The Canadiens:

Are clearly trying to get Carey Price into a rhythm early. In the last month of last season he edged away from the solid pace he’d set the first two thirds of the season. Douglas Murray, Jarred Tinordi, and Darren Dietz are all auditioning for defensive partners and call up priority. The forward group stretches the definition of NHL veteran just a tiny bit by including “puncher” Nick Tarnasky who last set foot in the NHL in the 2009-10 season and Ryan White has a similar PIMs to Points ratio. Max Pacioretty who led the team in scoring in the regular season and was badly battered in the playoffs is back on the ice. Most of the rest are late round picks, and undrafted players.

Goalies:

  • 31- Carey Price
    65- Robert Mayer

Defensemen:

  • 6- Douglas Murray
    24- Jarred Tinordi
    26- Josh Gorges
    55- Francis Bouillon
    76- P.K. Subban
    84- Darren Dietz

Forwards:

  • 32- Travis Moen
  • 37- Gabriel Dumont
  • 45- Michael Blunden
  • 48- Daniel Brière
  • 51- David Desharnais
  • 53- Ryan White
  • 60- Christian Thomas
  • 67- Max Pacioretty
  • 71- Louis Leblanc
  • 72- Nick Tarnasky
  • 75- Charles Hudon
  • 86- Stefan Fournier

Boston Bruins:

While most observers expect Johnson to be the backup to starter Tuukka Rask in Boston at least to start the season, the job won’t be handed to him if he isn’t at least adequate. Adam McQuaid will be in the novel position of the most veteran defenseman on the Bruins roster, in fact he’ll have more NHL experience than all of the other blueliners combined. Ben Youds is an undrafted, right shooting Minnesota born college alumni. The forward group is very interesting. New to the team are Jarome Iginla and Matt Fraser, Rob Flick and Carl Soderberg both joined the roster late last season. Craig Cunningham, Alex Fallstrom, Ryan Spooner, and Anthony Camara are all prospects that will be looking to make the team

Goalies:

  • Chad Johnson
  • Malcolm Subban

Defensemen:

  • Matt Bartkowski
  • Tommy Cross
  • Torey Krug
  • Adam McQuaid
  • Kevan Miller
  • Zach Trotman
  • Ben Youds

Forwards:

  • Anthony Camara
  • Craig Cunningham
  • Alex Fallstrom
  • Rob Flick
  • Matt Fraser
  • Jarome Iginla
  • Nick Johnson
  • David Krejci
  • Milan Lucic
  • Daniel Paille
  • Carl Soderberg
  • Ryan Spooner
  • Shawn Thornton

Anyone expecting much out of this game is delusional. At best you can expect a few mights, the Habs fighters are answered by Shawn Thornton, and Milan Lucic, Anthony Camara while not large has dropped the gloves a few times, and even Ryan Spooner warned New England Hockey Journal’s Kirk Luedeke not to leave him off the list:

Ryan Spooner chastises Kirk Luedeke for leaving him off the fighters list. from twitter

Ryan Spooner chastises Kirk Luedeke for leaving him off the fighters list.

Off the Faceoff is a semi-regular feature filled with a varying number of one(ish) line thoughts, mostly on hockey.

 

In regards to the Issue of the week: You always know where you are and who’s where on the ice.

Me: B**** Please! How many times a season are we treated to the sight of two or three teammates plowing into each other on the ice? What about the players who trip over their own goalie without being pushed? Or the guys who get their stick hung up in the netting or the goal?  Nice fantasy, but I prefer mine in print form and clearly labeled as such.
Goonery on March 24th.  It has been posited that some schlep will be brought up to fight Chara for his technically correct, but ill timed hit.

Me:  It wouldn’t surprise me. Ryan White has played 12 games for the Habs this season and has yet to record a goal. He has 77 PIM’s in 33 AHL games and just 12 points, seriously you’d think that a team with LTIR cap space, and the 22nd ranked offense would call up someone who was of use with their gloves on.

Playoffs, who’s in.

Me: Two west predictions to make it, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes.

Two Coaches who should get Jack Adams notice in the east

Me: Bruce Boudreau for keeping his team at or near the top of the conference while (finally) implementing reasonable defensive structure and having several key players forget how to score. Dan Bylsma, with more man games lost than any one wants to think about and almost as much salary on IR as on the ice, he’s kept his team within striking distance of the division and conference lead.

What the experts say about the hit: Kevin Weekes, and Carey Price both say you know where you are on the ice at all times. Jeremy Roenick says he was often surprised to hit those stanchions or be hit into them. Mathew Barnaby says he fought Chara three times and that the guy isn’t dirty.

Me: Is it any surprise that both Price and Weekes are goalies who spend 99% of their in the same pretty small area within the crease and the rest within two strides of it feel you know where you are all the time? Not really, but goalie isn’t like any other position on the team. Roenick played more than 1500 NHL games and called five different NHL arenas in both conference home, I can’t see someone with more than 500 goals and 1200 points to their credit can’t be counted as highly creditable on the topic of on ice awareness.  As for Barnaby:

I don’t see how that disposes someone towards excess sympathy.