Thursday, October 13, 2011

Montreal, Get Ready to Rock!

For the first time of the 2011-12 NHL regular season, the Montreal Canadiens will take to the Bell Centre ice this evening as they host the Calgary Flames. The roof is sure to be rocking, though as per the Canadiens' Facebook account yesterday, some tickets still remain for the game! In fact, when I checked last night, there were even some pairs left in the more expensive sections. If you're looking for tickets, try here:

It's the home opener! Anything less than a sellout is unacceptable!

- Habs line-up for tonight:

Max Pacioretty - Scott Gomez - Brian Gionta
Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Erik Cole
Mathieu Darche - David Desharnais - Andrei Kostitsyn
Lars Eller - Andreas Engqvist - Aaron Palushaj

Hal Gill - P.K. Subban
Josh Gorges - Raphael Diaz
Alexei Emelin - Yannick Weber

Carey Price

Let's hope for a strong performance from the injury-depleted boys, because what is certain is that unlike Winnipeg, if Montreal is down 5-1 in the final minute, Habs' fans will definitely not be giving a standing ovation to the team.

Aaron Palushaj and Lars Eller will both make their season debuts tonight, while Yannick Weber will start on defense for the first time after finishing both of the first two games on the blueline.

I've advocated for the moving of Weber to the top powerplay unit alongside P.K. Subban which would give the team 2 point shots like with Subban and James Wisniewski last year, but as per practice, the Tomas Plekanec experiment is not yet over. He'll man the blueline with Subban on the top unit, while Raphael Diaz and Weber play on the 2nd wave.

- Carey Price's next win (hopefully tonight) will be the 100th of his career. He will become only the 13th goaltender in NHL history to reach that mark by age 24.

- Per awesome French site Dans Les Coulisses, P.K. Subban was out at Santos supper club last night, along with Yannick Weber and Chris Campoli. The article questions whether this is appropriate behaviour on the eve of the home opener, though in the players' defense, they've had quite a few days off to rest and thus should be well prepared for tonight regardless of having a few drinks. It is perhaps concerning since Subban is not off to a great start to the season and Weber had just a few days ago all but lost his spot in the line-up, meaning the team needs more from these guys with no distractions, but they are human and should have their privacy respected on occasion so long as it doesn't translate to on-ice mishaps.

- As we had posted to Twitter yesterday, prospect defenseman Darren Dietz's Saskatoon Blades will be hosting the 2013 Memorial Cup. Since Dietz has one more year in juniors before he can be signed to play in the AHL, this should be a great experience for him.

- Expected Calgary Flames line-up:

Alex Tanguay - David Moss - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Lee Stempniak
Niklas Hagman - Roman Horak - Rene Bourque
Toms Kostopoulos - Matt Stajan - Tim Jackman

Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
Derek Smith - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff

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