With training camp looming, most Canadiens players skated Thursday morning in Brossard at the team’s practice facility, including goalie Carey Price and forward Scott Gomez. The few absentees included defencemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.
Gomez, who played for the Alaska Aces in the East Coast Hockey League during the lockout, wasn’t one of the players made available to the media.
Price spent time during the labour dispute skating with his former major-junior team, the Tri-City Americans, in Washington state –an experience he called a lot of fun.
“It was rejuvenating to be able to go back to a place where, obviously, I learned a lot,” he said. “I spent four years in Tri-Cities and had really enjoyed my time there.”
Price couldn’t say how many games he’ll be able to play in the 48-game season, noting it was something he and the club would have to judge as they go along.
“If we’re playing every other day we’re going to have to rest,” Price said. “There’s no question about it.”
Price, who is 6-foot-3, weighed in at 209 pounds on Thursday morning.
Knowing the season would be a sprint, Price said: “I just wanted to lean out and try and give myself the best opportunity as I could to play as many games as I can.”
Shootouts are something Price said he wants to improve upon from last year.
“That was something that, obviously, if we would have won more shootouts last year we probably would have been sitting in a playoff spot.
“That’s going to be priority No. 1.”
He wanted to make all his weaknesses his strengths this year, Price said. “So I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Price said he never really thought he was very good at shootouts. “Everybody thinks I was good at shootouts. But you look at that U.S. game, I got scored on five times or something like that,” he said, alluding to the semi-final game at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship.
The Canadiens were 5-12 in shootouts last season.
Forward Colby Armstrong also spoke with reporters on Thursday. You can hear what he had to say below: