Don't count out cagey Habs defenceman

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

CALGARY - It’s no sure thing, but the Montreal Canadiens have high hopes The Wiz will hit the ice for the Heritage Classic.

Defenceman James Wisniewski practised fully with the team Saturday — wearing a full cage. He was sent to hospital during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers after being hit in the face by a puck, but travelled with the team to Calgary that night.

The team said Wisniewski suffered no facial fractures and it’s possible he’ll play Sunday’s outdoor game at McMahon Stadium.

“We’ll re-evaluate how he is (Sunday) morning. Hopefully he’ll be fine,” said Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin.

If Wisniewski plays, it’ll complete a trio of returns for the Canadiens, who go into the game with just one win in six outings. Forward Michael Cammalleri is good to go after a shoulder injury, while defenceman Hal Gill (undisclosed) will also be back.

Wisniewski wasn’t available to the media.

“He looked good out there,” said defenceman P.K. Subban. “I know he wants to play. It’s good to see his spirits up. It was good to see him having fun.”

Then again, it’s hard to imagine Wisniewski sitting out this one. He wouldn’t want to miss a game of this magnitude and is normally a very outgoing person. (He even posted a photo of himself on Twitter after being injured.)

Wisniewski must be feeling fine. He was taking some ribbing from teammates, especially for wearing the mask.

“That was old-school youth hockey,” said captain Brian Gionta. “It might be a bit colder for him ...

“He looked fine and it’s a matter of whether he can take hits and contact. He’s been huge. He fills that void on the powerplay. He has that great shot and he takes pressure off other guys on the powerplay by drawing guys to him.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak


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