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Pregame: Montreal vs Toronto

October 3, 2022, 4:45 PM ET [181 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

I know, eight preseason games are a lot, some fans are already bored with exhibitions outings, but things are just about to get interesting. This training camp is the new management’s first one and they had a truck load of players and prospects to put under the microscope. While it may seem like an overkill to some, it was a good idea to have a look at as many prospects as possible and do it not just in scrimmages but in real match situations.

Things are just about to get serious though, with a couple of back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow, we’re starting to see more NHL like rosters. Unlike last week, the Leafs come to town with a star-studded line up that will pose a very good challenges for the young blue-liners looking to get a spot in Martin St-Louis’ roster like Arber Xhekaj and Justin Barron.

Tonight’s game will also mark the preseason debut of Sean Monahan, Josh Anderson and Madison Bowey. I’m rather curious to see how Sean Monahan will look out there, after hips surgery, he’ll likely be rusty but still, for a player acquired for future considerations, he could turn out to be an important asset for the Habs. Clearly, St-Louis wants to give Drouin the opportunity to do well, playing him with the newcomer and Josh Anderson, both have much better finish than Joel Armia for instance.

As practice, the power play units were as follows: Matheson, Dach, Gallagher, Hoofman and Dvorak on one and Barron, Drouin, Anderson, Slafkovsky and Monahan on the second. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to checking out that second unit.

With the Rocket’s training camp kicking off today, the match could be the last bit of NHL action Simoneau, Gignac and Belzile see before making their way to Laval. As for Slafkovsky, he’ll get a look with Hoffman and Dach, the way I see it, they’ll wait until the very end to decide where the 1st overall pick will start his season. For the first time this preseason, Jake Allen will man the net for a full 60 minutes. The puck drops at 19:00 and will be broadcasted on RDS and on TSN2 and TSN 4.

Tomorrow, it will be Nick Suzuki’s turn to take his first stride of the preseason after overcoming a lower body injury. I also expect to see Beck and Mesar one last time then against the Sens before the die is cast for them.

By the way, there are still a few teams up for grabs in the Hockeybuzz’s Habs fans fantasy league, you can join in here.
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