Game Day : Panthers @ Habs

It's game day in Montreal, and judging by the lack of buzz in the city, you would never have known it.  The Florida Panthers are in town and are ready to improve on their 4-3-0 record against the second weakest team in the league.  The Habs are desperately trying to get a win, as they've gone 1-4-2 in their first 7 games.

Unfortunately, I don't think it will get any better for the Canadiens anytime soon.  

Two days ago, the Panthers completed the biggest trade of the season so far.  Actually it was the first deal of the season even worth talking about.  David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a 3rd round pick were shipped up to Vancouver for Mikael Samuelson and Marco Sturm.

Following trend, Montreal sent AHLer Brock Trotter to the Phoenix Coyotes for 4th liner Petteri Nokelainen and a career AHL defenseman Garrett Stafford.  You can't really compare these two trades with each other because one is hardly even worth mentioning.  

Kris Versteeg is the player to watch tonight.  With David Booth out of the picture, expect Versteeg to lead the Panthers offensively.  Stephen Weiss also seems to be off to a good start.  

As for the Habs, nobody is hot.  The team is in shambles.  I suppose if you had to pick a player it would be Lars Eller, not because he's scoring tons of points, but just because he's probably the most fun player to watch out there for the Habs.

Update: Markstrom and Budaj are getting the starts for their respective teams.

Jose Theodore makes his return to the Bell Center tonight.  He was originally drafted by the Canadiens back in 1994, and since he was traded, he has struggled against his former team.  He's got a record of 1-1-1 with a 5.56 GAA.  Let's not forget he played his last game in a Capitals uniform against the Habs in game 1 in the first round of the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Tomas Plekanec was the player who ended his stint in Washington with an OT goal to win the first game of the series.  The Habs went on to win the series in 7, something a Habs fan will never forget.

Carey Price should get his 8th start of the season tonight.  I'm assuming he has a problem with milestones as he is still waiting for that 100th win.  I suppose the Habs aren't giving him much support on either side of the ice.  Carey is struggling with a 3.13 GAA at the moment and it doesn't look like the clouds are clearing any time soon.

Game starts at 7:30pm and is being aired on RDS.

Bon Match!


Take a look at Prax's take on the Habs Overtime loss to the Leafs this past weekend.



George Prax's picture

I can sense the lack of enthusiasm in your tone. A part of me hopes they lose again tonight, so Geoff Molson starts getting the message. This team can't keep going this way, and Petteri Nokalainen isn't going to make a lick of difference.

It's ironic that they're facing the Panthers tonight, because of the fact that they're the two teams to initiate trades so far. Trading booth for two old geezers (not to mention a pick) is by no means a good move, but it's *A* move and it could very well send a message to that team. Trading away Brock Trotter for a guy who can barely play as a 4th line center, however much they needed the depth, and demoting players who should be in the AHL anyway isn't going to change anything.

4-1 Panthers.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Agreed man. I tried so hard to be neutral but the Habs fan in me wouldn't let that happen. Either was, big 4-1 loss, with the Habs lone goal coming off a fluke tip late in the third. Ala Gionta/Darche goal vs Pitts. I have tickets to the Philly game this Wednesday, so hopefully I will be seeing JM's final game in person.

George Prax's picture

Budaj and Markstrom getting the starts tonight.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

LOL. Just was about to write that. Damn, my blog today sucks.

George Prax's picture

haha no worries. I would have made the Theo vs Price assumption too.

George Prax's picture

Update 2: Spacek making his return tonight.