Title - Hockey is Canadien
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Follow Me on TwitterDean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' correspondent for Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young son Eric. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Montreal Canadiens' organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at
Montreal Canadiens - The week that was...
Dean Eastman

Montreal Canadiens - The week that was...
Injuries, injuries, injuries. Is the Montreal Canadiens’ 2011-12 NHL regular season becoming a ‘Groundhog Day’ of the 2010-11 NHL regular season? Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli, Jaroslav Spacek, Michael Cammalleri, Ryan White, Lars Eller, Louie Leblanc, and Brendan Nash is an extensive injury list and the list seems to get longer after each game played.

Whitby - Oct. 11, 2011 - Injuries, injuries, injuries. Is the Canadiens’ 2011-12 NHL regular season becoming a ‘Groundhog Day’ of the 2010-11 NHL regular season? Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli, Jaroslav Spacek, Michael Cammalleri, Ryan White, Lars Eller, Louie Leblanc, and Brendan Nash is an extensive injury list and the list seems to get longer after each game played.

The Canadiens next game will be this Thursday, October 13th versus the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre. The Calgary matchup will also be Montreal’s home opener for the 2011-12 NHL regular season. Will the Canadiens’ sign a UFA to help improve their inexperienced blue line, make a trade, or will the status quo prevail?

Stay tuned, the week has just begun, but it could be an interesting and revealing one for our Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.

Dump and Chase

Roster Finalized for 2011-12 Season Opener
The Montreal Canadiens submitted the following active roster on October 5, 2011 to start the 2011-12 NHL regular season:

Goaltenders: Peter Budaj, Carey Price
Defence: Chris Campoli, Raphael Diaz, Alexei Yemelin, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Jaroslav Spacek, P.K. Subban
Forwards: Blair Betts, Michael Cammalleri, Erik Cole, Mathieu Darche, David Desharnais, Andreas Engqvist, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis Moen, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Yannick Weber
Injured Reserve: Hunter Bishop, Andrei Markov, Brendan Nash, Ryan White

Home Opener on Thursday vs Flames
The Montreal Canadiens’ family has long been notorious for leaving its fan base in awe of their spectacular pre-game opening ceremonies. Thursday, October 13th will be Montreal’s home opener for the 2011-12 NHL regular season.

Even if you don’t root for the hometown Canadiens you cannot argue the organization doesn’t know how to put on a party. One of the most recent memorable pre-game ceremonies leaving me shedding a few tears was the December 4, 2009 centennial celebration at the Bell Centre. Players from present day to the glory years iced up their skates for a jaunt around the Bell Centre ice.

The Habs faithful in attendance on that evening and even those sitting at home in their living rooms were in a collective frenzy-memories of our hockey heroes captured together all at once under one roof.

If you never did get to witness this spectacle and have only ever heard talk about it by the office water cooler, you can thank HockeyHaven76 for posting to YouTube this most blessed event:

What will the Canadiens’ organization have up its sleeve to open this 2011-12 NHL season? I can hardly wait…


Injuries, Call ups, Signings…

October 10 -
Forward Aaron Palushaj has been recalled from the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Palushaj had registered two assists in the Bulldogs season opener against the Rochester Americans on October 8th. He notched one goal and four points in five pre-season games with the Montreal Canadiens this year.

October 10- Update on player injuries:

Chris Campoli - hamstring - out indefinitely;

Michael Cammalleri - knee laceration - out 10-14 days;

Jaroslav Spacek - upper body injury - out two-three weeks;

Lars Eller - should be ready to play on October 13th

October 8 - Forward Blair Betts, who was originally claimed on waivers by Montreal from the Philadelphia Flyers on October 5th, was returned to the Flyers organizations as he was not physically fit at the time of the waiver pick.

October 8 - Recently acquired defenseman Joe Callahan has been assigned to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs.

October 6 - Journeyman defenseman Joe Callahan was signed by the Canadiens today as a free agent. Callahan, a third round, 70th overall draft pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, registered one assist in 27 games with the Florida Panthers in the 2010-11 NHL Season. He stands 6’03” and weighs in at 210 pounds. Joe is expected to be assigned to the organization’s AHL affiliate club.

October 6 - Recently signed veteran defenseman Jeff Woywitka, was claimed off waivers from the Canadiens by the New York Rangers. Now you see him, now you don’t. Woywitka would have helped Montreal with the club’s depleted lineup of injured defensemen.

