TORONTO – The Canadiens held an optional practice at the Ford Performance Center on Friday.
Here are the players who skated:
|Friday, April 8
|45 – Laurent Dauphin||43 – Kale Clague||35 – Sam Montembeault|
|85 – Mathieu Perreault||54 – Jordan Harris||31 – Carey Price|
|55 – Michael Pezzetta||84 – William Lagesson|
|25 – Ryan Poehling||26 – Jeff Petry|
|64 – Corey Schueneman|
During his post-practice press conference, interim head coach Martin St-Louis said that Jeff Petry is “pretty close” to returning to the lineup after missing the last seven games with a lower-body injury.
There’s a chance that Petry could play against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena.
Meanwhile, St-Louis doesn’t expect Carey Price to make his highly-anticipated season debut versus Toronto. The team is taking things “day-by-day” in his case.
Price, who underwent knee surgery last July, rejoined the team at practice on Monday.
St-Louis on Price: “He’s going to let us know when he’s ready”
Sam Montembeault was the latest player to share his impressions of Price at practice.
Montembeault says the veteran netminder looks sharp and primed for duty.
“The guys are struggling to score on him. When he came back, the thing that impressed me most was that when guys are getting ready to shoot, they’re intimidated,” Montembeault said. “He’s so big in front of the net. He’s an excellent goaltender, and the guys are really having trouble scoring. I think he’s ready, and I’m excited to see him in action.”
Video: Samuel Montembeault on his impressions of Carey Price
When Price will finally play, however, remains a mystery.
St-Louis was adamant that No. 31 himself will ultimately make the call.
“I think Carey’s going to let us know when he feels it’s the time,” stressed the Hall of Famer. “He’s going to let us know when he’s ready.”
No matter Price’s timeline, though, St-Louis has been impressed by the manner in which he has handled his comeback bid.
“It’s hard work. It’s not just physical hard work, I think mentally he probably got challenged this year in terms of just staying sane, taking a step forward and then a couple of steps back,” St-Louis noted. “Sometimes, it’s hard to find some clarity through that process, but Carey, since I came on board, I feel he’s been a about it and trying to take care of every day the best he can.”
Video: Martin St-Louis on the status of Carey Price
Harris: Watching and learning
Jordan Harris made the most of his night off in New Jersey as a healthy scratch.
The 21-year-old watched the contest closely from the Prudential Center press box to further solidify his understanding of the Canadiens’ playing style.
“It was good to see from the press level. Coach has different systems and concepts, like the movement through the neutral zone, and it’s good to see it from that point of view. It’s tougher on the ice, it’s a lot faster, and it’s tougher on TV with the camera angles and everything, “explained Harris, who has two NHL games under his belt. “Just to see it from above, see the game as a whole, it was good.”
Video: Jordan Harris on watching from the press box in NJ
The Northeastern University product says he “took a few mental notes” as the Habs rolled to victory.
He isn’t sure if he’ll face the Maple Leafs, but he’d relish the opportunity to experience the rivalry firsthand.
“It would be pretty cool, especially with Toronto, all their talent and being such a historic franchise,” Harris said. “It would be really special to be a part of.”
Trying to stop sniper Auston Matthews would be a thrill, too.
“What a season he’s having. He’s a special player,” Harris added. “It would be a lot of fun to go up against competition like that.”
Matthews currently leads the League with 56 goals, six clear of Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl.