The Canadiens will be in Chicago Wednesday night to play the Blackhawks (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690) but some key players won’t be making the trip.
After Tuesday’s practice in Brossard, coach Michel Therrien announced that Carey Price, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Douglas Murray, Brandon Prust and Travis Moen won’t be making the trip. Murray will serve the final game of his three-game suspension, while Prust (upper-body injury) and Moen (concussion) are still nursing injuries.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Canadiens called up goalie Dustin Tokarski from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs to serve as the backup to Peter Budaj against the Blackhawks.
“Markov and Emelin are defencemen who play in very difficult situations, against the best offensive players on the other teams,” Therrien told reporters in Brossard. “I saw this as a good opportunity to give them a game off so that they could get some treatment and do some off-ice workouts to be 100 per cent for the rest of the season.”
Defenceman Josh Gorges, who has been sidelined since early March with a broken hand, will return to the lineup against the Blackhawks.
“Nothing compares to game conditioning and being in game shape,” Gorges said after practice. “That’s why I felt it was so important for me to get back for these final few games before the playoffs started. I am the most impatient guy when it comes to stuff like this. Like I said, the physical battle is one thing, but the mental aspect of it, not being able to compete, not being able to help your teammates out and having to sit there and to watch day after day, that eats at you. I’m glad that that’s over and we can move forward. As far as I know, I’ll be ready to go.”
The Canadiens have three games remaining in the regular season. After Wednesday’s game in Chicago, they return home to face the New York Islanders on Thursday night and the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
The playoffs start next week.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)