-fan-84 says:

    always the dumb drunkard who insists on being seen on television

  34. habsperspective says:

    I guess Garon wasnt the problem, nor Roloson the answer.

    Sorta like Martin, and Cunneyworth.

    Not sure what it makes me when the Leafs win, and the Habs are losers, other then sad-er.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Wow, 7-3 Leafs??

      Insane. We are so much worse than the mediocre Leafs it’s not even funny. People here are effin dreaming about the playoffs this season.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        Because they beat a mediocre Tampa team in one game? Little bit of an overreaction.

        • SlovakHab says:

          As mediocre as they are, they are still better than our Montreal Canadiens this season. 5 more wins and 6 extra points halfway through the season tells the story. We are yet to beat them this season and show me how or when our Habs beat Capitals 7-1 or Tampa 7-1 and 7-3.
          They are still in front of us and many other teams. 2011-2012 Habs are a longshot to make the playoffs if they can’t beat Florida missing about 5 regulars, lose to Blue Jackets or Islanders on regular basis.

          • habsperspective says:

            Yeah and when your moronic leader Goatier fires one of the only things keeping there heads above water in Martin.

            Well, that just tells you hes not in the Habs making the playoffs best interest.

            And make that 8 points now.

          • jmsheehy19 says:

            I agree we have a steep mountain to climb, and will likely miss the playoffs, just thought it was a random leap to interpret the score of one game (in which we weren’t involved) between two mediocre teams to the fortunes of the Canadiens.

      • get_real says:

        NY Rangers had a major bad contract condition a few years ago .. that is untill BG decided to take over the Gomez contract .. etc now look where there Rangers sit.

        This HABS thing is self-inflicted because of terrible guidance by BG & his side show guy PG.

    • Propwash says:

      Yeah….but….they have Guy Boucher, the be all and end all of coaches!

      Being negative has its advantages,
      you’re never disappointed.

      • saskhabfan says:

        Yeah….but…but….manapart said boucher was a top 5 coach in the league. Just like he said halak was a top 3 goalie in the world. Like,he said it so it must be true.

  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    Ryan Murray? Ryan O’Byrne more like.

  36. Mavid says:


    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    please fix it

  37. What the hell is the defence doing?

  38. habs-fan-84 says:

    You can always count on the Russian’s to let their emotions get the best of them.

  39. LL-not the hockey player says:

    The Russian team reminds me of the Bruins. Oy!

  40. The Dude says:

    Anyone else sick of their team losing like every time you turn on the LCD?

  41. Propwash says:

    2-0 uh oh….

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  42. nickster13 says:

    Uh oh the russians brought it. 2-0 Russia in the 1st.

    Also, both goals went in off Ryan Murray. Goat horns so far.

  43. Propwash says:

    Holy crap, that was a save and a half!

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  44. Is Beaulieu benched?? Who’s running team Canada – Jacques Martin??

  45. Dumb penalty by Russians. That was so idiotic.

  46. JIMVINNY says:

    Well that was dive.

  47. Rad says:

    Yakupov with the great speed and the assist on that 1st goal.

  48. JIMVINNY says:

    NEVER slide into your goalie. Case in point. Wedgewood gets there if he doesn’t get taken out.

  49. HabFanSince72 says:

    Ryan Murray – we might be drafting him next summer.

  50. Propwash says:

    Bounce back time boys…

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  51. Dang… Russians attack first.

  52. JIMVINNY says:

    is Beaulieu benched? Haven’t seen him yet.

  53. mike3131 says:

    URGENT! URGENT! Can someone please send me a link to the WJC Canada-Russia game? Thanks!

    GO CANADA! We better win cuz there are a lot of russians in my school!

  54. habs001 says:

    bruins number one in goals scored..number one in goals given up and number one in faceoff wins…

    our stats the good pk 2nd…goals given up 12th…the ugly…total points 26th…goals per game 22nd….pp 29th…faceoffs 23rd

  55. Go Canada Go!

    Proud to see Bournival, Bealieu and Gallagher out there!

