Claude Julien’s first practice with the team on Friday afternoon was full of positive energy, with many fans looking forward to a quick turnaround for the team. After a loss in his first game behind the bench in which the Montreal Canadiens looked overmatched, the mood was slightly less jovial in his second skate, this time on the Bell Centre ice.
The first oberservation made by onlookers was the absence of Carey Price. The official reasoning was that the goaltender was taking a therapy day after his performance against the Winnipeg Jets the day before.
Despite his winless record so far, Julien was still well-received by the Habs fans in attendance.
Julien decided on some new lines from what he’d started the first game of his new stint with, opting to place Phillip Danault back on the top trio and insert Alex Galchenyuk between Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher.
#Habs practice lines:— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) February 19, 2017
Pacioretty - Danault - Radulov
Byron - Galchenyuk - Gallagher
Lehkonen - Plekanec - Shaw
Flynn - McCarron - Mitchell
On defence, after initially going with the same alignment as Saturday, things were completely shaken up, as Andrei Markov — who had a great outing in an otherwise poor team performance yesterday — was moved to the top line, allowing Nathan Beaulieu and Jeff Petry to play on the second pair, with Alexei Emelin dropping to the third duo with Nikita Nesterov, and Greg Pateryn once again serving as the extra.
#Habs practice D & G— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) February 19, 2017
Markov - Weber
Beaulieu - Petry
Emelin - Nesterov
*Substitute goalie with Price taking maintenance day
#Habs Weber said different pairings at today's practice were a result of having 7 D. He says he and Markov are not partners as of now.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) February 19, 2017
The new coach attracted lots of attention from local fans, and seemed to be having a similar effect on his new charges.