Heading into Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690), Canadiens rookie Alex Galchenyuk has only one point in his last 10 games, but coach Michel Therrien isn’t concerned.
“He’s playing a mature game,” Therrien said. “Sometimes he’ll miss a few things, but we’ll sit down with him and show him. He’s part of every power-play meeting and every penalty-kill meeting. We know he’s going to be there and he’s going to be ready.”
Therrien added that the 19-year-old is still adjusting to the jump from junior.
“He has a tendency to handle the puck too much and try to make the good play,” said Therrien. “In the NHL, the play is so tight and the opening is so small and you have to see it. You always have to do the percentage play. It’s part of the learning process. You have to accept what the other team is going to give you. When there’s time, you have to make the play and where there isn’t time, you can’t force the play.”
Meanwhile, veteran Colby Armstrong finally ended his slump in Saturday’s 2-1 win in New Jersey, scoring his first goal in a Canadiens uniform in his 28th game. But Armstrong said it was just a matter of time since he was getting his chances.
“Especially in the last five or so games before that I had quite a few good chances,” he said. “I didn’t know whether to snap, or laugh, or what to do.
“But you keep chipping away. You know it’s going to come. I’ve been in that position before, where it’s taken a lot of games to get a goal. This is the longest I’ve ever gone, but it’s good to make it count in a close game like that.”
With Michael Ryder returning to the lineup Tuesday against Buffalo after missing one game with a lower-body injury, the Canadiens have returned Mike Blunden to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Rene Bourque, still recovering from a concussion, practised with his teammates Tuesday morning while wearing a no-contact jersey.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)