George Parros and Douglas Murray both practised Friday in Brossard as the Canadiens prepared to face the San Jose Sharks Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Parros, who suffered a concussion in a fight with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Colton Orr in the season opener on Oct. 1, wore a no-contact jersey, while Murray practised with his teammates for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Sept. 29. Murray was not wearing a no-contact jersey.
Ryan White and Andrei Markov both took therapy days, while coach Michel Therrien said Carey Price will start in goal against the Sharks. Price, who has played in nine of the Canadiens’ first 10 games, has a 5-4 record with a 2.13 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.
Defenceman Murray said he’s day to day, but is starting to feel “much better.”
“Mentally, I’m already in the mindset of I can play, but I’ve still got to get cleared by doctors,” he said. “I really wanted to play tomorrow, but that’s not going to happen the way it looks like. But I’m hoping as soon as possible.”
Captain Brian Gionta was asked why his line with Tomas Plekanec and rookie Michael Bournival is clicking so well.
“You go through those ups and downs,” Gionta said. “Right now we have that chemistry. I think it’s three similar type players – guys that work hard at both ends of the ice. Bournival has added a lot of energy to the line as a young kid. He sees the ice extremly well for us and he’s making great plays.”
The Sharks lead the Western Conference with an 8-1-1 record, suffering their first loss Thursday night when they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Bruins in Boston. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said the Sharks, in his eyes, are presently the best team in the NHL.
“It’s a team that will continually put pressure on their opponent,” he said. “They always finish at the net. They’re solid defensively. They have a good goaltender. And it will be a very big challenge for our team.”
Murray, who played with the Sharks for eight seasons, had this to say about his former team: “You’ve got to be patient and play a good team game. They have a lot of skill and they capitalize on your mistakes. So team defence first and a good defensive game. And if you’re going to win the game, it’s not going to be a high scoring affair.”
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)