MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin put his offseason focus on leadership and character. After a historically "embarrassing" loss on Friday night, he'll get a chance to see what his team is made of when it hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens were manhandled 10-0 by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, matching a franchise record for goals against in a shutout loss. The team looked even flatter than they did in a winning cause against Vancouver on Wednesday, when goaltender Carey Price bailed them out.
Price will return to the net Saturday, as Montreal (9-1-1) looks to get back on track.
"No one's losing confidence, no one's losing faith in this locker room; we fully believe in each other," said winger Brendan Gallagher, who called the loss "embarrassing". "It's just one of those things -- learning from last year's lessons. We're going to learn from it.
"Adversity has the opportunity to either crumble you or make you stronger," he added. "We're going to see how we come out but I believe in everyone in this locker room."
The Canadiens had been as stingy as they come in their first 10 games, allowing just 13 goals in that stretch. After Friday's result, the team's goals-against average went from 1.30 up to 2.09. The penalty killing unit, which had allowed just four goals on 40 opportunities, went from 90 percent to 82.2 percent after giving four goals on five Columbus power plays.
Aside from the already-planned goaltending change, there could be more coming for Montreal. Left winger Daniel Carr and defenseman Joel Hanley were called up from the AHL's St. John's Ice Caps earlier in the week.
The Flyers (6-5-1), in town for the second time in just under two weeks, bring a three-game winning streak into Saturday's tilt. They've been the comeback kids in their last two outings, rallying from third period deficits for the win in a back-to-back set against the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders on Wednesday and Thursday.
The last time these two met on Oct. 24, the Canadiens' power play was the difference as Gallagher connected for the game-winning goal. Steve Mason was the starter in that game, but lately Flyers coach Dave Hakstol has leaned on Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth has gotten the nod in three straight, including the back-to-back earlier this week.
"It's based on performance," Hakstol told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Former Canadien Dale Weise missed the first meeting while serving a suspension and his presence in the line-up for this one has yet to be determined. Weise, who signed a four-year, $9.4 million deal as a free agent last summer, has just one goal in eight games and was a healthy scratch against the Islanders.
"He can play better," general manager Ron Hextall told the Inquirer, while also acknowledging that the 28-year-old was likely experiencing a "break-in period" with the club.
After losing defenseman Andrew MacDonald to injury on Wednesday, the Flyers could see another blue-liner return against Montreal. Michael Del Zotto, who has missed all 12 games so far this season, is eligible to return from the long-term injury reserve list on Saturday, and is expected to make his season debut.