All Habs Headlines: Thursday September 29, 2016

On this day in hockey history1976 — Philadelphia trades Dave “The Hammer” Schultz to Los Angeles.  1997 — New York Rangers acquired Pat LaFontaine from the Buffalo Sabres, in exchange for a 1998 2nd Round Draft Pick, and future considerations. 
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Carey Price (Photo via NHL.com)

 

Price is dominant

  • Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has earned universal praise from teammates and opponents alike for his dominant play at teh World Cup of Hockey.
  • On Thursday morning Team Canada head coach Mike Babcock said, “He gives your group confidence and an aura of calm like no one I’ve ever met.”

Petry And Weber?

  • Many eyebrows were raised when Jeff Petry spent multiple shifts on his offside during the Habs’ first preseason game, a situation that has persisted.
  • According to John Lu of TSN, Petry continues to practice on the left side in anticipation of the return of Shea Weber from the World Cup of Hockey.
  • Presumably he isn’t playing on the left side in anticipation to play with Greg Pateryn.
  • “#Habs Petry is practising on left D, perhaps in preparation to partner with Weber,” Lu tweeted Wednesday morning.
  • Petry played well in the team’s first preseason game, significantly more mobile than parts of last season where he was hampered due to an injury.

Pacioretty and Plekanec Return

  • Since both being eliminated from the World Cup of Hockey, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec are making their training camp debuts.
  • The Canadiens tweeted out remodelled groups for training camp, with Pacioretty and Plekanec added to group A, with one of their placeholders getting demoted.
  • In Plekanec’s absence, Brian Flynn held his place on the second line between Alexander Radulov and Andrew Shaw, a line that’s right winger provided offence in their first game.
  • Artturi Lehkonen was given an opportunity to line up alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher in Pacioretty’s absence. It’s unclear how the new lines will shake up as of now.

► Habs Prospects Prominent in OHL poll

  • The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is widely acknowledged as the best league in the world for developing prospects. And Canadiens prospects appear near the top of many categories in a new poll of coaches.
  • Sportsnet contacted all 20 OHL teams and asked 16 questions. Here are a few of the highlights involving Montreal Canadiens.
  • Best overall player? Mikhail Sergachev tied for second place with Travis Konecny just behind Dylan Strome.
  • Best defenceman? Mikhail Sergachev took the top spot.
  • Best goalie? Michael McNiven was ranked second.
  • Best hands? Will Bitten tied for fourth.
  • Best bodychecker? Mikhail Sergachev tied for second.
  • Top playmaker? Will Bitten tied for fifth place.
  • Most underrated player? Petrus Palmu who was invited to attend the Canadiens rookie camp, tied for fourth.
  • Of note, most coaches believe that the Windsor Spitfires, Sergachev’s junior team, will win the OHL Championship.
  • Alex DeBrincat, taken by the Chicago Blackhawks with a Montreal Canadiens second round pick, ranks very high in many forward categories.

Tortorella Empathizes With Pacioretty

  • Max Pacioretty was seemingly perpetually moved up and down team the American’s lineup through the WCOH, and seldom had consistent success, yet his coach at the tournament empathizes with him.
  • On his first day back in front of the Montreal media, Max Pacioretty mentioned how John Tortorella didn’t know how he could deal with Montreal and all its hysteria.
  • “I spoke to Tortorella, and he was telling me that he didn’t understand how I could live in [an environment like Montreal],” TVA Sports quoted.
  • This coming from a man who was justifiably crucified by the Vancouver media during his time there, it has an unsurprising extra pungency.
  • It’s unknown when the Canadiens captain will be returning to game action.

► Not The Same As The Olympics

  • Many surmise that the World Cup of Hockey will serve as a replacement for the Olympics in 2018, however it’s clear the two are different species.
  • Tomas Plekanec, who as was previously mentioned returned to the media for the first time, noted there’s a stark contrast between the World Cup and the Olympics.
  • “It was good, but it was different than the Olympics. The atmosphere wasn’t the same,” said Plekanec. “At the Olympics, you find all the sports and thousands of athletes. It’s unique.”
  • “But for hockey, it’s possibly better because you have an NHL ice surface with our rules,” TVA Sports once again quoted.
  • The team Czech Republic captain failed to record a point over three games, only one of which they won over the United States.

Bitten Finally Dealt

  • Canadiens 2016 third round pick William Bitten finally has gotten his wish following requesting a transaction from the Flint Firebirds of the OHL.
  • Bitten was dealt to the Hamilton Bulldogs in exchange for goaltender Connor Hicks, blueliner Fedor Gordeev and a pair of second-round picks in 2019 and 2020.
  • This will be the 18-year old’s third OHL team in three years following a pair of years in Plymouth and Flint, the latter of which he experience his breakout campaign with.
  • In his sole season in Flint, Bitten set career-highs on goals, assists and points more than doubling all of those categories.
  • He led the Firebirds in every rudimentary offensive category, with 30 goals, 35 assits and 65 points in 67 games. However, he had a minus-29 rating on a controversy-soaked and unsuccessful Flint team.

You’ll Have To Honk Me Off the Ice

  • Lots of buzz surrounded Canadiens prospect Mikhail Sergachev at training camp, however his NHL pre-season debut has been pushed back due to injury. After being cleared to play, Sergachev was moved to Group A today and was very enthusiastic.
  • According to TVA Sports reporter Andrée-Anne Barbeau a Bell Sports complex Zamboni driver was forced to honk at multiple players to get them to leave the ice after practice. Sergachev was prominently part of this group.
  • “It took Zamboni drivers to honk so that a couple players, such as Sergachev, decided to leave the ice!” tweeted Barbeau.
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