Friday, November 25, 2011

Your Canadiens for November 25, 2011

REMINDER: Due to American Thanksgiving, today's Philadelphia Flyers - Montreal Canadiens game begins at 3:00 PM EST. If you can't watch the game then, RDS is replaying it in its entirety at 6:30 PM EST.

- The Habs will be without Scott Gomez (insert Thanksgiving joke here) for today's game. He is day-to-day with a lower body injury and did not practice yesterday. Though they did practice, neither Andrei Kostitsyn nor Andrei Markov is ready to return, and since no one was called up from Hamilton, the Canadiens will dress 7 defensemen (including Frederic St. Denis).

- Carey Price will get the start in goal for Montreal. It is unlikely Peter Budaj will start at home against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, so we shall see how Price holds up for back-to-back games.

- Jaromir Jagr and Chris Pronger will miss this game due to injury and illness respectively. Good timing for the Canadiens!

- A Russian news source yesterday reported that Alexander Avtsin's agent indicated the player was promised by the Canadiens to play at least 10 games for the Habs this season (source:

The source is the same that broke the Andrei Kostitsyn - Jacques Martin story from this summer. Avtsin was considered a highly intriguing prospect when he was signed a year ago, bringing the always coveted mix of size and skill to the table. He struggled to get ice time in the American Hockey League as one of the AHL's youngest players (starting the season at age 19) last year. This season, after a slow start, he seems to have possibly turned a corner, having the most productive stretch of his North American career the last little bit, playing notably on a top line with Louis Leblanc and Phil DeSimone.

He'll need to keep consistently playing well to deserve that call-up to the NHL, or else the Habs will basically have to determine whether he's in the long-term plans or not. If the answer is yes or maybe, they'll need to give him a look to keep him happy. Of course, there is no North American source making this claim "official," but it would make sense when combined with the report that Avtsin was "disappointed" when cut from Habs camp this Fall (it's not like anyone expected him to have a shot at making the club anyway!).

- Hockey Canada will announce the list of players invite to Team Canada's final evaluation camp for the World Junior Championship Monday morning. Canadiens prospects Brendan Gallagher and Michael Bournival are shoe-ins for invites, while Nathan Beaulieu should be on the camp roster as well, though he faces the toughest road ahead to make the actual squad.

- With no NHL games yesterday, it was a quiet night for Habs fans. But check out today/tonight's schedule; in addition to the Canadiens game, virtually every Hab prospect in North America is in action! Brendan Gallagher's Vancouver Giants, Nathan Beaulieu's Saint John Sea Dogs, Jarred Tinordi's London Knights, Michael Bournival's Shawinigan Cataractes, Morgan Ellis's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Danny Kristo's UND, Mac Bennett and Greg Pateryn's Michigan Wolverines, Darren Dietz's Saskatoon Blades, plus the Hamilton Bulldogs (and more!) all have games tonight! A busy night of scoreboard watching no doubt.

- Want to meet P.K. Subban? Let's be honest, who doesn't?! The Habs defenseman will be signing autographs at the Best Buy Quartier DIX30 in Brossard this Sunday, November 27th, at 2:00 PM.

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