The Canadiens are midway through their training camp leading up to Saturday’s season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.
“I like what I’m seeing of the team,” coach Michel Therrien said after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s starting to take shape.”
Therrien doesn’t plan to tinker with success. The team’s top line last year will remain intact. Erik Cole, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty led the team in scoring and generated most of its offence.
There is “such good chemistry” that has developed on that line, Therrien said.
“As long as they continue to perform well and be productive, I won’t separate them,” he said.
Tomas Plekanec, who has sore ribs, was on the ice in Brossard Tuesday afternoon with Pierre Allard, the Canadiens’ strength and conditioning coach.
“He’s still day to day,” Therrien said, adding that Plekanec is feeling a lot better.
When the players practised on Tuesday morning, Petteri Nokelainen, who is recovering from a lingering back injury, skated alone on the other sheet of ice at the Brossard training facility with Allard.
Tuesday’s practice included five-on-five and shootout drills. Assistant coaches Clément Jodoin and Gerard Gallant also worked with players on the power play.
Mike Commodore practised with the team for the first time after passing his physical. The 33-year-old defenceman is one of four players from the Hamilton Bulldogs who were invited to camp.
Also, there were reports Tuesday that the NHL and NHLPA have come to an agreement on an “accelerated compliance buyout” before the regular season begins, which could be good news for Scott Gomez. Read more by clicking here.
Meanwhile, on the P.K. Subban watch, Don Meehan, the agent for the unsigned restricted free-agent defenceman, texted the following to The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs on Tuesday afternoon: “we are not close to an agreement.”
If you are not one of the more than 22,800 people already following Stubbs on Twitter (@Dave_Stubbs), you can do so by clicking here.
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)