Intense Habs rarin’ to go in scrimmage, but Plekanec sits

The Canadiens expect Thursday night’s intra-squad to be an intense affair with players gearing up for Saturday’s season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“You have to approach it as if it were a real game,” Brandon Prust said. “There are some guys still fighting for jobs and you have to get the right mindset going into the season. You can’t worry about injuries. ”

Josh Gorges, who is among the league’s premier shot-blockers, said he expects to get in the way of a few pucks.

“I’m going to be smart about it,” Gorges said. “Once you get out there, instinct takes over, it’s not something you can turn on and off. You can’t hold back because that’s when you get those silly injuries.”

Andrei Markov noted that the team usually has seven or eight exhibition games before the season opener, but when asked whether he missed the exhibitions Markov referred to the games he played in the KHL and replied: “I’ve had my exhibition games.”

When told that fans started lining up at 7 a.m. for the first-come, first-served seats at the Bell Centre, Markov said he wasn’t surprised.

“The fans in Montreal love hockey,” he said.

While coach Michel Therrien scheduled Thursday’s activities to replicate an actual game day, goaltender Carey Price said there were some differences.

“If this was a game day, I wouldn’t be doing (promos) for TSN,” Price said.

Therrien said all the players will dress in the main locker room. He said he would keep the same lines he has been using in practice and will split the players into two balanced teams after they arrive at the Bell Centre at 5 p.m.

Tomas Plekanec will not play. Therrien said he is being held out as a precation.


  1. PeterD says:

    Watch tonights scrimmage on HabsTV on the Habs main website…plug your pc into your TV with an HDMI cable and stream it thru your TV…WooHoo…Game on baby.

  2. PeterD says:

    Anyone know if or how we can listen to or watch tonights inter-squad scrimmage??

  3. Say Ash says:

    Who was Therrien’s whipping boy(s) the last time he coached here?

  4. Ozmodiar says:

    … when he was asked whether he missed the exhibitions, he referred to the games he playhed in the KHL and replied: “I’ve had my exhibition games.”


    Markov is surprisingly quotable and funny, despite his taciturn nature. Gotta love the guy.

  5. JF says:

    Just finished watching last night’s L’Antichambre since I couldn’t watch last night. I have to say I’m impressed with what I’ve seen and heard so far from Michel Therrien. He seems a lot more confident, a lot calmer and more even-keeled than when he last coached the Habs. He’s also very focused and intent on making the best use possible of this short week.

    What I found the most positive was the emphasis he placed on communication and on unity within a team and an organization. He said it starts at the top; Marc Bergevin has assembled a management and coaching team that are already united in their approach and that communicate well with each other. The culture on the team and in the locker room will be a reflection of this overall unity, and communication will be very important. This makes a very welcome change from the previous administration, in which no one seemed to have any idea what was happening.

    I also liked that Therrien spoke to Galchenyuk as soon as he arrived, before he’d even had time to take off his coat. He told him to enjoy training camp, to learn as much as possible, and not to worry that his performance would be judged in terms of how many goals he scored or whatever. He also said in reply to a question that, if Galchenyuk stayed, he would live with one of the veterans. This is great news. I think we all realized a few years ago that the Canadiens as an organization did not do a great job of providing a good framework for their young players. An 18 year-old coming to a big city has as much to learn off the ice as on.

    Some have suggested that Therrien does not like P.K. or does not want him or something. I don’t know where this is coming from. He has at times been critical of P.K., but I’m sure he welcomes the opportunity to work with him, just as he would with any talented young player. He probably realizes that this will be a challenge, but as for not wanting him on the team, I think that kind of speculation is completely unfounded.

    • Timo says:

      It’s all nice and pretty until the season begins. Everyone can say all the right things… we’ll see how his team does this season. Unless, of course, this is the first year of another 5 year plan.

  6. Bripro says:

    I’m sorry to play the odd-man on this, but I think Gomez is going to have a bounce-back this year.
    And I’ll be fine with it, as long as it doesn’t come back to haunt us.

  7. BJ says:

    Any one know why Blunden and St. Denis would be placed on waivers? If nothing else they need them in Hamilton. I watched a game yesterday vs Abbotsford and it is at best with the call ups an ECHL team.

