Injuries have made a big dent in the Canadiens’ lineup, but coach Michel Therrien sounded a positive note after the team’s morning skate Thursday.
The Canadiens are on the brink of elimination in their best-of-seven playoff series against the Ottawa Senators, who hold a 3-1 lead. The teams square off in Game 5 Thursday at 7 p.m. (CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690) at the Bell Centre.
“I’m not worried about competing,” Therrien said. “We’re going to compete like we did all series.
“I truly believe if we keep playing our game good things are going to happen to us.”
With Carey Price out for the remainder of the series with a lower-body injury, Peter Budaj will make his first career postseason start. Robert Mayer from the Hamilton Bulldogs will be the backup goalie.
“Every time we’ve called on Peter he was very good,” Therrien said. “So I have confidence in him.
“I believe our players compete hard in front of Carey and it’s the same thing in front of Peter,” the coach added. “I think guys respect (Budaj) a lot and they compete really hard for him. And it works both ways. Peter works really hard for his teammates.”
Many teams have managed to stage comebacks and that can help motivate you, Therrien said.
“But what’s important is the present,” he said. “What’s important is to ensure that our concentration is only on tonight’s game.”
Mike Blunden will be in the lineup in place of Brandon Prust, who is out with an upper-body injury. Canadiens prospect Michael Bournival was also at the team’s morning skate and will take part in the pregame warmup tonight.
Lars Eller skated again Thursday on the second sheet of ice in Brossard with Pierre Allard, the Canadiens’ strength and conditioning coach.
(Photo by Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)