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Friday marked the 10th anniversary of Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal that gave Team Canada a 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the gold-medal game at the Vancouver Olympics.
Canadiens captain Shea Weber was part of Team Canada but didn’t see Crosby score the winning goal.
“I just got off the ice,” Weber recalled Friday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. “I was changing, so I kind of sat down and then, obviously, everyone was jumping off the bench so I didn’t have a chance to catch my breath. But at that point, I don’t think it really mattered.
“It doesn’t seem like 10 years at all,” Weber added. “You kind of forget what day exactly it was until someone texts you and I woke up to a couple of texts this morning, so definitely a cool moment.”
Weber had 2-4-6 totals in seven games at the Vancouver Olympics to win his first Olympic gold medal. He added a second one at the Sochi Games in 2014 when Carey Price was in goal for Team Canada.
Weber is a native of Sicamous, B.C., so the Vancouver Games were extra special for him.
“It was so close to home for me,” Weber said. “I had all my family there. My mom and grandpa and people that aren’t with us now were there and got to enjoy the special moment. So that’s something that probably sticks out the most for me.”
When asked where his Olympic gold medal from the Vancouver Games is now, Weber smiled and said: “I can’t tell you.”
Price, Weber skip practice
Price, who has started 11 straight games and 17 of the last 18, was given the day off from practice Friday. Karel St. Laurent, a former McGill University goalie who now plays for the Jonquiere Marquis in the LNAH, took Price’s spot with Charlie Lindgren in the second net.
Weber also skipped practice, taking a therapy day. Xavier Ouellet, who has missed the last three games with a concussion, was cleared for contact and took part in Friday’s practice.
When coach Claude Julien was asked if he has decided who will start in goal Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Carolina Hurricanes, he smiled and said: “Maybe.”
Here’s how the forward lines and defence pairings looked at practice:
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Suzuki – Armia
Byron – Domi – Weal
Hudon – Evans – Weise
Tatar happy to stay in Montreal
Tomas Tatar’s name was mentioned in rumours ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline last Monday, but he’s happy he’s still with the Canadiens.
Tatar had a goal and an assist in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre, giving him 22-36-58 totals to match the career high in points that he set last season with the Canadiens when he had 25-33-58 totals.
“Like I’ve said many times, with all these rumours and everything around you never knew,” Tatar said after Friday’s practice about the trade deadline. “I kind of had a hint nothing was going to happen but, at the same time, it’s a business and you don’t really know.
“I like it here,” he added. “I like the people, I like the organization. So it was a relief. You fall in love with something, you don’t want to give it up. I’ve certainly enjoyed my time here. The only thing I wish for is probably more wins and then it would be perfect.
“To be honest, I’m enjoying the people and the attention for hockey. Everybody loves it and for them it’s a priority and they enjoy watching it. Us, as hockey players, we’re playing for the people and when there’s a demand and when people like it that’s when I think players enjoy it. Personally, I really like it. I like the enthusiasm for hockey here and I’m really enjoying it.”
Tatar has had Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher as his regular linemates for the last two seasons and he said that has helped him since being acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights as part of the Max Pacioretty trade.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had stability with a line like I have here in Montreal,” Tatar said. “It feels good. It’s nice to understand the players around you and to be able to talk with them and not be worried if you can understand each other. So it’s very helpful, for sure.”
Julien won’t throw in towel
With a 29-28-9 record, the Canadiens had a 0.3 per cent chance of making the playoffs after Thursday’s loss to the Rangers, according to Sportsclubstats.com.
“As a coach, you got to show what you need to fix but you got to make it a positive kind of reinforcement and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Julien said after Friday’s practice. “And we’re going to keep doing that for the rest of the year because we want our team to improve.
“We need to look at our team in a way that the more you fix now the less you have to fix later,” he added. “So that’s why in practice today we’re still working on things for our game that we need to get better at. Most of the time at this time of year you’re giving guys rest and you’re trying to make sure you’re ready for games. Right now, we have to do those things and that’s our goal right now. We’re not throwing in the towel. Yesterday we wanted to win the game and we did 40 minutes of good things. Not to say the last 20 was all bad, but we did some things that ended up costing us some goals.”
The Canadiens will have a 10:30 a.m. morning skate Saturday in Brossard before facing the Hurricanes Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
Next week, the Canadiens will hit the road for three games starting Tuesday in New York against the Islanders (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). After that the Canadiens head to Florida to play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and the Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m., CBC, SN, SN360, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020