Tonight, however, it will be a different looking squad taking to the Bell Centre ice to greet the Washington Capitals in what is sure to be an interesting match-up.
If you need any extra incentive to tune into tonight’s game, look no further than it being the expected debut of the club’s two biggest off-season additions: dynamic winger Alexander Radulov, and gritty forward Andrew Shaw.
How to Watch
Start time: 7:30 PM ET
In the Canadiens region (French): RDS
In the Capitals region: CSN-DC
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
Radulov’s first game in a Canadiens uniform should come with no shortage of fanfare - the Russian, who last played in the NHL in 2011-12, has reportedly looked impressive thus far in training camp, giving Michel Therrien reason to praise his passion.
Meanwhile, Shaw will look to show he belongs in the team’s top six group where he is currently penciled in. With pushes to break into the roster by talented offensive forwards like Arturri Lehkonen, Shaw should not be lacking any motivation heading into the pre-season.
Keeping in mind those players trying to crack a spot in Therrien’s lineup, many will feature for the Habs tonight including Michael McCarron, who was unwavering in his belief that he belongs in the NHL this season. Charles Hudon, who is far more likely to spend at least another season in St. John’s, is also expected to suit up this evening.
Nathan Beaulieu and Greg Pateryn are the lone NHL regulars expected to line up on the blue-line tonight for the Canadiens with Shea Weber still participating in the World Cup, while the likes of Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin have only just returned. Al Montoya, who seems the likeliest candidate to squire for Carey Price this season, is likely to dress along with Zachary Fucale in goal.
The Washington Capitals, meanwhile, have an equally quick turn around having played against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Verizon Center last night. Of particular interest to Habs fans will have been the play of Lars Eller, who was moved to the Capitals from Montreal back in June.
While we do not know as of yet which players exactly the Canadiens will be facing tonight, we can be certain they will find no easy test in the Capitals, who were of course the NHL’s top regular season team last year. Looking only to build on that performance in 2016-17, the Habs newcomers and roster hopefuls will need to be sharp to ward off their first challenge of the new season.
UPDATE: Here is the lineup for the Canadiens tonight
|Phillip Samuelsson||Ryan Johnston|