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» 2006 » October

  • Canadiens 2006 Home Opener

    The Habs welcome the Senators to the Bell Center tonight for the first home game of their season.

    Cristobal Huet will be between the pipes despite David Abeischer’s recent strong play. Guy Carbonneau said he planned to start Huet in the home opener from the beginning because he deserved it after his play last season. Can’t argue that.

    On opening night one year ago, Cristobal Huet wasn’t even mentioned as a member of the team. Recovering from a knee injury and considered a ‘toss in’ on a deal to acquire Radek Bonk he was left out of the opening ceremony.

    Fast forward to tonight and he should receive one of the warmest welcomes of any Hab on the ice. How things change.

    How important is the game itself? Very. Although it’s only game 4 it is the first of eight divisional games against the Sens who have struggled out of the gate and find themselves last in the Division.

    Which Sens team will show up? The team shut out twice in 4 games or the sleeping giant offensive powerhouse?

    If you believe in past performances Ray Emery should get the start over Gerber who struggled badly against the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs last year. Then again Ray Emery has never impressed in Montreal once being shelled for 4 goals in the opening period.

    If the Canadiens get the two points tonight the Sens will have dug themselves a hole very early in the season.

    Tonight also marks fan favorite and rookie Guillaume Latendresse’s first regular season game in Montreal. A couple question marks surround Alex Kovalev and Craig Rivet who both skipped practices to rest minor injuries. They are expected to start but if Kovalev can’t go Latendresse is expected to get a chance on the second line.

  • Strong Road Start

    The Canadiens won their second consecutive road game earning them 5 out of a possible 6 points to start the season. Almost perfect against difficult teams to play against in their own building.

    The Habs sliding into the post season last year had much to do with their strong start in which they had a .750 winning percentage after 10 games. It hasn’t quite been 10 games yet but there is a positive vibe in the air and the team confidence is building early.

    David Aebischer played very well again keeping the Flyers off the board for most of the game. It’s hard not to stick with the hot hand for Saturday’s game against the Sens but it is the very beginning of the season and Huet should see action sooner rather than later to stay warm and involved.

    Alex Kovelev and his linemates got the monkey of their back at least for the time being with an important goal.

    Ryder and Higgins cashed in their opportunities putting the Habs up and finishing the Flyers off with early and late goals.

    The 4th line also played well when they got ice time and Latendresse is gradually getting up to NHL speed.

    Ken Hitchcock faced off against Carbonneau as a Head Coach, but it wasn’t very long ago that Hitchcock himself coached Guy Carbonneau and Kirk Muller.

    Hitchcock’s thoughts on Carbonneau as a coach 6 years ago.

    Looks like he was right. 1-0 Guy.