Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 10/05/10 at 05:47 PM ET
The Canadiens are all set for Thursday’s season opener in Toronto, still carrying a couple of extra players due to injuries and the suspension of Mike Cammalleri. While Ryan White and Ben Maxwell have stayed with the team, defenceman Alex Henry was placed on waivers this afternoon, suggesting that either Roman Hamrlik or Andrei Markov is ready to go against the Leafs. The money is on Hamrlik, as Markov is still rehabbing from his knee injury in the playoffs.
Up front, Lars Eller has seen a temporary promotion to the second line in place of Cammalleri, lining up with Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn. Barring any changes, the third line will be made up of Lappierre-Halpern-Darche, and the fourth line will feature Pyatt-Boyd-Moen. The first line remains unchanged from last year, as Benoit Pouliot plays wing to Scott Gomez and captain Brian Gionta.
Things to watch as the Habs get the season rolling? All eyes Carey Price in net, as he plays under the shadow of Jaroslav Halak’s playoff performance. How will Price respond? I expect him to have a strong start to the season, but a lot of that will depend on special teams. The Canadiens power play and penalty kill were weak in the pre-season and need to be effective if the Habs want to make the playoffs.
Finally, shots against were a big problem for Montreal last season, and the Canadiens have to cut down on the opposition’s scoring chances if they want to be a winner.
Excitement is in the air. Hockey’s back. Let’s see what this edition of Le Tricolore can do.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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