Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Preaseason Game 2: 21/09/11 Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens

Following last night's 6-3 loss to Dallas, the Habs are right back in action with a (most) different group of players.

Here is your line-up / roster for tonight (with lines to come):


Goaltenders: Peter Budaj, Robert Mayer

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brian Gionta
Mathieu Darche - Gabriel Dumont - Alexander Avtsin
Travis Moen - Andreas Engqvist - Brendan Gallagher
Aaron Palushaj - Hunter Bishop - Philip DeSimone

Alex Henry - P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu - Josh Gorges
Jaroslav Spacek - Frederic St. Denis

As expected, David Desharnais moves up into the injured Scott Gomez's spot between Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta. Gomez is expected to return to action this weekend.

For Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist, this represents a second game in as many nights. The two were considered potential favourites to battle for a roster spot, but neither ran away with it yesterday (though Engqvist was the better of the two). For a guy who is slowly moving out of young prospect territory, I'd have expected more intensity out of Palushaj who has coasted through rookie and training camps thus far. The fact that Palushaj was slotted on to a "fourth line" with a borderline AHL/ECHL'er and a try-out may be indicative that management is unhappy with his play.

The Canadiens are dealing with a large number of (minor) injuries at center right now (Gomez, Eller, Leblanc, Nattinen, Fortier...), so tonight is a big opportunity for try-out Philip DeSimone to show he's worth a contract.

Habs fans should be excited to see Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Avtsin in the line-up this evening, both having strong camps (particularly the former). Neither is in the equation to be battling for a job out of camp, but both have shown positive signs for their longer-term future in the organization.


Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth

Defensemen: Tyler Myers, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Robyn Regehr, Dennis Persson, Drew Schiestel, Christian Ehrhoff

Thomas Vanek - Derek Roy - Jason Pominville
Tyler Ennis - Ville Leino - Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerbe - Luke Adam - Brad Boyes
Marucs Foligno - Matt Ellis - Zack Kassian

So for a second night in a row, the Habs will face a relatively complete team - even more complete, in fact, than the roster the Stars put on ice.

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