All Habs Headlines: Friday September 25, 2015

On this day in hockey history 1926 — The National Hockey League officially granted franchises to two new teams — Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later changed to Red Wings) raising the NHL total to ten teams.  1984 — Phil Esposito was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame along with Jacques Lemaire, Bernie Parent, Jake Milford and George “Punch” Imlach.  1987 — New York Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin announced his retirement from the NHL.
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Tomas Fleischmann (Photo by Canadiens.com)

► Game Day

  • The Montreal Canadiens held a game day skate on Friday morning at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard to prepare for their third exhibition game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm. at the Bell Centre.
  • Carey Price will start in goal with Zach Fucale scheduled to take over at the midpoint of the game.
  • The Canadiens lost to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night by a score of 4-3 in a shootout. You can read our recap here: Recap – Capitals vs Canadiens: Fleischmann Shines in Habs Shootout Loss

Forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders

Flynn – Plekanec – Gallagher
Blanchard – Dumont – Gregoire
De La Rose – Mitchell – Kassian
Carr – Hudon – Smith-Pelly

Emelin – Petry
Beaulieu – Lernout
Barberio – Johnston

Price
Fucale

► Habs training camp

  • The Canadiens got an emotional boost on Thursday when Max Pacioretty began skating with the team again. Pacioretty didn’t take part in any drills, nor did he skate for the entire practice but he skate and took a couple shots on goal.
  • On Friday morning, Pacioretty took part in drills with his teammates for the first time this season.
  • The captain has been out for the past nine weeks when he hurt his knee while training, his ETA is in the next three weeks but still hasn’t ruled out playing in Toronto for the first game of the season.

► Frankie Boo retires

  • Former Canadiens defenceman Francis Bouillon announced his retirement on Friday. Bouillon is a veteran of 776 NHL games.
  • You can read the official press release here.

► J.J. to the rescue

  • The Canadiens powerplay has been anemic over the last two and a half seasons and the Canadiens have finally made a personnel move to address it.
  • Assistant coach Clement Jodoin ran the powerplay for the first couple seasons in Montreal and then was aided by assistant coach Dan Lacroix when he arrived from the Rangers. Now J.J. Daigneault will take over in an effort to reinvigorate the Habs’ powerplay guided by the newly-arrived coaching consultant Craig Ramsay.
  • Veteran Tomas Plekanec when asked about the move said, “We’ll be getting different messages, but the goal is the same. There will be some changes, but it will take some time to see how things work out. [Craig Ramsay] has so much experience and he brings a different voice, and J.J. (Daigneault) is used to seeing it from the other side.”

► McNiven gets a contract

  • The Canadiens and goaltender Michael McNiven have come to terms on an entry level contract that will keep the goaltender in Montreal for the next three seasons, baring a trade.
  • The 18-year old was invited to the Canadiens rookie camp on a tryout after being passed over in the draft and will be heading back to Owen Sound for his second season of junior.
  • In the one start he made in the Canadiens rookie tournament he made 47 stops in a 6-4 win against the Leafs.
  • He had a 2.79 GAA and a .914 save percentage in 24 games last year with the Attack while playing behind goalie Jack Flynn.
  • McNiven is obviously very excited to have signed his first contract in the NHL saying “This past summer, I wasn’t selected at the NHL Draft in Florida. It just goes to show that I’ve come a long way with my training and my nutrition, and I came out with the best result I could possibly have. I wasn’t too upset after the draft, and I’m especially not upset right now. I kind of feel like it still hasn’t hit me yet.”

► Another Price on TV

  • Last season the Canadiens’ sole representation on the reality show “Hockey Wives” was Marie-Pierre Morin, who was with former Habs forward Brandon Prust. This season Carey Price’s wife, Angela, will be on the show.
  • Season two of the show will debut on October 28th on the W Network.