  8. Bripro says:

    I just watched Stubbs’ montage of interviews with MT.
    Congrats to Stubbs. Great job. Great interview.
    I’ve been reading a lot of dislike regarding our new coach.
    As I said at the beginning, given his success with young players while coaching the Pens, I don’t have a problem with his selection.
    And watching him last year almost boil over at the players’ lax in several areas, I knew that he’d be addressing issues of weakness/inconsistency.
    I think he’ll make a big difference. The fact that he offered assurances to Gally that there’s no pressure, yet still had him practice the shoot-outs as much as the other players, I think he’s shown us his hand, even just a little bit.
    It’s all speculation, but one thing’s certain. While the kid is up here, he’ll play.
    There is no way the Habs will be cleaning the cellar floor this year. I think MT’s approach and the player’s anxiety will have them in the mix for the entire season.
    Wishful thinking? Maybe. But who cares, as long as the play for the prize. I’d love to stand next to my son on Saint Catherine to
    1. Rub it in (as you know, he’s a Bs fan) and
    2. Say: “You see, this was our (almost) annual right-of-passage when I was a kid. There’s nothing like a Stanley Cup parade to exude pride.

    Go Habs Go!

  9. Timo says:

    So even if Subban signs today or tomorrow… he still probably won’t be in the opening lineup. The guys is cold – unlike other overseas heros, he’s been giving interviews all this time and cruising Lori Graham. How much time has he spent on skates since the glory of the last season?

  10. bwoar says:

    Repost from the last thread:

    Encouraging from the coach:

    “We want our team to use our speed. We’ll encourage our players to be a little more aggressive, probably, than in the past, about forechecking. The way we want to play — I can’t go into details, it’s too complicated — is that we’re going to be a team that uses our speed.”

    So, no more JM “Sit back and dump, only counterattack when absolutely necessary” ?


  11. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Rumours swirling in Calgary that the Flames are going to take a chance on Gomez (not on waivers, but as a UFA).

  12. BJ says:

    Could the moderator advise on a change of blog topic?

  13. Hoegaarden says:

    Gomer clears waivers. Things must be pretty bad when even the Laffs don’t call you.

  14. habsfan0 says:

    I’m starting to wonder if money isn’t the only thing preventing PK from signing a new contract. I’m sure he’s aware of the comments made by Michel Therrien in the past about him, and this might be playing a role.
    Hopefully we’re not witnessing a replay of the Mario Tremblay-Patrick Roy fiasco here. That one didn’t end very well for Le Club de Hockey Canadien.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Therrien has been tough on PK, but I never read into that anything like he does not like PK or anything even close. He believes, like many others, that PK has things to learn and with the right guidance he can and will be a great NHL defenseman for a long time.

      There is no way Therrien wants to lose the team’s best (or one of) players.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Mattyleg says:

      I think the Thierrien/PK thing has been blown out of proportion by everyone.

      Has PK ever met Therrien? Vice versa?

      Comments made by hockey people for the media as pundits shouldn’t be taken as scripture. If Therrien has said in the past that he doesn’t like certain things about PK, seeing him in person might change his mind.

      And there’s no reason why a coach has to like his players, he just has to be able to play them to their advantages. Therrien is a mature coach now, and knows he can’t let personal feelings (if and when they come into things) get in the way of him doing his job properly.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Loonie says:

      Might not help that Hal Gill hates Therrien’s guts. Subban and Gill have become quite close.

      • Mattyleg says:

        How do you know that?
        Do you have a source for it?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Again, Tom, the Dave Stubbs quote was attributed to an NHL veteran who was not named. A lot of HIO readers assumed that it must be Hal Gill who said it, based on the timing of the quote so close to an in-depth interview these gentlemen conducted, and it’s a worthy guess, but we shouldn’t turn around and repeat it as a fact.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        If that matters in the least, PK is dumber than I thought. If my friend dislikes someone, that doesn’t make me dislike them.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Loonie says:

          Fair enough but this is a career decision for Subban. Not who he chooses to hang out with on a Friday night. We’ve all had co-workers who we didn’t necessarily like and people we haven’t enjoyed working for I’m sure.

          Subban has a choice though, and it could be playing into his decision.

  15. Chuck says:

    Is this sucker going to be available for viewin’ for tonight?

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  16. commandant says:

    As long as Pleks is ready for Saturday.

    He probably doesn’t need the scrimmage as much as others due to the fact he played in Europe.

    This is the first game of the year for others.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • shiram says:

      He’s said the new system is not all that new, only a few differences, and he’s been talking with Galchenyuk too, so hopefully they are ready to gel on saturday! Gionta must be raring to go too.

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