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GAMEDAY: Habs visit Sabres on the 394th day of the 99th year of their existence

The Habs are in Buffalo tonight, as they prepare to face the league's best goaltender, Ryan Miller, and his troupe of Sabres. We'll get to the game in a second, but first a few notes about the site and some upcoming blogs. I'll admit that my game preview won't be as comprehensive as it normally is today. I'm saving myself for a fairly lengthy and in depth feature before tomorrow's centennial game, and I don't want to get too much into it today. Also, expect at least one other blog from me today, as the Chicago Blackhawns are set to announce the contract extentions of several players, and that's obviously something that's going to need some analysis once the contract numbers are...

Max Pacioretty’s much anticipated resurgence

Drafted 22nd overall in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens (a pick they had acquired along with Josh Gorges in exchange for veteran defenseman, and Saku Koivu's best friend, Craig Rivet), Max Pacioretty is finally making an impact offensively for the injury-riddled Habs. Commonly known as Max Pac by his friends and teammates, Pacioretty made his NHL debut last season on January 2nd, 2009 against the New Jersey Devils. That night, he scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shift beating Scott Clemmensen with an accurate shot in a 4-1 loss. After starting his first professional season in the AHL with the Bulldogs, the New Canaan, Connecticut-native...

If Savard gets a $4.2 million cap hit... (Plus Leafs/Habs preview)

This morning, Bob Mackenzie broke the story that the Bruins had extended center Marc Savard for 7 years. The deal averages out to about $4.2 million (over half a million less than what was circulating around the rumor mill), which seems almost ridiculous when you consider what kind of player Savard is. While we haven't found out what kind of money Savard will make each year, I'd bet a fair sum that it's pretty heavily loaded in the first few years. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo sports puts it into context: With his $4.2 million hit annually, Savard will cost less against the cap than Tim Connolly(notes) ($4.5 million), Daymond Langkow(notes) ($4.5 million), Martin Erat(notes) and D...

Habs host Caps; Good news on Injury front

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals visit the Bell Centre tonight for a highly anticipated game against the Montreal Canadiens, only a week removed from the Habs' 3-2 victory in Washington last Friday. Only a few months ago, rumors were circulating around the hockey world that the Habs would be playing this game at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, which could house up to 70,000 screaming Canadiens fans. Unfortunately, thanks to the Montreal Alouettes' option to use the "Big O" for their Eastern final game in the CFL (which they did, in last week's 56-18 shallacking of the BC Lions in front of 50,000 fans), the Canadiens' wouldn't have had time to build a regulation hock...

Markov returns to the Ice UPDATE: Could return before New Year!

Edit: Please check out Fred Poulin's piece on Benoit Pouliot, which I inadvertingly cock-blocked with my latest blog, and don't forget to leave your comments! Update 12:15PM: RDS.ca is now reporting that Markov could very well be returning to the line-up as early as the end of December. He will start working out at a higher pace in December. We can only hope that he's actually ahead of schedule, and not only doing this to make the Olympics. More to come ---------------------- Update 2:30PM: Markov interview after he practice. He says he's happy, uncomfortable but happy to be back on the ice. He's eyeing an early year return. Habs Inside/Out has the full 14 minutes...

Who is Benoit Pouliot

Monday afternoon the Montreal Canadiens traded disgruntled forward Guillaume Latendresse to the Minnesota Wild for another forward, Ottawa-native Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot, once a highly-touted prospect who was drafted 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (one rank before Carey Price), never blossomed under Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota. The situation did not change under new head-coach Todd Richards for Pouliot. Through 14 games, the 6′3” 200 lbs left winger has recored only two goals and two assists for four points. He also has 12 penalty minutes. Pouliot, currently sidelined by a hand injury, has not played since November 13th in Washington. He is still seven to ten days away befor...

Habs beat Jackets, look ahead to Pens; Desharnais in, Kostitsyn out?

The Montreal Canadiens roll into Pittsburgh tonight having accumulated 7 out of a possible 8 points in their last four games. They roll into Pittsburgh the victors in their game last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, coming back twice from one goal deficits and scoring 5 goals in only their 3rd regulation victory of the season. They roll into Pittsburgh with a burning hot goaltending in Carey Price, who's posted an impressive 5-3-1 record in November, putting up a GAA of 2.39 and an SVP of .928. The Canadiens roll into Pittsburgh with Tomas Plekanec their leading scorer (24 points, including 19 assists), good for 18th place in league scoring, ahead of some big offensive talen...

Habs face Blue Jackets; Team loses two Francophones UPDATE 1:30: LINE-UP NOTES

Like most people in this city, I found out about the Guillaume Latendresse trade as I got home from work. Naturally, one of the first things I did was turn on RDS, the French version of TSN in Quebec, to hear more about the trade and reactions from the so-called ''experts''. To my dismay, I was brought to near-disgust with the first words that came out of anchor-woman Chantale Macabé's big fat horse mouth to open Sports 30, RDS's version of Sportscenter. ''Un autre Québecois quitte le Canadien.'' To save you the trip to Google Translate, in English, this means ''Another Quebecer leaves the Canadiens.''. I seriously couldn't believe my ears. Not even a complete hour after t...

Latendresse traded to Wild; SK74 called up; Update: Laraque given 5 games

Woah. Benoît who? How did he get drafted so high? So many questions, so little time. http://rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/286780.html *UPDATE: Sergei Kostitsyn has just been called up. Update by Prax: TSN's Bob Mackenzie just reported on twitter that Laraque was given 5 games. Sounds about right to me to be honest. More on the trade and Laraque in my game blog tomorrow.