MONTREAL – Defenceman Francis Bouillon skated Saturday for the first time since injuring his left shoulder and hopes to return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup soon.
“I didn’t really test it because I didn’t really push with the shoulder, but for my first morning skate with the team, it was all right,” Bouillon said. “I took a few wrist shots.
“I know the skating is there but I have to test the shoulder to see if I can come back this week. I feel pretty good.”
Bouillon suffered a deep bruise on the shoulder when he was rammed from behind by Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar with less than two seconds remaining in the five-minute overtime period of a game Oct. 27 in Pittsburgh.
He said he had his hand raised against the glass so the shoulder took the full weight of the hit.
“He’s still day-to-day,” said coach Guy Carbonneau. “We’re hoping he’ll be OK for Monday. We’ll see how he reacts (Sunday) and in practice on Monday morning, we’ll make a decision.”
Bouillon’s injury sparked debate on whether players penalized in the last two minutes of overtime should be allowed to take part in a shootout.
Gonchar was one of eight Pittsburgh shooters stopped by Carey Price in the Canadiens’ 4-3 shootout win.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Bouillon. “He just had a penalty and 30 seconds later, he’s in the shootout. There should be a new rule for that.”
The NHL fears that barring penalized players from shootouts may prompt teams to send fourth-liners out to lure star players into penalties in overtime.