MONTREAL – Coach Michel Therrien won’t throw Ryan White under the bus but he’ll assign the young forward to the press box when the Montreal Canadiens face the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
White took a needless double minor penalty in the third period that led to the Canadiens wasting a 4-2 lead and losing 5-4 in a shootout to the Sabres in Buffalo on Thursday.
The feisty centre had just returned to the lineup after sitting out three games for taking a double minor in a 5-1 loss to Ottawa the week before.
“For me, that’s in the past,” Michel said. “I’m sure he learned.
“We care about him. We like the kid. His teammates like him. The coaches love him. He’s still young and he has to learn to adjust to that fine line.”
Travis Moen, who missed the Buffalo game with a minor lower body injury, will take White’s place against Toronto, which is coming off a comeback 3-2 win in Winnipeg.
The Leafs were looking to sweep a three game road trip that started with a 3-2 victory in Washington on Tuesday. Toronto is 5-1-0 away from home this season.
Coach Randy Carlyle would not comment on possible line changes, but it appeared Jay McClement would move to the fourth line and Leo Komarov would join a unit with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin.
With Phil Kessel finally scoring his first goal of the season in Winnipeg, Komarov is the team’s only regular forward yet to score.
“It will be nice but it’s not that important to me,” said Komarov. “I just try to help the team to win.
“Of course it’s nice to score, but maybe I’m not the best goalscorer on the team so I might have to wait to be the last one.”
He wasn’t sure if playing with two fellow eastern Europeans would help him get the elusive goal.
“I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but it’s two good players and it was fun to practise with those guys,” he said. “In the game, it will be fun to play, too.”
McClement was expected to be at centre with Frazer McLaren and Colton Orr, although Carlyle cautioned he has a lot of options with his forward lines.
“I’ve done a little bit of everything so far this year,”said McClement. “I’m just trying to be good on the forecheck, be strong defensively and be a reliable player.
“It was just trying to take advantage of an opportunity my first game on left wing. I ended up playing a few games there. It helps me as a player being in different situations and knowing I can play left wing.”
Tough forward Mike Brown skated but Carlyle wasn’t optimistic about getting him into the lineup just yet. Brown has missed the last five games with a shoulder injury.
“This is only Mike’s second full day of practice with the club,” the coach said. “We have to make sure our people are 100 per cent ready.”