  56. habs001 says:

    lupul and kessel on pace for 90 point seasons yet leafs in 10th…

    • Their goaltending is inconsistent, penalty killing is beyond horrible and their defence plain sucks.

      But at least they have offense..and don’t blow leads.. and bilingualism isn’t mandatory for their coach.

      Although Komisarek’s contract is horrible.. it’s pretty good compared to Gomez’s.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Their coach has a mandate to make the GM look less stupid than he is. Winning is not the top priority in Toronto. Phil Kessel has points, which makes Brian Burke seem less a fool to some, so he guaranteed Ron Wilson another year’s worth of MLSE money, and the two of them (coach and GM) each get what they really care about the most.

      “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
      – Sean Bonjovi

      • powdered toastmann says:

        Doesn’t appear as if our coach (or anyone else for that matter has that mandate (to make Habs GM look less stupid)…or, if anyone does they’re doing a very poor job.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          They Canadiens could completely abandon defence and start losing 6-4 instead of 3-2. They’d still be losing, but if they played that way with Lars Eller on the ice for 25 mins per game you could double on triple his points total. Rather that do that to make the Eller for Halak trade look better they just try to win. We’re still losing, but at least winning is the goal.

          “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
          – Sean Bonjovi

  57. Mavid says:

    no i did not say that already

  58. habs-hampton says:

    Heard a rumor today that if true, verifies that PG is actually a genius.

    I heard that Markov isn’t injured at all, but is actually sitting out the year as part of the tanking process. PG signed him, sight unseen, to a 3 year deal to be a mentor and billet for Nail Yakapov in September.

    OK… I didn’t actually hear the rumor, but started it myself. I can always dream…

  59. JUST ME says:

    Trying to figure out what is the real problem. Been looking at exciting hockey games , yesterday at the winter classic and during IIHF tournament.Looking forward to Russia vs Canada tonight. Should be a dandy.

    Cannot suffer any more complaints from medias and fans about the Habs. They will never be satisfied , never be happy , never … There are 30 teams in the NHL, only one wins the cup.

    I am not happy with the way things turned out. Gauthier gambleded with Campoli to take Markov`s place but everything went wrong.
    The team was in the race up until the coach was fired and ever since it`s a downward spiral.

    I love hockey but just do not like the mood in Montreal .It`s always about bitching and complaining.Not that i find the situation ideal but it`s only hockey. And now i hear that the boys are pissed about the language issue… As they should be cause it has nothing to do with hockey.

    As much as i would like to have francophones either on or off the ice, i can see with the IIHF tournament that the problem is not with the Habs but they keep getting blamed for it. Sometimes i wish we could roll with the punches and move on…

  60. montreal ace says:

    Big test for our 3 prospects against Russia, I think they will do well, with Bournival having an outstanding game. The skill level of many players in junior, is getting more NHL ready every year. I hope the Habs draft more in our junior leagues, as the level of hockey is the highest for players that age.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “If ownership cared about Habs fans, or Habs wins the Habs would play home games in the last two weeks of December”
      – Sean Bonjovi

  61. Mavid says:

    why can i not post links to the game on here?

  62. nellis13 says:

    Too little too late

  63. Mavid says:

    I could not agree more on the shootout..a totally stupid way to win or lose a game….its a team game…win and lose that way…I have always hated it with a passion..what are the odds it will go away…

  64. Mavid says:

    I was being sarcastic…just a little too much negativity on here sometimes…I hate losing just as much as the next person..but really…besides loving my team…I have to live among Sens fans who currently sit in 6th…their ankles are swollen from jumping on and off their bandwagon…and they are currently planning their parade route…

  65. twocents says:

    Can anyone spot me a link to the Canada-Russian game?
    It’d be much appreciated.

  66. Ian Cobb says:

    Cunneyworth vows to learn enough French to keep Habs coaching job.

