PHT Morning Skate: Ovechkin says if he could choose another place to play, it’d be Montreal

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Alex Ovechkin says if he wasn’t playing for the Washington Capitals, his preferred team would be the Montreal Canadiens. Ovechkin said he likes the atmosphere and culture in the city of Montreal. (ESPN.com)

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Anaheim Ducks players read harsh tweets:

Former Montreal Expo Vladimir Guerrero got a warm reception during the Montreal Canadiens game on Thursday night.

Actor and Boston Bruins’ fan Denis Leary is producing an eight-episode sitcom called “Benders”, which focuses on an amateur hockey team. (A.V. Club)

Matt Dumba recently ventured into Minnesota’s Mall of America to talk hockey with shoppers. The Wild’s rookie defenseman went predominantly unrecognized as he talked to shoppers about the local hockey team.

A linesman in the KHL suffered a brutal leg injury after a player was hit into his leg. The injury occurred during Ak Bars 1-0 overtime win against Sibir in KHL playoff action on Thursday.

Smith-Pelly isn’t really catching on in Montreal

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It’s way too early to rush to final judgments on the trade that sent Devante Smith-Pelly to Montreal and Jiri Sekac to Anaheim, yet the bottom line is that “DSP” is off to a rough start with the Canadiens.

Smith-Pelly, 22, is a healthy scratch for the Habs against the Florida Panthers tonight.

This isn’t just a momentary issue, either; the young forward has produced just an assist and 20 shots on goal in 15 games with the Canadiens. While Sekac (also 22) hasn’t set the world on fire with Anaheim, he’s been a bit more productive and has even seen a shift or two with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.

The focus is on getting the most out of Smith-Pelly (not proving that he’s better than Sekac), and that’s where the concern lies.

The Canadiens can clinch a playoff berth in a variety of ways today. The question remains if Smith-Pelly will be able to make an impact in their postseason run, and that’s a pretty big question right now.

Mitchell (upper body) won’t return for Montreal

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The Montreal Canadiens will be down a skater for the rest of Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders as Torrey Mitchell suffered an upper-body injury.

(Mitchell may have been injured in an exchange with John Tavares.)

Mitchell, 30, was excited to get traded to his hometown team during the deadline. He hasn’t scored a point in six games with the Canadiens so far this season, although that’s not exactly what they acquired him for, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Islanders

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NBCSN presents quite a treat on Saturday night, as the New York Islanders host the Montreal Canadiens.

While Montreal made it to the 2014 Eastern Conference finals, one could argue that the two teams are still trying to establish themselves as perennial contenders in this conference. In fact, a win could put one of the two squads atop their respective division.

There’s plenty of star power on hand, from John Tavares to Carey Price to P.K. Subban. You can watch the action on NBCSN as well as via NBC Live Sports Extra:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Read more about the game in this preview.

Parenteau back in Montreal lineup after agent’s tweet

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It appears P.A. Parenteau will draw back into the Montreal Canadiens lineup tonight when they play host to the Ottawa Senators.

Parenteau, who has missed time this season due to a concussion, was a healthy scratch for a fourth consecutive game on Tuesday night as the Montreal Canadiens were blanked 1-0 by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Parenteau’s absence from the Habs’ lineup prompted his agent to take to Twitter postgame.

Parenteau has six goals and 15 points in 41 games this season while averaging 14:49 in time on ice.

The 31-year-old skated alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Tomas Plekanec at the team’s morning skate Thursday.

It’s not the first time Walsh has been outspoken about a player’s ice time.

During the 2011-12 season Walsh voiced his displeasure over then Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Derick Brassard being a healthy scratch.

Since Walsh had success with Parenteau, TSN’s Gord Miller is hoping he can help him as well.