The Canadiens practiced for the first time on the McMahon Stadium ice in minus-20 degree temperatures this afternoon in preparation for tomorrow’s Heritage Classic game against the Calgary Flames.
Defenseman James Wisniewski took part in the practice wearing a cage facemask in order to protect the facial injury he suffered early in Thursday’s game against Edmonton. Wisniewski has a nasty cut over his left cheekbone and a black eye, but there is no bone damage. He is expected to play in tomorrow afternoon’s game, although Jacques Martin says the final determination won’t come until tomorrow morning. At this afternoon’s practice, Wisniewski was paired with Roman Hamrlik. Hal Gill was back with P.K. Subban while newcomer Paul Mara is likely to play with Yannick Weber. The healthy scratch on defence for tomorrow’s game will likely be Alexandre Picard once again.
Hal Gill and Michael Cammalleri will definitely be returning to the lineup. Gill has missed the last four games with an upper body injury. Cammalleri has missed the last twelve games with a shoulder separation. Mathieu Darche has a groin injury and isn’t likely to play. Jaroslav Spacek remained in Montreal for treatment for a knee injury.
With the addition of Hal Gill, and possibly Wisniewski, to the Canadiens defense Brendon Nash was returned to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Nash played in two games for the Canadiens, including his NHL debut against Buffalo on Tuesday.