► Tinordi aware of what he needs to do to stick

  • Jarred Tinordi has had a rough start to the preseason but is still aware of what he needs to do to stay in the NHL.
  • “I think it’s just a matter of playing my game. I think there’s a spot for me on this team if I earn it. Nothing is given. The biggest thing for me is to just be reliable; I want to show the coaches and management that they can trust me in the defensive zone and the offensive zone. I have to play physical and we’ll take it from there,” he told Sportsnet.ca.
  • The hulking defenceman is often criticized for not making the simple play and the coaching staff has informed him to do the opposite. In response he said, “They just want me to make the easy play. Sometimes I get caught trying to do too much, so the biggest thing for me is to just move the puck quick and play a simple game.”
  • Carey Price has been great to me. My first year Hal Gill was awesome—he didn’t really necessarily take me under his wing, but he was always around and they always put me on the same team as him in camp. And Josh Gorges was great with me, too,” he said of the particularly welcoming players in the dressing room.
  • Jarred’s father, Mark, played in the NHL from 1987 to 1999 and is also one of Jarred’s pillars. About his father, Tinordi said, “When I have to go to him with questions, he’s been good for me. And he’s been good in not coming to me too much.

► Reway comes under fire

  • The public opinion of Martin Reway isn’t great in Montreal and HC Sparta Praha head coach Josef Jandač supplemented that negative presumption.
  • The website hokej.cz quoted the head coach bashing the forward: “Réway? If he is willing to play any kind of big hockey, so you saw today the difference between him and (Auston) Matthews. He is always complaining about being in pain, there is always something. It is rather complicated with him. Once he plays amazingly, the following game he is invisible man on ice.”
  • After contributing two assists in their most recent game, Reway left with a stomach ailment.
  • Last year, Reway said that winning a championship in the Czech Republic is more important to him than winning a Stanley Cup. Also, he hasn’t reported to Canadiens rookie camp for the past two seasons.
  • Despite his complaining and disappearing acts the Prague native is full of skill, with an over point per game performance last year in the Czech league and a good start to this season with four assists in four games.
  • Thanks to my colleague Ivka Fojtikova at our sister publication The Czech List for the translation.

► Another man out

  • The Boston Bruins defensive core has taken another hit with the loss of assistant captain Denis Seidenberg. He will require surgery to fix the herniated disc in his back.
  • Seidenberg will be out for the next eight weeks after injuring his back during practice.
  • The Bruins, who have lost Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski in the last couple months due to a trade and free agency, will now have to depend on Joe Morrow and possibly Jakub Zboril to fill the open spots on their back end.
  • In a full 82 games last season, the Schwenningen, Germany native had three goals and 11 assists along with a minus-1 rating.
  • The 34 year old has played around 700 games in the NHL, most of which were with the Bruins, and has scored 38 goals with 174 helpers.

► The Flames lose Brodie

  • There’s been a lot of talk going into this season about how good the Calgary Flames’ defence will be this season, on both ends of the ice but a major piece to that equation has went down.
  • T.J. Brodie, who had his breakout season last year, broke a bone in his right hand and will be out for the next 3-6 weeks.
  • This practically assures that Dougie Hamilton will play on the first defensive pairing with Mark Giordano, who played the majority of last season alongside Brodie.
  • Brodie’s aforementioned breakout season entailed that he put up 40 points for the first time in his career and scored 11 goals in 81 games. That point total was sixth best on the team and second best among defenceman.
  • Without Giordano in the playoffs, Brodie’s role expanded but his point per game didn’t as he had five points in 11 games.

► Higgins goes down

  • The Vancouver Canucks have lost a part of their top nine on the offensive front with the injury to former Canadien Chris Higgins.
  • Higgins, who played in Montreal for four seasons, has a bone fracture in his right foot and will be out for a minimum of three weeks.
  • This opens the door for Jake Virtanen and Sven Baertschi, among others, who were already vying for a roster spot prior to Higgins’ injury.
  • Last season in 77 games the 32-year old forward had 12 goals and 36 points, a down year comparatively to the season before when he had 17 goals and 39 points.
  • The former 14th overall pick by the Habs back in 2002 also had a goal and an assists in the 6 games the Canucks played before being eliminated by the Flames in the post season.

 

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