The Hype Is Over

Game Day
Montreal Canadiens Vs. Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ever since the National Hockey League announced the return of the Winnipeg Jets, all anyone who is a hockey fan has been waiting for is opening day.  If the return of Jets wasn’t enough, the league decided to bring in the most storied franchise as their first opponent:  the Montreal Canadiens.  The summer of logo and sweater unveilings, new coach hirings and player signings is over and now real life in Winnipeg begins.  The hype is over and now it’s time to drop the puck.

Previous Game:

Montreal Canadiens  0 – Toronto Maple Leafs 2
            Carey Price with the loss making only 16 saves

            Tomas Plekanec had the most ice time playing over 23 minutes

First game of the Winnipeg Jets

Who to look for:

Carey Price should be wearing his new mask designed by David Arrigo.  The mask is a homage to Price’s native Canadian roots adding a touch of pink in awareness for breast cancer month.  The mask will be auctioned off after the month.  Blair Betts and Alexei Emelin should be making their debuts in the bleu, blanc et rouge.  Scott Gomez, Scott Gomez, Scott Gomez – end of that discussion.

First round pick Mark Scheifele will be making the jump straight from junior to the bigs.  His play in the preseason has made it easy for the Jets to insert him in the lineup.  This is the season that Evander Kane will make his mark in the league: well that is what people hope he does.  Kane can take the city by storm but he needs to more consistent and needs to show that he deserves top line minutes.  The face of the franchise Dustin Byfuglien needs to have the start he had last season.  Byfuglien was a Norris trophy candidate for the first half of last season but tailed off.  He needs to put all his off-ice issues behind him and stick to what just playing the game.

Injuries:

The Canadiens will be without Andrei Markov, Lars Eller and Ryan White who are all on injured reserve.  They also lost Chris Campoli in the loss the Leafs.  The Jets won’t have Eric Fehr and ex-Hab Ben Maxwell on the ice.

Whether the Jets win or lose, the city of Winnipeg will be still a winner.  They have their team back and their long winter will be filled with some joy.  For the Habs, this is their second game opening a new season for their opponent.  The occasion was muted in Toronto, as always is the case, but today will be different.  Everyone is rooting against them as the entire hockey world would love to see a Jets victory.  Going home starting the season with two losses won’t be too harsh.  But if the team’s effort is the same as it was in Toronto, the next four days before their home opener against Calgary will be very long ones.

The game will be on CBC and RDS at 5 pm EST and 4 pm CST.

Follow me on twitter:  SchooboyShebe

Shahab Khan the Schoolboy

 

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Shahab Khan's picture

Update to my preview...The Montreal Canadiens return Blair Betts to the Philadelphia Flyers after a failed physical