Habs’ kids shine in scrimmage

 

 
 
 
 
Zach Fucale and P.K. Subban during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
 
 

Zach Fucale and P.K. Subban during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

MONTREAL — Nikita Scherbak said he was surprised to be named player of the game after the Canadiens’ intra-squad shinny contest Monday night at the Bell Centre.

“A guy told me to stay there and then go back and skate on the ice,” said Scherbak, who set up Alex Galchenyuk for Team White’s only goal In a 2-1 loss to Team Red.

Scherbak, who was the Canadiens’ first-round draft choice in June, is a long-shot to stick in the NHL this fall but he impressed coach Michel Therrien with his skating and his enthusiasm and he’ll be rewarded with a spot in the lineup Tuesday night when the Boston Bruins visit Montreal.

“I thought that was Galchenyuk’s best game,” said Therrien, who was pleased with the kid line, which was complemented by the ancient (by comparison) 22-year-old Brendan Gallagher.

“I think that’s the first time I haven’t been the youngest guy on my line,” said the 20-year-old Galchenyuk, who has been playing a mentoring role to the 18-year-old Scherbak. “I told him this morning that he was going to be shaking after the first shift because the building was going to full. I was nervous the first time I played here but the crowd didn’t surprise me because this is my third year here.”

Galchenyuk’s goal rekindled his friendly rivalry with Gallagher.

“I told him it was about time he scored,” Gallagher said. “I’ve been setting him up all through camp and he hasn’t scored. Tonight, he gets one pass from Scherbak and he puts it in.”

The goaltenders dominated the first half of the scrimmage, which was divided into two 25-minute running-time periods. Veterans Carey Price and Peter Budaj kept the puck out of the net with Price stopped P.K. Subban on a penalty shot.

Galchenyuk scored against junior Zach Fucale while Max Pacioretty and Christian Thomas scored the Red goals against Michael Condon.

The scrimmage did little to advance the battle for the final roster spots on defence. The only youngster singled out by Therrien was Greg Pateryn, who was credited with playing a solid game.

Michael McCarron, the Canadiens’ first-round draft choice in 2013, turned in his best performance of the camp but Therrien noted that the 6-foot-6, 238-pound, forward is a long-term project. Therrien said it’s difficult for McCarron to throw his weight around against his teammates but he said he would turn McCarron loose in an exhibition game.

Tuesday’s game is the start of a busy week for the Canadiens. They play back-to-back games against Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche Thursday at the Bell Centre and Friday in Quebec City. The Washington Capitals are at the Bell Centre on Sunday and you can expect a major cut after that game.

Riendeau gets expanded role: Former NHL goaltender Vincent Riendeau has been named assistant general manager of the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs and will also continue to serve as the team’s goaltending coach. “I told myself that in two years I wanted go limit myself to one continent,” said Riendeau, who has been splitting his time between Hamilton and the Hamburg Breezers team in the German League. “When (GM Marc Bergevin) came to me with this opportunity, I couldn’t pass it up. The tough part was leaving Hamburg because we built that team over the past five years.” Riendeau said he was grateful that Hamburg GM Stephane Richer (the former NHL defenceman and not the forward) gave him his blessing.

Scherbak traded: If he doesn’t stick in Montreal, Scherbak can at least look forward to more pleasant weather this winter. The Saskatoon Blades traded him to the Everett Silvertips Monday. The average low temperature never drops below freezing in Everett, which is located on Puget Sound, 25 miles north of Seattle. “I liked it in Saskatoon and the people there were good to me. But it’s cold, it’s minus-65. It’s not really for me, it’s Siberia.”

phickey@montrealgazette.com

twitter: zababes1

 
 
 
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Zach Fucale and P.K. Subban during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
 

Zach Fucale and P.K. Subban during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

 
Zach Fucale and P.K. Subban during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Christian Thomas, left, and Drayson Bowman during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Nikita Scherbak tries to get between Rene Bourque and Jacob de la Rose during Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Tomas Plekanec behind the net during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Rene Bourque and Brandon Prust during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Michael Condon can’t stop the puck during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Michael McCarron, left, and Gabriel Dumont during Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Magnus Nygren, left, and Michael Bournival during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Tomas Plekanec goes behind Carey Price’s net while Jarred Tinordi chases during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Brendan Gallagher, Nikia Scherbak and Alex Galchenyuk celebreate Galchenyuk’s goal during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Alex Galchenyuk and P.A. Parenteau battle for the puck during a Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Alex Galchenyuk and Zach Fucale during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
P.K. Subban tries to get past Carey Price during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Brendan Gallagher fights for position between Tom Gilbert and Carey Price during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
Nikita Scherbak, left, gets tangled up with Francis Bouillon with Joe Finley looking on during the Montreal Canadiens Red-White intra-squad game at the Bell Centre in Montreal Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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