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Bench veteran Martin shrugs off fans calls for Canadiens coaching change

The Canadian Press
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Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin stands behind his bench during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Martin says he is not losing sleep over the ever rising cries from fans and some media for the Montreal Canadiens to make a coaching change. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gene J. Puskar Author: The Hockey News

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Bench veteran Martin shrugs off fans calls for Canadiens coaching change

The Canadian Press
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BROSSARD, Que. - Jacques Martin says he is not losing sleep over the ever rising cries from fans and some media for the Montreal Canadiens to make a coaching change.

The Canadiens, coming off a 2-1 loss on home ice to the Florida Panthers, sit last in the Eastern Conference at 1-5-2 and have yet to win at the Bell Centre this season.

"I don't listen to the radio or watch TV or read the newspapers," Martin said Tuesday. "After 26, 27 years at this level, I've been through this before.

"To me it's just every day getting better and making sure the team's ready for (the next) game."

The Canadiens lost Max Pacioretty, one of their most effective wingers, to a wrist injury late in the second period against Florida. Various reports said the big winger had no broken bones but suffered tendon damage to a wrist and will be out of action indefinitely.

That left the team with only 11 forwards and prompted the recall of winger Aaron Palushaj from AHL Hamilton. Spare defenceman Alexei Emelin filled in on left wing during practice.

Palushaj had been sent down on Sunday after playing four games in which he had no points and averaged 5:47 of ice time per game with the Canadiens

Martin also said Carey Price would be in goal Wednesday night against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. Backup Peter Budaj got his first start and looked solid against Florida.

Price has been hot and cold to start the season. It hasn't helped that the injury-struck defence, which is using two first-year rearguards, has given up an unusually high number of scoring chances to their opponents.

Price has been stuck on 99 career wins since Montreal beat Winnipeg in their second game of the season.

To change his luck, he said he will consider dropping the pink-trimmed pads he has been wearing as part of the Hockey Fights Cancer program. He has yet to win in them.

"I'm one loss away from wearing a garter belt," he joked, making reference to a baseball pitcher in the movie comedy "Bull Durham" who is talked into wearing a garter to help his throwing motion.

On the team's early-season woes, Price said: "It's not fun. But I don't think many guys are pressing the panic button just yet."

The Canadiens started Martin's first season behind the bench in 2009-2010 with only two points in their first seven games, but managed to squeeze into the playoffs with only 88 points and then went to the conference final.

Centre Scott Gomez, out with an upper body injury, skated on his own but will not play at least until next week.

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Bench veteran Martin shrugs off fans calls for Canadiens coaching change