TORONTO – Brandon Prust being out for the rest of the regular season isn’t the only change coming to the Montreal Canadiens’ lineup.
Forward Rene Bourque and Douglas Murray will replace Ryan White and Jarred Tinordi on Saturday night at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bourque had been a healthy scratch for the past five games and Murray three.
Murray said he’s not paid to be in the stands and wants to contribute in a game that could have serious ramifications in the playoff race.
“I’m comfortable playing any game, but these are the most fun games,” the 34-year-old said. “It’s the easy ones to get fired up for. You’ve got to be on your toes the whole time and it helps keep you focused. It’s way more fun to play these games.”
Prust’s injury figures to shift Alex Galchenyuk from left wing to centre, which is where he practised Friday in Brossard, Que., doing line rushes between captain Brian Gionta and Bourque.
Coach Michel Therrien refused to say Saturday during his team’s optional morning skate.
“Who said he’s going to play centre?” Therrien said. “Nobody said he’s going to be a centre.”
Therrien pointed out that at 20 years old Galchenyuk could still be playing major junior hockey. “Eventually” the U.S. Olympic forward might be a centre, he added.
“Right now we have a young man, we like his development,” Therrien said. “He did some good things lately, so we keep focusing about make sure he’s performing well.”
Defenceman P.K. Subban called Galchenyuk already an NHL superstar and knows he could adjust to centre if needed. But Subban is a Norris Trophy winner, not a decision-maker on this.
“You know what, this is my fourth year in the league. I don’t know how close I am to being a GM in the league or a head coach,” Subban said. “I will say this: Chuky’s a very special player. … He’s got tremendous skill and talent, he’s just young and he’s learning, but he’s a great hockey player and I think he’ll excel in any position you put him in.”
Follow @SWhyno on Twitter