Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 09/24/10 at 05:13 PM ET
A few notes from Habsland as the Canadiens prepare for the Senators tonight:
- Markov’s return: Big news for Habs fans. According to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie, via Twitter, Andrei Markov will be back in October. This is great news, as Markov’s knee injury could have potentially held him out until November or December. My take? Even if he’s ready in week one, sit him against Toronto. You can’t trust that Grabovski.
- Carey Price says chill: As you’ve likely already heard, Carey Price suggested fans overreacted the other night with their booing and asked them to calm down and relax. And you know what? He’s right. It’s September. It’s the pre-season. It never ceases to amaze me how seriously people take these games. Enjoy watching the hockey, but fear not – Carey Price will be ok and the Habs will be a competitive team.
- Auld gets the start: Despite many fans and media wondering out loud whether Carey Price would get back in between the posts tonight, the Habs are sticking with their previously announced plan to start Alex Auld against the Ottawa Senators. A good decision, as it gives Price a chance to continue working in practice and get ready for his next start. Auld will be sporting a rather nifty mask that features former Canadiens greats such as Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden. He’s expected to play at least half the game.
- Eller gets a shot: Lars Eller will be playing shotgun to Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta tonight, a place Benoit Pouliot got very used to last season. While Pouliot is expected to start the year there, don’t be surprised if Eller is given a decent chance to establish himself on the top line. Many have speculated in the past that Pouliot could become the big second or third line centre the Canadiens have lacked in recent years, given his junior years at centre, and it would not shock me to see Pouliot take some faceoffs on the third line as the year progresses.
- Boyd is in: Also of note, newly acquired Dustin Boyd gets his first start as a Hab. His physical presence will be a welcome addition to the bottom six, and his penchant for creating havoc in front of the net will add to the Canadiens forecheck (his eleven goals last season tied a personal best). Jacques Martin has proven to be fond of cementing his lineup around pairs of players that work well together, so watch closely to see who Boyd fits well with. I see him slotting in with Travis Moen to create a formidable checking presence on the fourth line, but he did see third line work in Nashville as well.
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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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