MONTREAL – There was a surprise skater on the ice for the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday morning – injured defenceman Francis Bouillon.
Bouillon wasn’t ready to play in Game Two of the NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Boston Bruins, but wanted to test his sore right ankle in a 15-minute skate with his teammates.
Only on Friday, coach Guy Carbonneau had said Bouillon would need up to four days off skates because his recovery had encountered a setback.
“When we talked to him (on Friday) he was really sore,” Carbonneau said. “He’ll skate again the next couple of days for 10 or 15 minutes and then maybe try it a little longer.”
Captain Saku Koivu remains sidelined with a fractured left foot, but his recovery is on schedule.
“If this was the seventh game of the final probably both of those guys would play, but we want to let them heal 100 per cent so they’re as healthy as they can be,” added Carbonneau.
The Canadiens anticipate no lineup changes for Game Two.
Boston coach Claude Julien said he had “questions marks” on whether some players would play or not, but gave no names. They may include defenceman Andrew Alberts, who is healthy but sat out the series opener.
It does not include defenceman Dennis Wideman, who skipped practice on Friday but was back on the ice on Saturday morning.
“Just a little rest and relaxation,” Wideman said of his day off.
The Bell Centre was used Friday for a concert by Quebec comedian Louis-Jose Houde that included a pre-taped skit with Carbonneau.
It had Houde wandering the halls of the arena lost until walking into Carbonneau’s office, whereupon he starts giving the coach advice on his line combinations.
“It wasn’t long and I didn’t get paid that much money either,” Carbonneau said with a grin of his acting debut. “I’ll stick to hockey.”