Two things about today’s practice at the Bell Centre. Michael Cammalleri participated in drills for the first time since he suffered that leg laceration in Winnipeg eight days ago and P.K. Subban had a new defence partner..
Before leaving the ice after thirty minutes, Cammalleri scrimmaged with Tomas Plekaned and Erik Cole. With lingering concerns about the sutures in his left leg, he stayed away from contact. Cammalleri may be able to return to the lineup as early as Thursday in Pittsburgh although the weekend game against Toronto is more likely. .
The Subban thing is more troubling. He practiced with Josh Gorges this morning. At minus-3, Subban has the worst defensive rating on the team. All tolled including power play and penalty killing, Subban was on the ice for six of the thirteen opposition goals (4 even-strength; 1 PPG and 1 SHG). The Canadiens offense produced three goals with his participation, one of them on the power play. Much as we love the guy, Subban’s head-space hasn’t been right since the start of the season. If the Canadiens had the available manpower a trip to the press box might be in order. As it is, the only option the coaching staff is moving people around. Hal Gill practiced with Raphael Diaz today.
The Desharnais/Pacioretty/Kostitsyn line remained together. Cammalleri was with Plekanec and Cole for the early part of the practice. When Cammalleri left, Lars Eller took over on left wing.
Jaroslav Spacek skated on his own this morning. He’s still more than a week away from returning to the lineup. Spacek suffered a rib injury in Winnipeg.
The Canadiens team photo was taken this morning, which is the reason today’s practice was held at the Bell Centre. Andrei Markov is not in the picture. He’s been in the Sarasota Florida area for the last eight days having his reconstructed knee evaluated by Dr. James Andrews and his staff. Eight days of evaluation? Seems odd. No-one, including the Canadiens front office, seems to have a clue when Markov will be ready to return to the lineup. We’re told we’ll have more information, positive or negative, in the next 24 hours.
Cammalleri/Eller – Plekanec – Cole
Pacioretty Desharnais Kostitsyn
Moen Gomez Gionta
Darche Engqvist Palushaj