The Canadiens were back on the ice Friday in Brossard as training camp continued with the second intra-squad scrimmage in two days.
Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, who suffered a shoulder injury during Thursday’s scrimmage, did not take part and is listed as day-to-day. Ryan White, who left Thursday’s scrimmage after suffering a cut above his right eye from a high stick, was back in action. He needed seven stitches.
Team Red beat Team White in the scrimmage, with Rene Bourque, Martin Reway and Alex Galchenyuk scoring the goals. White, with his new scar, scored for Team White.
While coaches normally experiment by mixing lines at training camp, Michel Therrien has wasted little time putting together veteran trios that are likely to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the season opener on Oct. 1 at the Bell Centre.
“I’m a true believer in combinations that work,” Therrien said Thursday. “There are other little plans (if things don’t work out), but I have this vision and I hope it’s going to work. I might try other things, but what you saw is the vision and we hope it’s going to work.”
That vision includes having Lars Eller at centre with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher; David Desharnais between Max Pacioretty and Daniel Briere; and Tomas Plekanec with Rene Bourque and Christian Thomas, who is filling in for captain Brian Gionta as he recovers from offseason biceps surgery.
On Saturday, the Canadiens will play an informal Red vs. White scrimmage at the Bell Centre, starting at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $5 (taxes included) and are available at canadiens.com and evenko.ca or through the Bell Centre’s ticket office. Each ticketholder will receive a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a soft drink. The doors to the Bell Centre will open at 11:30 a.m. and proceeds from the game will be donated to the Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic.
Therrien plans to make a major cut after exhibition games Sunday against Buffalo and Monday against Boston at the Bell Centre. Some prospects will be retained so there are bodies available to scrimmage, but the number of healthy bodies will probably drop from 50 to 30.
“After we make those cuts, we’ll concentrate on the main team,” Therrien said.
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)