vendredi 1 novembre 2013

Habs : Parros, Pacioretty set to return to lineup

Source : Montrealgazette 

Link : Youtube channel 
          My facebook page
          My Twitter

 The Canadiens’ lengthy injury list is starting to shrink with George Parros and Max Pacioretty poised to return to the lineup during the team’s weekend road trip.

Parros, who suffered a concussion during the Canadiens’ season opener on Oct. 1, will play Friday when the Habs face off against the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Pacioretty, who has been out with a strained hamstring, will play this weekend, coach Michel Therrien confirmed Thursday before the team left for Minnesota. The Canadiens will wrap up a two-game road trip against the Avalanche Saturday in Colorado (10 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“We’ll see for (Friday),” Therrien said.

The other piece of good news for the Canadiens and their fans was the sight of 6-foot-2 defenceman Alexei Emelin skating with his teammates at practice Thursday in Brossard for the first time since reconstructive surgery last May on the ACL and MCL in his left knee.

Emelin wore a no-contact jersey at practice, after which the Canadiens announced they’ve signed him to a four-year contract extension. The team, as per its usual policy, didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal, which will pay Emelin $16.4 million, an average of $4.1 million per season.

“He can play big minutes against the opponents’ best players, and hard-hitting defencemen of his type are hard to find,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a press release.

“We are very confident that he will fully recover from his knee injury and be able to compete at a high level for many years to come.”

The 27-year-old Russian, who has been learning English, briefly addressed the media for the first time en masse in a scrum. He called it a great day.

“I’m very happy to stay for a long time in Montreal,” Emelin said. “It’s a great city, great team. I’m happy. My family, too.”

The contract negotiations weren’t long, Emelin added.

“I feel good,” he said about being back on the ice with the team.

“I think I need a couple of weeks more ... (to be) ready to play,” he added, suggesting perhaps a mid-November comeback.

Emelin would also like to take part in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted on Thursday that P.K. Subban, who won the Norris Trophy last season as the NHL’s top defenceman, is a long-shot at this point for the Canadian Olympic team, based on information he’s gathered. It doesn’t mean Subban won’t make the team, Dreger added, “but, management concerns with high risk play still outweigh his offensive strengths.”

Subban, who is tied for the Habs’ lead in points (11) with Tomas Plekanec, suggested his focus isn’t on the ongoing speculation about the Olympic team makeup.

“I’m focused on this team here. ... And play hard and just trying to play my best every game, and do the best that I can,” he said.

“When you look at the start of the season, I don’t think it’s a bad start. But I think there’s room for improvement, so I’ll just get better every day.”

Therrien steered clear of the Olympic topic. When the coach was asked if he was satisfied with Subban’s play over the past few games, Therrien said: “P.K. is a player who brings us a lot of energy.
He’s a guy who offensively is able to score, get points.

“We have a team concept within our organization that we follow. And we believe — it’s our team concept that will get us in the playoffs and it’s our team concept that will make us progress as a team.”

Subban leads the Canadiens in power-play minutes, averaging 4:31 per game, but his limited play on the penalty kill is a bone of contention with some Habs fans. Subban is averaging 1:01 of ice time per game on the penalty kill this season, while his average last season was 1:27.

Subban is averaging 24:33 of ice time per game this season, ranking second on the Canadiens behind Andrei Markov’s 25:01. Last season, Subban averaged 23:14.

“He has more ice time this year than he had last year,” Therrien said when asked about using Subban less on the penalty kill. “So there’s a progression in the equation.”

Before the team left for Minnesota, Parros had his substantial and distinctive moustache shaved off for the annual “Movember” campaign that raises awareness about, and money for, men’s health issues.

“I’ve done it for a number of years and everyone always asks me why, but nothing draws more attention to the cause than getting rid of this thing and re-growing it,” Parros said.

“It’s a little embarrassing, at first. My upper lip looks a little smaller. And I have a few more challenges for fights because I look about 10 years younger,” Parros joked.

The 6-foot-5 forward suffered a concussion on Oct. 1 during a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr when he fell and his chin struck the ice.

“It feels good to come back, get off the (injured reserve),” said Parros, who is cleared to play. “I feel good. I feel good in my head, no headaches, no symptoms. Looking forward to it. You can’t sit around thinking about what happened. You’ve got to press forward and play the same way. So I’m looking forward to that opportunity and putting the past behind me.”

Carey Price will get the start in net on Friday. Therrien didn’t reveal more of his goaltending plans for the back-to-back games. Peter Budaj played with the Avalanche for six seasons before joining the Habs.

About 40 people headed to Minnesota with the team as part of a Habs’ father-son trip for the two games. Therrien called it well-deserved. Fathers make a lot of sacrifices for their kids, bringing them to practice and showing up at games, he said.

“It’s a great experience for not only the players, but for the parents, too, to be able to share that experience,” the coach added.

Therrien, whose father passed away a few years ago, has his son with him on the trip. Parros’s father couldn’t make it, but his brother is joining him. The fathers travelling with the team include Alex Galchenyuk’s dad and Karl Subban.

“It will be cool having my Pops on the road, said Subban, noting his father is now retired.

“It’s going to definitely be a fun trip for everybody.”

Link : Youtube channel 
          My facebook page
          My Twitter