  67. SherbrookeW says:

    It’s common sense , and common courtesy, for the coach of what is, after all, the national team of Quebec to speak French. Scotty Bowman did. We’re not the laughing stock of anything, and , if we were, we ought to laugh back at the absurd , insular, monolingual , frightened, provincial Americans who are laughing. The Habs identity has, since the first decade of the twentieth century, been tied up with their being a Quebecois team. They should remain so. Check it out: if we had taken the best available Quebec player in the first round over the past ten years, we’d be in just as good, and probably better, shape than we are now. Be proud of the team’s identity; it’s what separates us from the make-a-buck-now franchise pack.
    Habs Since ’68

    • Bill J says:

      Before making outrageous comments like “had we chosen the best available French players, we would be a better team” you should look at who those players are. There is only about 50 QC players in the entire NHL who are worthy. Do the math.

      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …right on Sherbrooke Ouest !!!
      …any purported ‘Habs’ Fan’ should not even have to be told this fact …but, unfortunately there are many that need a reminder
      …well said

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • remi_10069 says:

      i’m a proud anglophone quebecois. What pisses me off is all of the BS that our hockey team has to put up with because of the language. I think that the players on the team should make some effort to speak french if for no other reason, just to make their lives easier but these guys are hockey players, not brain surgeons or politicians. They aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, nor do they have the time to learn a new language. After all, they are busy “hanging” with all the mtl females and I don’t think they give a *&^% what language they speak. Time for the locals to chill out, take the high road and surprise everyone around with their progressive attitude. It may help bring players to town without the 20% “tax”


    • ed lopaz says:

      as an anglo born and raised and living in montreal, I have lived the language debate my whole life.

      I agree that Cunneyworth should try and learn to express himself in French – it is simply respectful to the fans.

      I also think that it would be nice for the Habs to take a look at how they have selected their players recently, with total disregard to this issue.

      I am NOT saying that the Habs should add French speaking players just for the hell of it.

      But do you think it would be “bad hockey” to find a French speaking player to take the place of Mike Blunden or Nokelainen or Campoli or Budaj??

      Do you actually believe that THOSE SPECIFIC PLAYERS are the very best out there??

      because they simply are not.

      this is a touchy subject.

      but how many times have I heard,

      “those 4th line guys are a dime a dozen”

      “what’s the difference who the back up goalie is?”

      all those roster spots are filled by players who will not be back with the Habs next season – or, more precisely, could easily be replaced next season.

      But NONE OF THOSE ROSTER SPOTS are filled with Quebec born players.

      that’s where I believe the habs are simply foolish.

      these “fringe” NHL players are interchangeable.

      why not make them French speaking players??

      or at least a few of them could be??

      at least show some effort.

      even if they were Anglos from Quebec who were bilingual.

      I think that’s why the 2 Swiss players are here, and Mark Streit before him, so obviously the subject has come up in the Habs war room.

      is that a terrible idea?

      • solomio says:

        Ed you’re not suggesting that the Habs pick up some Fringe Frenchies are you?

        “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

      • savethepuck says:

        Isn’t that what Darche is? And if the Habs had a French Canadian backup goalie, a couple of bad games by Carey and a couple of good games by that backup would start a controversy worse than Halak-Price in the City and media.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      To throw Randy under the bus as this “classy” organization has done since the firing of a FRANCOPHONE coach, is a disgrace.

      Give the guy a chance. If the club has already given up on Randy before he even gets the chance to turn this club around and to learn the language, then how can the club expect any of the ENGLISH/RUSSIAN/CZECH, etc, etc speaking players to actually give a shit anymore.

      I feel terrible for what Cunneyworth has to go through day-in and day-out.

      “The Habs identity has, since the first decade of the twentieth century, been tied up with their being a Quebecois team. They should remain so.”

      If the above statement you made is how you and ‘other Habs fans’ feel, then you all should be up in arms (on a daily basis, protesting all home games) because of the lack of Quebecois players on the team, not who the coach is. And shouldn’t the coach be born and bred in Quebec, not just one who can speak french?

