Remember that guy? Well, he’s playing tonight, except this time he’ll try to not get booed by drunk, crazy Montreal Canadiens fans. Nevertheless, Mr. Suitcase will suit up for 9th team tonight in game three of the 7-game tour pre-season. It’s a bit weird we’re at game three, but all have been away games. Tonight’s lineup sees the debut of key forwards, such as Mike Underwood-Fisher and Alex Kovalev. The two will play on the first line with Peter Regin, who should be determined tonight. More on that later.
Erik Condra and Colin Greening also make their debuts up front, and it’s expected they should play a key role in pushing some of these guys for a roster spot. While on D, Chris Phillips plays with Matt Carkner on the first pairing, while Eric Gryba suits up for the first time. It will be interesting to watch Gryba, who I believe has a real shot of makign the squad. Perfect 7th defenseman in my mind, or even can outplace Jared Cowen on the third pairing. He will play with Erik Karlsson, who looks to have a rebound game after a less than solid outing two nights ago. Pascal Leclaire plays the whole 60 tonight, as he looks to put his consistency and injury problems of last year away.
On Montreal’s side, ex-Sen Alex Picard plays alongside Lars Eller, Dustin Boyd, and what seems to be future captain Brian Gionta. The Habs need to rebound, especially in front of their home crowd. It’s why I believe the Sens may be in tough tonight, especially since Auld need to step up in order to oust Curtis Sanford for the back-up job, or later on in December, when he steals Carey Price’s starter role. Where have you heard of that before?
Mr. Key Player tonight is without a doubt Peter Regin. He needs to step it up if he can sidetrack Nick Foligno’s emergence. He should be given every chance tonight with Kovalev, who in essence opens up ice and makes the play for both Regin and Fish. It’s a less than stellar D tonight for Montral, and they’re gonna have to use that to their advantage. Gimme a victory, but don’t know who that W will go to.