October 6 - Forward Andreas Engqvist has been recalled from the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs in advance of the club’s first game of the 2011-12 NHL regular season.

Down On the Farm

Bulldogs open season with a 5-2 win over Rochester Americans

An aggressive advertising campaign by the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs to create fan excitement has turned various bus transit shelters around the City of Hamilton into penalty boxes with the slogan, “It’s Time”.

Today’s Country CHAM 820 AM Radio is your source to listen in to every Bulldogs’ broadcast.

The Bulldogs opened their 2011-12 AHL Season with a convincing 5-2 win over the Rochester Americans on Saturday night. Brock Trotter had two goals and two assists while Frederic St. Denis also recorded two goals in the win. Goaltender Nathan Lawson made 30 saves to notch his first win of the season. The Bulldogs will be coached this season by Clement Jodoin, who most recently coached the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL. Jodoin’s assistant will be Ron Wilson who has previously coached the Bulldogs in 2006-07. The Hamilton Bulldogs won the AHL’s North Division last season with a record of 44-27-2-7 in the regular season.

For a full roster lineup, please click HERE.

Neutral Zone Nailer

Training Camp in Full Form

The ECHL Wheeling Nailers will open the club’s 20th season of professional hockey in Wheeling, West Virginia on October 22nd.

On the Fly

Jarred Tinordi, 1st Round Pick (22nd overall) in 2010 NHL Entry Draft

Over the last few weeks, I have profiled some of the present day Montreal Canadiens’ players. With the recent surge in defensemen injuries, I have been wondering what the Habs have in their prospect chart for big, mobile defensemen.

One “can’t miss” Habs’ prospect is already an OHL star, in this, his second full season with the London Knights. Jarred Tinordi, a 6’7”, 212lb hulking defenseman is a force not to be reckoned with. Born on February 22, 1992 in Millersville, MD, Tinordi is following in his father Mark’s footsteps. Mark played professionally as an intimidating tough nosed defenseman with both Washington, Minnesota, Dallas and New York throughout the late ‘80s and into the ‘90s.

The younger Tinordi is projected to be a top-four defensive defenseman in the NHL. This year’s training camp with the Montreal Canadiens, Tinordi drew praise for his defensive efforts both in camp and in exhibition games alike. Some of Jarred Tinordi’s assets include his NHL pedigree and Redwood Tree-like stature. Tinordi is also considered to be an above-average skater for his size and is a leader in the dressing room.

Tinordi’s coaches in London do not want to see him fight as much this season as last. Last season he compiled 140 minutes in penalties. This season, the London Knights plan on vying for a league title; the team already has six wins to only one loss. Tinordi is already considered to be one of the premier defensemen in the OHL and he is more valuable to his team on the ice than in the sin-bin.

So far in this early 2011-12 OHL Season, Tinordi has two assists in five games and has compiled 17 minutes in penalties for the Knights. He is not afraid to drop the gloves - my type of player and one that the Canadiens need, sooner-than-later. I would expect to see him suit up for the parent club in 2012-13.

Post-Game Handshake

Keep those Emails coming!

I really appreciate receiving and reading emails from our viewers. Please do not be afraid to drop me a line or two. I appreciate your insight and ideas. Here are a few email excerpts that I have received over the past couple of weeks:

Sean Mecteau of Cornwall wrote in response to the 2011-12 NHL Season opener versus Toronto:

“…- making $4.5 million, Cole nowhere to be seen on either of the top two lines or top two pp units. Habs have a 5-on-3. Who's on the ice…..Desharnais…… BRUTAL!!! He should be in the minors. Problem here? Jack Martin. This team will not make the playoffs with him behind the bench this season. Organization messed up letting Kirk Muller go….Martin got all the credit for Muller's hard work. Me thinks it’s going to be a long season for us Habs fans…”

Rhean M. Bateman of Brandon, Manitoba wrote:

“Greetings from this mid prairie hockey mecca called Brandon Mb…Let’s hope the current lot can put the “biscuit in the basket” with sufficient regularity to warrant visions of Lord Stanley dancing in our heads…I look forward to reading your column…”

Will the Canadiens’ continue their winning ways on Thursday or will we be left for wanting more? Who will step up for the club and lead by example? Check back here later this week for my opinion piece on Montreal’s next leader - do we have one?

Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…

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