- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday morning ahead of playing their first preseason game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre.
- Head coach Michel Therrien won’t be fielding a lineup full of Habs regulars on Tuesday night, opting instead to give a bevy of youngsters a taste of preseason action. Andrei Markov, Rene Bourque, Tom Gilbert and Tomas Plekanec will provide a veteran presence against Claude Julien’s troops, while fans will have the opportunity to see the likes of Nikita Scherbak, Michael McCarron, Jiri Sekac and Jacob De La Rose strut their stuff once again.
- After going up against one another in four separate intra-squad scrimmages over the last four days, it’s safe to say the Canadiens have been eagerly anticipating a matchup against opponents other than themselves.
“I’m happy to be playing that first game, for sure. There are a lot of things that you need to get used to. Timing’s off and you’re a little bit rusty out there,” offered Plekanec, who will line up alongside Sekac and De La Rose on Tuesday night. “You need to get a game under your belt, and I’m happy to play that first one, especially against Boston. Even if it’s a preseason game, it’s always exciting playing against the Bruins.”
Like Plekanec, Gilbert can’t wait to suit up for real in front of the Bell Centre faithful.
“It’ll definitely be nice to start getting some of the rust off with these preseason games, especially playing against a team like Boston. We feel the crowd. It’ll be my first time playing in front of them in a real game, so it’s going to be fun,” mentioned the veteran rearguard, who has been paired with Markov on the Canadiens’ back end since the start of training camp. “You see the Canadiens-Bruins rivalry all the time throughout the season, and you know every single time these two teams meet it’s going to be a battle. It’ll be nice to get back in the feel of it with the physical play and the speed of the game. I couldn’t ask for a better team to play.”
- If Plekanec and Gilbert are anxious to get the Canadiens’ preseason schedule underway and continue to hone their respective games, De La Rose is out to prove he’s got the goods to extend his stay in Montreal.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all summer, to finally play a real game. I’m going to play my first game, and I’m really excited about it. I’ll do the best I can. That’s the only thing I can control. I had my ups and downs, but now I feel like I’m going in the right direction,” offered the 19-year-old forward, who was selected 34th overall by the Habs in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. “I’m really excited to be playing with two really good players in Pleky and Sekac. Pleky has been in the league for many years now. He’s a good player. I’m going to try and learn as much as possible from him out there.”
- Dustin Tokarski and Joey MacDonald will likely split the work in goal for the Canadiens against Boston. That should come as little surprise given that the Habs will play four preseason games in the next six days.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.
Canadiens Lineup – Sept. 23 – vs. BOS
Goaltenders: Dustin Tokarski, Joey MacDonald
Defensemen: Jarred Tinordi, Magnus Nygren, Greg Pateryn, Tom Gilbert, Joe Finley, Andrei Markov
Forwards: Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque, Jacob De La Rose, Jiri Sekac, Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, Jake Dowell, Sven Andrighetto, Christian Thomas, Charles Hudon, Drayson Bowman, Nick Sorkin
Vincent Riendeau named assistant general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs