On Thursday night, the Montreal Canadiens held an open scrimmage at the Bell Centre for fans to watch for free. The Habs also gave fans a complementary hot-dog, bag of chips and a soft drink.
Although many expected a capacity crowd and people to be turned away, the brisk January weather left 4000+ seats empty. Some say it's a way for the fans to show their displeasure because of the lockout, but that's just hogwash.
As the Canadiens got on the ice for a ten minute pre-game warmup, the fans stood and cheered their heroes. As the game began, there was renewed excitement in the air because NHL hockey was back, and this was the first, of what some assume to be many, promotions the Habs have in store for their faithful partisanship.
The game wasn't anything to write home about. After two 2- minute periods, the twine only bulged six times, as Max Pacioretty, Michael Bournival and Brendan Gallagher scored for Team White, while Rene Bourque scored on a beautiful backhand, and Tomas Kaberle wristed out on the power play for Team Red.
The 20-rounds shootout saw goals two goals aside but ended when Brandon Prust showed the fans how tired he was, by flipping the puck into goaltender Peter Budaj's mid-section and then pushing him into the net. Prust, a newcomer to the Habs, scored brownie points with the fans and his teammates with his antics.
Habs and Hockey News and Notes:
- Seven players were sent back to Hamilton this morning by the Canadiens, as they trim the fat to get to the league maximum 23-man roster for the beginning of the season. The players sent down were:
Louis Leblanc, Brendan Gallagher, Mike Commodore, Frederic St-Denis, Jarred Tinordi, Gabriel Dumont and Patrick Holland.
- Scott Gomez was officially bought out by the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent. Some believe there won't be much interest in the 2-time Stanley Cup champ, but ESPN jumped the gun when they added Gomez's name to the New Jersey Devils roster on their website. Wishful thinking or stupidity? You decide.
Friday, January 18, 2013