Coach Jacques Martin, speaking after the Monday scrimmage, said the Canadiens’ exhibition schedule, beginning with six games in seven nights, will oblige him to give many players a look.
The intensity of the schedule, plus early-camp injuries, means the Canadiens will make minimal roster cuts on Monday.
“The focus of camp changes now,” Martin said. Phase 2 will be the initial six exhibition games, during which the coach says he’ll use junior prospects and players with AHL experience to supplement veterans on his game rosters.
As this phase progresses, Martin expects the intensity to crank up as better prospects assert themselves against other teams.
Martin singles out Brendan Gallagher for his work in the scrimmage. The pint-sized terrier, he said, is a “chien sur la rondelle” and exhibits good puck sense in traffic.
Martin also noted the added speed Brock Trotter seems to have developed after a season in the KHL.
Martin also liked what appears to be Josh Gorges’ 100 per cent recovery from knee surgery. He praised the defenceman’s leadership, determination and ability to play against opponents’ top lines.
Taking a wide-angle view, Martin said the Canadiens have improved the quality of their Top 9 forwards with the acquisition of Erik Cole and the emergence of Lars Eller and David Desharnais.
“Most of the top teams in the league have three good lines,” Martin added.
AUDIO of Jacques Martin’s press conference.