Here’s some of the highlights and observations from Day 3 of training camp on Sunday.
Team C, with goaltender Carey Price and Saku Koivu, won both scrimmages, with the line of Koivu, Michael Ryder and Sergei Kostitsyn looking particularly good. Koivu scored two goals in the first scrimmage, including a nice move on a penalty shot to beat Andrew Loverock.
Defenceman Ryan O’Byrne made his presence felt this morning with several jarring hits. But he was also rocked by Ryan Russell, who sent O’Byrne flying into his team’s bench. Russell also scored a goal several minutes later.
In the second scrimmage, Sergei Kostitsyn continued to play well, using his speed to his advantage and being able to muscle opponents off the puck.
Matt D’Agostini continued to make himself noticed and has shown he has a nose for the het. He beat Yann Danis with a quick slapshot from the slot that the goaltender barely saw. D’Agostini is also making an impression with his gritty play.
After the scrimmages, head coach Guy Carbonneau said he was particularly impressed with O’Byrne, Russell, Price and defenceman Mathieu Carle.
Carbonneau also said he would be making some cuts later this afternoon, mostly junior-aged players that will be returned to their clubs.
The coach also said he would fill out his lineup for the first of two exhibition games agaist the Pittsburgh Penguins after the Jamboree this afternoon.
Forward Christopher Higgins was held out of scrimmages again today and there was no indication if he would play in the coming exhibition games. Higgins insists he is ready to play, but the team’s medical staff is being cautious after offseason shoulder surgery.
All three goaltenders in a battle for a spot with the Habs had good outings on Sunday, with Jaroslav Halak continuing his shutout streak. He has yet to allow a goal during training camp. Cristobal Huet and Carey Price both had good outings, although Price was beaten for two goals in the first scrimmage. Huet gave up a single goal to Koivu on a pass from Sergei Kostitsyn.
Another standout today was Kyle Chipchura, who demonstrated he can also put the puck in the net after beating Price to the top corner with a powerful wrist shot. He is looking more and more comfortable on a line with newcomer Tom Kostopoulos.