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Let the games begin: Montreal Canadiens get set for the Rookie Showcase

The Canadiens take on the Senators top open their competitive schedule.

Shanna Martin

The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators will face off on Saturday night in Belleville, Ontario in the first of two games. They will play the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.

Joël Bouchard said on Friday that the team will split the goaltending duties. It should be expected that Cayden Primeau gets the net in game one as he gets set for his first professional training camp. Tryout Alexis Shank is the other goaltender at camp.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

Where: CAA Arena, Belleville
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern
How to Watch/Live Stream: Facebook (Belleville feed)

  • Joël Bouchard had several things to say about what he expects from this camp. The Rocket head coach says that he will try to give every player an opportunity whether they are a high draft pick or undrafted tryout but obviously there is only so much ice time to go around. In terms of specific players, Nick Suzuki will play centre and wing. He spent Friday’s practice on the right side of Ryan Poehling.
  • Bouchard mentioned the amount of centres on the roster, and some will have to play wing. “You should be happy to have guys that can play both positions,” he said. ”I’ve always told the players if you play only centre you have four chances of making the team when you can play wing, you can have eight or 12 chances. It’s a numbers game.” Speaking to Cole Fonstad after practice, he recited that same message almost word for word, so it’s something players are taking in.
  • Another message Bouchard said is his role is to try to get the players to relax. He mentioned several times that stress can paralyze players in these situations, and as a former player himself he understands the situation. He also re-iterated that there’s only so much the coaches can do and then it’s up to the player. Another line he repeated often is that when you have a stick in your hands, you have a chance to make an impression. Joël Teasdale went from tryout to an NHL contract last year, and could be an example for the many players looking for that chance.
  • Bouchard looked to balance experience and youth in his lines and pairings. Otto Leskinen, who played pro in Finland, played with Cale Fleury while Gianni Fairbrother lined up next to Josh Brook. Both of those pairings should be interesting to watch. Seventh-round pick Rafaël Harvey-Pinard lined up next to Ryan Poehling and Nick Suzuki which can be considered prime real estate. He also had time on the power play.

Montreal Canadiens lines from Friday’s practice

(77) Rafaël Harvey-Pinard — (25) Ryan Poehling — (14) Nick Suzuki
(47) Allan McShane — (71) Jake Evans — (68) Alexandre Alain (65-Vincent Marleau rotated in)
(86) Joe Cox — (88) Cam Hillis — (49) Liam Hawel (55-Michael Pezzetta)
(94) Nicolas Guay — (96) Hayden Verbeek — (75) Cole Fonstad (78-Samuel Houde)

(59) Gianni Fairbrother — (46) Josh Brook
(64) Otto Leskinen — (83) Cale Fleury
(72) Jacob LeGuerrier — (91) Dylan Plouffe
(67) Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin — (79) Jack York