Friday, September 23, 2011
Preaseason Game 3: 23/09/11 Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators
The Habs try to put their first win of the preseason up on the board tonight as they take the bus trip out to Ottawa.
For Scott Gomez, who was nursing a minor injury at the start of training camp, this will be the first step towards forgetting what was an awful 2010-11 campaign. He will be paired with usual linemate Max Pacioretty and youngster Brendan Gallagher. A funny link between Gomez and Gallagher is that during Scott's junior days, he was once treated medically by Gallagher's father, a trainer, and even visited the family's home. Brendan was 6 years old at the time, and tonight they will be linemates!
For Carey Price, it will be another chance to continue rounding into game shape in preparation for the start of the season. He had a shaky opener before which he declared himself as unprepared, but it is no reason to panic. Slow and steady improvement is all that is needed until early October.
Up front, Andreas Engqvist is in the line-up again, meaning he's played all 3 preseason contests. Given that he's also playing with veterans in Andrei Kostitsyn and Erik Cole, it seems like the 4th line center job is his to lose. Interestingly, in practice, Kostitsyn took turns playing the point on the powerplay. With only P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov as locked pointment on the PP to start the season, there may be an opportunity to play a forward back there along with Alexei Yemelin or Yannick Weber, both of whom will continue to try to prove superiority in the depth chart this evening.
With Lars Eller, David Desharnais, and Ryan White all currently out rehabbing small injuries, there may be additional spots open for a player like Mike Blunden to start with the team as well. He showed poor skating ability in his first start, but certainly was amongst the team's most physical players.
Your lines for this evening:
Max Pacioretty - Scott Gomez - Brendan Gallagher
Andrei Kostitsyn - Andreas Engqvist - Erik Cole
Mathieu Darche - Gabriel Dumont - Alexander Avtsin
Brock Trotter - Philip DeSimone - Mike Blunden
Alex Henry - Jarred Tinordi
Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz
Alexei Yemelin - Yannick Weber
Nikita Filatov - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Milan Michalek - Stephane Da Costa - Daniel Alfredsson
Mike Hoffman - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Derek Grant - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Andre Petersson
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Brian Lee
Patrick Wiercioch - Mark Borowiecki
Craig Anderson (full game)