Habs return from Sochi with great memories; look ahead to Wednesday's game
Published Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:28PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:30PM EST
Members of the Montreal Canadiens continue to roll in from Sochi, as the Habs hit the practice ice a day ahead of their return to NHL games.
Following the arrival of Carey Price and P.K. Subban Monday, American player Max Pacioretty, Russian Andrei Markov and Slovak goalie Peter Budaj have all returned to Montreal after their Olympic runs.
For the second day Tuesday, the Canadian gold medallists did not take to the ice for practice, as they try to readjust their schedule to the Eastern Time Zone, but the other Olympians did practice ahead of Wednesday's home date against the Detroit Red Wings.
For Pacioretty, it was a bittersweet experience. The U.S. looked to be rolling to a medal, but finished the tournament poorly. The Habs’ leading goal getter still said he learned a lot from the experience.
“I've never played in that big of stage in my life. I've played four playoff games, World Championships and played World Juniors, but that’s a whole other stage and I'm happy with my experience. I thought I played well, given the circumstances, and I feel playing on that stage moving forward will only help me here,” said the winger.
Markov returned to the ice and even though the Russians didn't come through at the Olympics, he loved the experience.
“You know what? First of all, that was a great experience. Whatever the Russians did during the Olympics was kind of incredible, whatever we did in hockey, the results were not good,” he said.
Markov is a free agent at the end of the season and his contract situation is up in the air. He said he wants to finish his career here, but it will depend on whether the offer is good enough for that to happen.
“I'll leave that for you guys. I am going to focus on my game,” he said.
With Budaj back in the net for the Canadiens after a rough time too for Slovakia.
The experience of the Olympics is always worth it, he said.
“Just in general, representing in my country and being a part of the team, that’s the most amazing feeling. Every athlete dreams of it. It’s amazing to be feeling. I’m very thankful that I am blessed to experience that,” said the goaltender.
Budaj will get the call Wednesday night when the Habs play at the Bell Centre as Carey Price gets one more day of rest after winning his gold medal in Sochi.
Alex Galchenyuk will return for the first time in six games as he has recovered fully from his broken hand.