      Ridiculous, let it go already!

      Hockey has changed, clubs have changed how they do business, for crying out loud the game changes almost year now. If people like you want to keep the front office french, then so be it. But unless the team is a majority of french Quebec players, I could careless if the coach can speak the language fluently.

      For myself, the PLAYERS have ALWAYS been the identity of the team, the coach and everyone else is secondary.

      Should there be more french players, absolutely! But I don’t think the coach being french is as big of a deal, at least not to me.

    • Phil C says:

      First of all, it is the Montreal Canadiens, not the Quebec Canadiens. The team’s Quebecois identity ended in 1970 when the Habs no longer had the rights to Quebec players and Gilbert Perrault went to Buffalo. I agree that local boys tend to play hard for their home team, but most Quebec born free agents do not share your National Team dream and sign anywhere but Montreal. And local boys Latendresse and Ribeiro were a bust in Montreal.

      As for the last ten years of drafting, most people lament not picking Giroux. But he is not from Quebec. If anyone should have drafted Giroux, it was Ottawa, where he played most of his developmental minor hockey.

      The NHL is now a North American League with access to players all over the world, it no longer makes sense to always take the best local kid available. But being a local boy is a good way to break a tie between two prospects. I think Louis Leblanc was a good pick up.

  68. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …love Team Canada and the WJHC …sort of a replacement for the level of play Our Habs are yet able to provide Us
    …but DAMN !!! …shoot-outs are NOT the way to conclude world tournament games 🙁
    …knowing how I would feel if Canada were eliminated in such a way, I do ‘feel’ for those young Finns

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  69. Mavid says:

    Fin captain lost the puck dragging it…done…he must be a Hab prospect right?…sigh…

  70. You have to feel for Granlund.. Finns blow their 2-0 lead and Swedes take it 3-2.

    @ Danno – absolutely bud. I really really hope Canada doesn’t disappoint us like last time. That was a classic presentation of the 11-12 Habs haha.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      I usually root for the Finns, but I was hoping for a rematch with the Swedes and they were definitely the better team, so I’m ok with it. Hopefully we beat Russia and set up a great Gold medal and Bronze medal game.

  71. Habanero Gomez says:

    As bleak as things look for the Habs and as most feel the season is lost… In the spirit of a New Year and dare I say, optimism for a season Not Lost, the following are the reasons why the season is not lost yet;

    If and this is BIG IF, Cunneyworth and get these guys playing with some more passion, the schedule is favourable to the Habs. The following is a breakdown of the remaining schedule for the Habs.

    36 of their remaining 43 games or 80 % are against Eastern Conference teams.

    This translates to 72 of a possible 86 points all against Eastern Conference teams.

    And 54 of a possible 72 points against Eastern Conference teams are against the teams who will be fighting to for the 7th and 8th playoff spots.

    Eastern Conference Games
    Boston 2 games (4 pts)
    Buffalo 4 games (8 pts)
    Carolina 2 games (4 pts)
    Florida 2 games (4 pts)
    New Jersey 2 games (4 pts)
    NY Islanders 2 games (4 pts)
    NY Rangers 2 games (4 pts)
    Ottawa 4 games (8 pts)
    Philadelphia 1 game (2 pts)
    Pittsburgh 2 games (4 pts)
    Tampa Bay 3 games (6 pts)
    Toronto 4 games (8 pts)
    Washington 4 game (8 pts)
    Winnipeg 2 games (4 pts)
    Total possible points 72 pts

    Western Conference Games

    Calgary 1 game (2 pts)
    Dallas 1 game (2 pts)
    Detroit 1 game (2 pts)
    Edmonton 1 game (2 pts)
    Minnesota 1 game (2 pts)
    St. Louis 1 game (2 pts)
    Vancouver 1 game (2 pts)
    Total possible points 14 pts

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