Habs Daily Recap: Feb. 18th

The Montreal Canadiens started off their Monday with an optional skate; Bouillon, Gionta and coach Therrien took the option. A pleasant surprise was Nokelainen skating as he continues to recover from a back injury. Price and Subban were back on the ice after dealing with illness. Another player who was missing was Gallagher but that is not a surprise considering he is battling a concussion.

According to Therrien, Gallagher felt really good Monday but was not going to be in the line up against Carolina or the Rangers on Tuesday. They are following proper protocol for this particular injury. Gallagher will not see action again until he is definitely 100% ready to go. The Canadiens will not take their chances and they shouldn’t with such a young player.

The lines that MT put together for the game vs Carolina:
Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Eller
Prust – Galchenyuk – Cole
Moen – White – Armstrong

Markov – Emelin
Gorges – Diaz
Bouillon – Subban


Photo: Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images

Photo: Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images

Due to Gallagher being out, Ryan White drew back into the line up where he was hoping to redeem himself from previous games. He did just that as he did not take a single penalty; playing a disciplined role when Therrien put him on the ice. Exactly what the coach needed. The Canes were without Jeff Skinner against the Habs and maybe they could have used him as Montreal shut out Carolina by a score of 3-0. The goals came from Prust, Plekanec and Pacioretty; an ugly one for Max but he had to break the duck. Budaj recorded his first shutout as a Hab (38th goalie in Canadiens history) and has back-to-back wins for the club. This win pushed the Canadiens’ winning streak to 4 games while stopping Carolina’s streak as well.

The Bulldogs winning streak was snapped by Rochester in the afternoon by a score of 2-0. If it was not for Tokarski, it probably would have been a lot worse. Leggio also made some crucial stops for the Americans at the other end of the ice to help clinch the victory. The Bulldogs will be back in action against Rochester on Friday but this time it will be in Montreal at the Bell Centre. If you do not have any plans that night, go support the prospects.

Aaron Palushaj continues to use his ice time effectively in an Avalanche uniform. In Colorado’s 6-5 victory Monday, Palushaj potted a goal and added two assists with 14:49 in ice time. That is a lot more than he was getting with Montreal previously and it is nice to see him get a fair shot elsewhere. Well-done Aaron.

Per Renaud Lavoie, Mathieu Darche should announce this week that he’s retiring. Darche did not accept a two-way deal from Montreal months ago because he felt he deserved more and was not going to back to riding the bus down in the minors. Darche had a lot of good moments in the Habs organization and we wish him the best.

The Canadiens have two shutouts in the last three games heading into Tuesday night against the Rangers. In addition, they are undefeated against teams outside their own division.

Prospect Update:
– Delmas let in 2 goals on 37 shots in Wheeling’s win
– Dietz recorded a goal, an assist and a +2 rating
– Thrower was a +1 and took a minor penalty in Saskatoon’s 5-1 victory
– Vail was a -1 against Saginaw and had to play some minutes on defence due to an injury to a teammate

Note: Eller is awesome.

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