Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien knew on Tuesday that backup goaltender Peter Budaj would be starting on Wednesday night when his club hosts the Detroit Red Wings, but what he didn't know was that he wouldn't have much say in the hours leading up to the game.
Or that Budaj may be in for more minutes in the crease than expected.
Carey Price made an early exit from the Canadiens' morning skate on Wednesday morning and did not return. Therrien spoke to reporters following the morning practice to address the situation.
"During the Olympics, Carey aggravated a lower-body injury," the coach earlier today said according to NHL.com " He will not play the next two games and he's day-to-day."
Tonight's game will be the first for Montreal since the NHL's hiatus during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where Price helped Canada win it's second-straight gold medal on Sunday by defeating the Swedes, 3-0.
Price completed his first Olympic appearance with a perfect 5-0-0 record with a .59 goals-against average, .972 save percentage and two shutouts, earning him the title of top goaltender in the tournament.
In the wake of his injury, the Canadiens have recalled Dustin Tokarski from their AHL affiliate in Hamilton. Tokarski hasn't appeared in an NHL game since 2011-2012 while he was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Canadiens will be without Price tonight, but are expected to get back Alex Galchenyuk who has been out of the lineup since breaking his hand on Jan. 6.
Montreal's injury problems seem insignificant compared to that of their opponent tonight,who will be without Henrik Zetterberg who will undergo back surgery after being injured in Sochi. Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery) and Jakub Kindl (MCL) will also not play tonight, according to Ansar Khan.
In their last seven games, the Canadiens are 5-1-1 and have come out of their last three games with a victory.