All Habs GameDay: Tuesday September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday! Former Canadien: Guy Lafleur


(Photo by Tim Sharp/Reuters)

Hockey tonight!: Pre-season Game #1: Dallas Stars vs. Montreal Canadiens
Bell Centre 7:30 pm.

Goaltenders: Carey Price and Nathan Lawson (each will play half the game)

Defencemen: Raphael Diaz, Hal Gill, Jarred Tinordi, Yannick Weber, Jeff Woywitka, Alexei Yemelin

Forwards: Erik Cole, Alain Berger, Michael Blunden, Michael Cammalleri, Andreas Engqvist, Andrei Kostitsyn, Dany Massé, Aaron Palushaj, Tomas Plekanec, Ian Schultz, Brock Trotter and Brian Willsie

There are 11 injured players on the training camp roster: Andrei Markov (knee), Lars Eller (shoulder), Scott Gomez (lower body), Ryan White (groin), Andrew Conboy, Michael Bournival, Brendon Nash, Ben Winnett, Olivier Fortier (shoulder), Joonas Nattinen and Josh McFadden.

On Monday, Louis Leblanc was still sporting a non-contact jersey, but does not appear on the official injury list from the Canadiens.


Update from morning practise:

A crisp 45-minute workout practised breakouts, 2-on-1’s and net presence.

Mike Cammalleri – Tomas Plekanec – Erik Cole
Andrei Kostitsyn – Brian Willsie – Aaron Palushaj
Brock Trotter – Andreas Engqvist – Michael Blunden
Alain Berger – Dany Masse – Ian Schultz

A rather curious set of pairings started the practise with two Swiss defenseman Weber – Diaz together and the twin towers of Gill – Tinordi. The duos were quickly changed.

Hal Gill – Raphael Diaz
Jarred Tinordi – Yannick Weber
Jeff Woywitka – Alexei Yemelin

Carey Price (will play 1st half)
Nathan Lawson (will play 2nd half)


And then there were 59: Roster Cuts

The Canadiens announced a smaller number of cuts on Monday than expected. Head coach Jacques Martin noted the large number of injuries on the roster combined with playing six pre-season games in seven days as the reason for keeping more than 50 players in camp.

The team released try-outs Etienne Brodeur (Chicoutimi – QMJHL), Robin Gusse (Rouyn-Noranda – QMJHL), and Jordon Southorn, while re-assigning prospects Darren Dietz (Saskatoon – WHL) and Dustin Walsh (Dartmouth – ECAC) to their junior and college teams, respectively.

Habs management likes the hands and hockey sense of Brodeur but he will have to improve his skating substantially to continue to be a consideration. With so many small forwards in camp, and a limited number of contracts, Brodeur’s dismissal is not a surprise.

Dustin Walsh has made significant improvement over last season and has filled out his 6-foot-3 frame. But it was time for Walsh to return for classes at Dartmouth and where he will suit up for Big Green.

Darren Dietz is probably the biggest surprise of the cuts. Dietz had an exceptional rookie camp and although overshadowed in the main camp, he didn’t look out of place.

Jordon Southorn and Robin Gusse both appeared in over their depth at the rookie and training camps.

There are still five players on a try-out contract left in camp. They are forwards: Philip Desimone, Ben Winnett and defensemen: Olivier Dame-Malka, Tony Dehart and Josh McFadden. Of the group, Desimone and Winnett have been the standouts.