The Canadiens hit the ice last night for the first time in a very long time. Although only a pre-season game, the excitement was in the air as hockey made its return to Montreal.
What stood out about the game? How about the 28 minor penalties called. 30 penalties in the game, averages out to 10 a period. Hooking accounted for nearly half. It appears the NHL is deadly serious about enforcing the new rules and cracking down on obstruction. The golden question is will they stick to it once the real games start?
The NHL says yes, history says otherwise. Players and coaches alike were both shocked yesterday, Claude Julien commented on needing a 3rd PP and PK unit. Jan Bulis said it was “too strict”. The general consensus was there’s no way the regular season games will be called that way. Time will tell.
Carey Price made his debut for the Habs, it seemed only a short while ago everyone was criticizing Bob Gainey and the Canadiens management for ‘wasting’ the 5th overall pick on a goalie. How soon we forget, Price was cheered as he showed what kind of potential he has showing off his size and speed in nets.
The Habs next pre-season game is against defending cup champ Tampa Bay Lightning.