Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban defends goalie Peter Budaj during Sunday’s practice at the Bell Centre.
Phil Carpenter, Gazette
So, just when you thought this season was bizarre:
Canadiens goalie Carey Price didn’t take part in Sunday morning’s annual Metro Canadiens Fan Practice at the Bell Centre, having suffered a cut to some part of his lower body (speculation was a foot) after Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. The team kept him off the ice for “precautionary reasons” but believe he’ll be ready to practise with his teammates Tuesday at Brossard when the Habs begin to prepare for Wednesday’s home game vs. the Detroit Red Wings.
(Last sliced Habs player in Toronto: defenceman Andrei Markov in the 2009-10 season-opener, a foot tendon cut by Price’s skate in a goal-mouth scramble, sending Markov for surgery and 35 games on the sidelines. What is it about the Air Canada Centre?)
Also not taking part in the practice, before an announced crowd of more than 18,000, were Travis Moen and Petteri Nokelainen, both taking therapy days. Moen was nursing an undisclosed injury, while Nokelainen was an upper-body issue.
Captain Brian Gionta was interviewed briefly at rinkside, as was Price.
The 75-minute session featured a brief practice, then skills contests for fastest skater, hardest shooter, and most accurate shooter, the morning closing with a 15-minute game of 4-on-4.
The skills contests:
• Fastest skater, one lap of Bell Centre ice:
Lars Eller, 13.19 seconds
David Desharnais, 13.49
Chris Campoli, 13.58
P.K. Subban, 13.92
• Shooting accuracy, four targets set in net corners:
Tomas Kaberle, 4 targets in 6 shots (13.8 seconds, wins based on time)
Mathieu Darche, 4 in 6 (16 seconds)
Andrei Kostitsyn, 4 in 6 (16 seconds)
Rene Bourque, 4 in 7
Erik Cole, 4 in 7
Tomas Plekanec, 4 in 7
Max Pacioretty, 3 in 4 (probably disqualified with broken stick)
• Hardest shot (best of three shots recorded below):
P.K. Subban, 151 km/h (not in contest, but accepted Weber challenge to win)
Yannick Weber, 147 km/h
Raphael Diaz, 135 km/h
Michael Blunden, 128 km/h
Alexei Emelin, 126 km/h