The O'Byrne Trade and Habs vs Bruins Preview and Game Thread

Ryan O'Byrne dealt to Colorado Avalanche

The Montreal Canadiens took their moment of silence today, then announced that they had traded defenceman Ryan O'Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche for prospect Michael Bournival.

The full press release can be found here, and HIO's Mike Boone has more on the deal, including some background on Bournival. The Av's take from Mile High Hockey.

The trade is a "win, win,win" scenario across the board:

  • The Avalanche are hurting for defenseman at this point, much like the Habs were this time last season. O'Byrne was getting zero ice time in Montreal and dropped on the depth chart behind Alexandre Picard. With Yannick Weber and Alex Henry waiting in Hamilton, there simply was no place for him. Win
  • The Canadiens clear $1.4 million ($941,667 on the cap) off their payroll, giving them a little breathing room to play with and a decent prospect. Win
  • The French-speaking Montreal media, some of them not all, get to go ga-ga over a homegrown talent, and it should keep the complaining that there aren't enough francophones in the Habs organization. Win - well for now, cause who are we kidding?

Now on to the game.....

Is this a rivalry or what?

P.K. Subban has yet to face the Boston Bruins, and he's already hearing it from the opposition. Word is out that Bruins forward Milan Lucic is not impressed with the Habs rookie's spinerama-type moves.

"That’s funny. I don’t think he’s the only person who doesn’t like my spins on the ice, but he’s a good player and he’s been in the league so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut," Subban said after Wednesday's practice. He has been inspired by teammate, and Massachusetts native and ex-Bruin, Hal Gill to be more vocal.

The Bruins will be a bit weary, returning home after a Wednesday's 7-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bruins scored five goals in the third period. And here's a good one; Shawn Thornton was the game's first star with a goal and a fighting major. Who says goonery is gone?

Injuries remain a problem in Boston, notably at the center position. Center David Krejci suffered a concussion in Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and is expected to be out at least a week. Patrice Bergeron has had similar concussion problems in the past, and Marc Savard is still out due to post-concussion syndrome.

Bergeron took Krejci's spot centering the Bruins top line with Lucic and Nathan Horton on Tuesday, and coach Claude Julien will likely stick with winning formula playing in back-to-back games.

Tim Thomas has been on a tremendous pace so far (8-0-0, 1.39 GAA, .959 SvPct) but his career against Montreal, is less impressive at 9-13-3 (3.02, .906).

Having faced 46 Penguins shots on Wednesday, there is a good chance that Tuukka Rask (0-3-1, 2.66, .921) gets the start against Montreal, in place of Thomas. Rask too has struggled to find a win against the Canadiens (1-3-1, 2.43, .917). His lone victory was a 3-0 shutout back on February 7.



Milan Lucic - Patrice Bergeron - Nathan Horton

Mark Recchi - Blake Wheeler - Jordan Caron

Dan Paille - Tyler Seguin - Michael Ryder

Brad Marchand - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Defense Pairings:

Zdeno Chara - Andrew Ference ; Matt Hunwick - Dennis Seidenberg; Mark Stuart - Adam McQuaid

Goalies: Tim Thomas , Tuukka Rask


David Krejci (concussion), Marc Savard (post-concussion), Marco Sturm (knee), Johnny Koychuk (broken arm)

The Canadiens will go with the same roster they used Tuesday night, but don't be surprised to see coach Jacques Martin give rookie Lars Eller some more ice time, possibly on the penalty kill.

It will be interesting to see how much longer Martin's patience will be with Scott Gomez.

"I told him I expect more out of him," said Martin after Tuesday's game. "We want to see Scott moving his feet more. He’s at his best when he’s moving. We don’t want to see him standing around."

Martin gave both Gomez and the Canadiens a wake up call on Tuesday, using Jeff Halpern's line on the first wave of the power play in the third period.

Having vanquished a Cup contending team on Tuesday, Thursday's matchup against Boston will give them an equal test against an Eastern contender.  Boston's penalty kill is the best in the league, which should make it extremely difficult for the dead-last Habs power play to crack.

Montreal will also not want to get behind early, as the Bruins are 6-0 when scoring first nad 7-0-0 when leading after two periods.

Carey Price is a career 9-2-2, with a 2.39 GAA and .923 SvPct, against Boston.

The Canadiens and Bruins rivalry goes back to 1924, with the Habs holding a 339-257-6 edge over Boston with 103 ties.


Benoit Pouliot - Jeff Halpern - Mathieu Darche

Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Tom Pyatt

Defense Parings: Andrei Markov - Josh Gorges; Jaroslav Spacek - Roman Hamrlik; Hal Gill - P.K. Subban

Goalies: Carey Price (8-5-1, 2.28 GAA, .918 SvPct), Alex Auld

Follow what the Bruins of chatterin about at Stanley Cup of Chowder


First Period

1. MTL P.K Subban (PPG) (Cammalleri, Markov) - 5:19

2. BOS Zdeno Chara (Lucic, Bergeron) - 15:49

Third Period

3. MTL Brian Gionta (PPG) (Cammalleri) - 0:29

4. MTL Scott Gomez (Kostitstsyn, Hamrlik) - 10:30

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