Game 1

Canadiens at Toronto

October 6, 2011  7:05 pm   Air Canada Centre


Last Season – Canadiens (44-30-8)  96pts. (6th in East Conf.)   Toronto (37-34-11) 85pts.  (10th East Conf)

Their Last Meeting – April 9, 2011 @ Bell Centre – Canadiiens-4  Toronto-1 (final game of season).  Gionta with 2 power play goals; also White and Plekanec with a SHG.   Price 27 saves.  Kessel for Toronto. (Leafs miss playoffs for 6thconsecutive season)

Last Season’s Opener in Toronto – October 7, 2010 – Toronto-3  Canadiens-1.  Brent, Kessel
and MacArther for Toronto.  Dustin Boyd and Halpern for Montreal.  Canadiensmissing Cammalleri with suspension. Hamrlik hurt.  Leafs outshot the Canadiens 21-12 over last two periods.
The Canadiens and Leafs split the six game season series 3-3.

The Changes – Gone from the April 9the Canadiens lineup vs. Toronto, James Wisniewski, Paul Mara, Roman Hamrlik, Brent Sopel, Benoit Pouliot, Tom Pyatt, Alex Auld.  Ryan White currently injured.

The Newcomers – The Canadiens will dress two rookies – defenseman Raphael Diaz and centre Andreas Engqvist.  Making Canadiens debut, Erik Cole and Chris Campoli.       Toronto – The rookies Jake Gardner, forward Matt Frattin.        Making Leafs debut defensemen John-Michael Liles, Cody Franson, David Steckel.

The Absent – Canadiens – Andrei Markov (IR-knee surgery re-hab); Ryan White (IR-groin); Lars Eller (re-hab-shoulder surgery); Blair Betts (shoulder).      Toronto   Clarke MacArthur (suspended)   Nazrem Kadri (Knee sprain); Tim Connolly (IR-upper Body)

The GoaltendingMontreal    Carey Price won three of four starts last season against the Maple Leafs (37-34-11), compiling a 1.01 GAA with two shutouts 8-6-0 with a 2.45 GAA in 14 career games against Toronto  Last season started 70 games finished with career-highs in wins (38), shutouts (8) andsave percentage (.923), and a personal-best 2.35 goals-against average in 72 appearances  In training camp – 5 starts, 3.25GAA  .882 save%.              Toronto-James Reimer was in two games against the Canadiens  last year, giving up eight goals.  Overall – 20-10-5 with a 2.60 GAA and .921 save percentage in 37 games following his call-up last December.  Ordinary in pre-season – with a 3.29 GAA and
.880 save percentage.

Defence Rules   –While the Canadiens and Leafs tied for 22nd in NHL team goalscoring averaging an abysmal 2.60 per game, in goals-against  the Habs ranked 8th, allowing an average of 2.51 per game while Toronto was 24th overall at 2.99 goals-against per game.  The difference between finishing sixth and 10th in the Eastern Conference was the Canadiens record on defence.

Notes –

…..Waiver claim Blair Betts arrived in the Canadiens camp with a shoulder injury.  The Canadiens immediately called up Andreas Engqvist,who will centre their fourth line.

…. This is the second straight year the Canadiens are opening their season in Toronto.  hat
the Leafs are hosting Montreal to start the season.. Montreal has started its
season on the road in each of the last 11 years.

…. Maple Leafs finished 21st in the league in offense (2.60 goals per game) and 24th in defense (2.99 gpg),

The Opening Night Lineup

Right Wing                      Centre                     LeftWing

21-Brian Gionta           11-Scott Gomez              67-Max Pacioretty

46-Andrei Kostitsyn   14-Tomas Plekanec       13- Michael Cammalleri

72-Erik Cole                 51-David Desharnais   52-Mathieu Darche

68-Yannick Weber       63-Andreas Engqvist   32-Travis Moen

The Defence

76-P.K.Subban                           75- Hal Gill

26-JoshGorges                            17-Chris Campoli

6-JaroslavSpacek                      61-Raphael Diaz


Carey Price (Peter Budaj)