The Canadiens announced on Saturday morning that forward Brandon Prust is the winner of this season’s Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy that goes to the player who played a dominant role during the regular season, without earning any particular honour.
The award is voted on by media members covering the team. Josh Gorges was the winner last season. Prust received the most first-place votes, earning 83 points to finish ahead of defenceman Francis Bouillon (58) and goaltender Peter Budaj (52).
“I don’t always agree with you guys, but this one I agree with,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters after Saturday’s morning skate in Brossard about Prust winning the award.
In 34 games this season, Prust has posted 5-8-13 totals and leads the team with 104 penalty minutes. He is also tied for the team lead in plus/minus at plus-11. Prust, who ranks second on the team with 78 hits, missed eight games as a result of a shoulder injury suffered on March 9 in Tampa Bay.
The Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy was created in 1981 to honour the memory of the legendary sportswriter who spent most of career covering the Canadiens. The first winner of the award was Doug Jarvis following the 1981-82 season.
Prust will be presented with the award before Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
After enjoying a day off Friday, all the Canadiens players were on the ice for Saturday’s morning skate in Brossard, including Colby Armstrong, who has been sidelined since April 1 with a knee injury. Armstrong is listed as day-to-day and won’t play against the Capitals.
Carey Price will start in goal for the Canadiens.
Raphael Diaz, who has missed 25 games since being sidelined on Feb. 25 with a concussion, will return to the lineup against the Capitals.
“We’ll manage his ice time depending on how he feels,” Therrien told reporters in Brossard. “We’ll see how his conditioning and timing are and go from there.
“It’s exciting news that he’s back,” the coach added. “He’s got four games to bring the game we’re looking for. He’s playing with confidence.”
The lines at practice were: Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta; Ryder-Desharnais-Bourque; Gallagher-Eller-Galchenyuk; Prust-Halpern-Moen; Armstrong-Dumont-Blunden. Ryan White, who is suspended, also skated.
Defence pairings were: Markov-Diaz; Gorges-Subban; Weber-Bouillon; Drewiske-Kaberle.
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)