In the past the Canadiens have been criticized for carrying a bloated training camp roster of non-NHL candidates too deep into training camp, thus taking away far too much playing and practice time from the players who would make up the opening night lineup.
Head coach Michel Therrien and his coaching staff have pro-actively changed team policy. While we can’t consider this as an official roster ‘cutdown’, Therrien announced that the camp has been narrowed from three groups to two.
His core “A” group is made up of twenty-seven players which include the Canadiens main 23-man roster. Also among the fifteen forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders are forward prospects Jiri Sekac, Jacob De la Rose, Nikita Scherbak plus defensemen Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu and Francis Bouillon all of whom have earned an extended look from the coaching staff.
As a result, the Canadiens were able to practice five forward lines Wednesday:
Rene Bourque – Tomas Plekanec – Jiri Sekac
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – P.A. Parenteau
Nikita Scherbak – Alex Galchenyuk – Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust –Manny Malhotra – Dale Weise
Travis Moen – Michael Bournival – Jacob De La Rose
The first group will continue to work out on the main ice surface at the Brossard facility while the 34-player second unit will practice simultaneously in the secondary arena. Included in that group are Christian Thomas and Drayson Bowman, both of whom had two point nights against Boston Tuesday night along with goaltender Joey MacDonald, defenseman Magnus Nygren and forwards Sven Andrighetto, Gabriel Dumont and Charles Hudon, all of whom appear slated for the Hamilton Bulldogs training camp next week.
McCARRON JOINS TRAINING CAMP INJURY LIST
Right wing Michael McCarron fell awkwardly into the Boston goalpost late in the second period Tuesday night, left the ice holding his left arm and didn’t return to the game. The Canadiens would only say “upper body injury” but Michel Therrien indicated there was no bone fracture. Although McCarron played well in the final scrimmage and the game against the Bruins, he is destined to be returned to the London Knights of the OHL.
McCarron joins Lars Eller, Dalton Thrower, Jack Nevins plus juniors Jeremy Gregoire and Connor Crisp on the training camp injury list. Eller was on the ice with the team therapist following the regular practice. His injury is considered “not serious” but he has not practiced with his teammates since last Saturday.
The Canadiens will play back to back games against the Colorado Avalanche, Thursday at the Bell Centre and Friday in Quebec City. They’ll complete their stretch of four games in six nights with a game against Washington Sunday at 6.00pm.