[email protected]: What an evening it will be

LAK@MTL: What an evening it will be
Weber skates ahead of Habs practice
The Montreal Canadiens got a bit of good news ahead of their home opener, as defenceman Shea Weber skated on his own before the teams optional game day skate on Thursday morning.

The Habs captain skated for 10 minutes in full uniform at the teams practice facility in Brossard, three months after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

“Theyve got a good hockey team over there. Theyre big. Theyre strong. We want to make sure we get our legs going, and use our speed and play the way weve been playing,” explained Byron, referencing a tough Kings team boasting the likes of Anze Kopitar and Ilya Kovalchuk up front, and Drew Doughty and Dion Phaneuf on the back end. “Weve got to play with pace, play with energy and bring it tonight.”

Weber, who was named team captain earlier this month, is expected to be out of the lineup until early to mid-December.

Montreal Canadiens: Shea Weber and Nicolas Deslauriers take the ice

The 34-year-old had 17 goals and 42 points in 78 games in first season in Montreal in 2016-17. He suffered a torn tendon in his foot in the opening game of last season against the Buffalo Sabres but played through it – missing one game on Nov. 9 with a knee ailment – until the Dec. 16 outdoor game in Ottawa, when he realized the situation wasnt improving. He played only 26 games, picking up six goals and 10 assists. 

A second-round draft pick by Nashville in 2003, Weber has 189 goals, 312 assists and 620 penalty minutes over 13 seasons.

MONTREAL, QC – DECEMBER 5: Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the St. Louis Blues in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on December 5, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Similar to last season, the Montreal Canadiens have players sitting out due to injuries. Paul Byron and Andrew Shaw recovered just in time to make their debuts with the team last week while the likes of David Schlemko, Shea Weber, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Jacob de La Rose remain on the sidelines.

“I think the thing I remember most is the fact that they won 10 games in overtime. To win 10 games like that is special,” mentioned Byron, on the remarkable feat. “I also remember Patrick Roy. Hes the best goalie in NHL history.”

Weber’s conditioned is well-known so far. The veteran required surgery in his foot and knee that shortened his 2017/18 campaign and extended his eventual return into this season. Deslauriers had a procedure himself after a fight in the preseason against the New Jersey Devils resulted in a facial fracture. But there is good news, or bittersweet depending on how you put it, around both situations.

To start, Deslauriers was on the ice with the other players expected to be healthy scratches tonight including Tomas Plekanec, Karl Alzner, and Nikita Scherbak. The 27-year-old was wearing a full cage as he recovers from the surgery and according to Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette, is 10-14 days away from being ready to return.

According to Julien, Webers on-ice workout was pre-planned in conjunction with his ongoing rehab program and his timeline to return to the Canadiens lineup in December, perhaps, remains unchanged.

#Habs Nicolas Deslauriers skating with full cage this morning as he recovers from facial fracture. He’s expected to be ready to return to lineup in 10-14 days #HabsIO pic.twitter.com/q0IJi9hBGI

Seeing as how the Habs sit perfectly at 23 players on the main roster, this will be an issue. But not too much of an issue to cause any grey hairs to sprout. Aside from his boost in offensive production the season before, Deslauriers could easily pass through waivers despite being a nice addition to a team’s bottom-nine.

BROSSARD – The Canadiens didnt hold a formal skate on Thursday morning, electing instead to conserve their energy for the tilt against the Los Angeles Kings.

Weber was out there as well. The newly appointed captain was skating for about 10 minutes on his own ahead of the optional on-ice meeting. He’s still expected to miss another two months of play, but it is reassuring to see a positive milestone for Weber as he continues down the path to recovery and an eventual season debut with the Montreal Canadiens.

Its safe to say that none of the players in uniform will be short on energy, though, given the nature of the occasion. 

But similar to Deslauriers, decisions will need to be made once that day comes. The same goes for Schlemko and de La Rose. Marc Bergevin may have to get creative to ensure everything fits well as far as the team goes and the cap structure.

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