Whitby - Oct. 17, 2011 - Patience, patience, patience. That is what every Habs fan is now hearing seeing our beloved Bleu-Blanc-Rouge sitting in fourth place of the North East Division with a record of one win, two losses and one overtime loss after the first week of play in the 2011-12 NHL regular season.
Injuries have plagued the Canadiens thus far. Shoddy goaltending from Carey Price combined with an overall lack of commitment, energy and urgency from the team have been the Canadiens’ main negatives resulting in a shortage of game victories. Habs’ winger Max Pacioretty (inset, right) was the Canadiens’ lone bright spot in week one.
Who would have thunk the Toronto Maple Leafs would be sitting in first place in the North East Division with three wins and no losses?
Dump and Chase
Canadiens/RDS Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night with Leucan
On Saturday, October 15th, the Montreal Canadiens dedicated their home game to children members of Leucan. Leucan is an association dedicated to helping cancer-stricken children and their families focus and believe toward a brighter future.
All Canadiens’ coaching staff and team management wore custom-woven lavender ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ ties. Several corporations who own private suites at the Bell Centre also supported this cause by hosting a number of Leucan members and their parents in the suites for the game.
The NHL made a $5,000 donation to Leucan in a pre-game ceremony. Habs’ netminder Carey Price supported the initiative with the donning of pink equipment. He will be wearing this equipment in select games in the month of October to support research against breast cancer.
Price’s equipment is to be auctioned off at www.auction.legendsdepot.com. All proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Canadiens’ Injury Updates…
Michael Cammalleri **UPDATE** RDS Hockey Reporter Renaud Lavoie tweeted on Twitter that Cammalleri is on the ice for the morning practice with the team. Cammalleri is recovering from a lacerated left leg.
Jaroslav Spacek: Upper Body Injury - originally injured on September 27th, expected no more than three weeks.
Chris Campoli: Lower Body Injury (left leg) on Injured Reserve and is out indefinitely.
Ryan White: **UPDATE** On Thursday, October 13th, the Canadiens reported that White underwent successful surgery to repair a sports hernia. He will be out indefinitely. White suffered the injury in September’s training camp.
Andrei Markov: **UPDATE** Markov travelled to Florida on Thursday, October 13th to meet with the surgeon who performed his knee surgery. An update is expected when Markov returns. Markov is recovering from a right knee inflammation and remains on injured reserve.
Down On the Farm
Bulldogs Record .500 Average on ‘The Rock’
On Friday, October 14th, the Hamilton Bulldogs convincingly shut the door on the St. John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg Jets’ affiliate) with a 4 - 0 victory. Bulldogs’ netminder Nathan Lawson stopped 40 shots in registering the shutout. Joonas Nattinen and Philip DeSimone scored their first ever AHL goals.
On Saturday, October 15th, the Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season with a 6 - 2 defeat at the hands of the same St. John’s IceCaps team. Bulldogs’ Dany Masse and Gabriel Dumont registered the ‘Dogs goals. Assists were recorded by defensemen Alexander Avtsin and Mark Mitera.
The Bulldogs now own two wins and one loss early on, in this young AHL season. Forward Brock Trotter leads the team with two goals and five assists in three games.
Defenseman T.J. Fast Signed to a Professional Tryout Contract
On October 15th, Canadiens’ GM Pierre Gauthier announced that defenseman T.J. Fast was signed to a professional tryout contract. In 2010-11, Fast played 13 games with the Rochester Americans and tallied one goal and one assist along with 12 penalty minutes. Fast is a 6’, 185lb defenseman who was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (60th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The Week Ahead
The Bulldogs next play on Tuesday, October 18th versus the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings’ affiliate) at Copps Coliseum and on October 21st on the road against the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate).
Neutral Zone Nailer
2011-12 ECHL Season Underway
A correction to last week’s edition of the ‘Nailer’ whereby it was announced that the Wheeling Nailers would begin their 2011-12 season on October 22nd was inaccurate. The October 22nd contest will be the Nailers’ first home game of this young 2011-12 ECHL season and not the Nailers’.
The Nailers opened the season on the road this past weekend in South Carolina that saw the team winning both of their games. The Greenville Road Warriors (New York Rangers’ affiliate) were soundly beaten 6 - 1 on Friday night and the South Carolina Stingrays (Washington Capitals’ affiliate) were beaten 4 - 1 on Saturday by the Nailers.
To see the Nailers’ opening night roster, please click on the following LINK
Team Captains Announced
Paul Crowder will be the team’s captain, while Peter Merth will be the Nailers’ alternate captain. The second alternate captain will be rotated among other team members.
The Week Ahead
As announced last week, the Nailers next game, will be their home opener on Saturday, October 22nd when they host the Elmira Jackals (Columbus Blue Jackets’ affiliate).
On The Fly
Brock Trotter, Center, Free Agent Signing in 2008
Brock Trotter is not your typical household name to the
majority of the Habs fans. Trotter, born in Brandon, Manitoba, is a 5’8, 185lb centreman who is currently playing with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Trotter saw two games of action with the Canadiens in 2009-10, but
failed to record a point.
Last season, Trotter took his game to the KHL and played with
Riga. Trotter is a graduate of the University of Denver Pioneers WCHA hockey program. He led the Pioneers in scoring with 40 points in 40 games in 2006-07.
Trotter is a monster in the offensive zone and has a nose for the net. He is more than willing to play a physical, gritty game against any opponent. Currently as a 25-year old, Trotter needs to improve his defensive responsibilities and his skating.
In July 2011, Trotter signed a one-year, two-way contract. Trotter showed well at the Canadiens’ training camp this past September where the coaching staff noticed a marked improvement in his skating abilities and also showed good poise.
Trotter currently leads his AHL team with seven points in three games, anchoring the Bulldogs top line.
Habs try to get on track in week ahead
The Montreal Canadiens will try to get on the win track this week as they play three games. On Tuesday, the Habs’ host division rivals, the Buffalo Sabres. On Thursday, October 20th they travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins and on Saturday, October 22nd, they return to the Bell Centre to face the division leading Toronto Maple Leafs.
All games can be seen on RDS and TSN, with Saturday’s game available only on RDS and CBC Television. All three games can be heard on TSN990 AM radio.
Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…