While Carey Price and Raphael Diaz were at the NHL All-Star Game festivities over the weekend, the rest of the Montreal Canadiens took a few days off. There were a few exceptions, and forward Ryan White was one of them.
"It's good to be back," White said Monday. "I was here for a few days by myself. I had a good break here, but it's good to see the guys back"
The 23-year-old spent the weekend getting into game shape, after recovering from sports hernia surgery and spent Monday's practice centering the team's fourth line.
But don't expect to see him in the lineup Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres, as there's a bit more work to be done.
Without the luxury of a pre-season, White knows he's behind the eight ball, being forced to play catch-up to get to full playing level. Rather than spend a conditioning stint with the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL), he is hoping to get doctor's clearance later this week, and be game ready as soon as next week.
"I'm skating with them and practicing whenever I can," he said. "I want to be in a position where I can contribute to the team as best I can."
White does plan to travel with the team when they face the New Jersey Devils on Thursday
His return couldn't come at a better time, with the Canadiens playing four games in the next six days, and playing every other day (including back-to-back games over Superbowl weekend) through February 22.
The Manitoba native's gritty and physical play, featured in our Top 25 Under 25 this past summer, will be a well needed asset for the Canadiens to make a push into the post-season.
White has found it hard to be out of the lineup, especially with the team struggling this season.
"We're a positive group, and it's difficult when you can't do anything but sit there and watch," White added. "I want to get into a position where I am contributing, and help this team win, and be part of the team again."
Interesting stat on Ryan White: The Habs were 4-0 in regular season games last season, where White dropped the gloves. They outscored their opponent 23-4 in those four games.
Engqvist recalled: While Ryan White still awaits clearance to play, both Travis Moen and Petteri Nokelainen were absent from Monday's practice, resulting in the call-up of Andreas Engqvist from Hamilton later in the afternoon.
Dryden speaks on The Game: Hall of Fame Canadiens netminder will be appearing at Indigo Bookstore (1500 Avenue McGill College), on February 2 at 7pm, as part of CBC Radio's Canada Reads program.
Sue Smith, host of CBC Radio One's Homerun program will host the event.
Joining the conversation will be Lisa-Marie Breton, Captain of the Montreal Stars (CWHL) and Dr. Gordon Bloom, Associate Professor of Sport Psychology at McGill University.
Discussion will be about The Game, as well as the current game and their views on the current state of injuries and concussions in the sport.
Segments of the conversation will be recorded for the CBC program and aired at a later date.
Analyzing the Habs power play: Chris Boucher looks at the puck possession ratios with the man advantage.
Questions on the Habs: Eric Engels has some. Number three was already answered this afternoon.