So the 2009-2010 NHL schedule has been released and all the happenings in Montreal, over the last 12 months, mean that there are a ton of games to look forward to and a ton of story lines to follow. All of the games, listed below, are ones where the storyline exists due to the presence of one player. Here is my take on a few games that stand out:
Thurs, Oct. 1, 2009 - Montreal at Toronto - Komisarek.
In the opening game of the season for both teams, Mike Komisarek and the Leafs receive the Habs, in Toronto. Not only do we get our first regular season look at the Habs, but we also get our first sickening look at Komisarek, in a Leafs' uniform.
Sat, Oct. 17, 2009 - Montreal vs. Ottawa - Kovalev - the prodigal son returns.
In their first matchup of the season, the Ottawa Senators, with their spiffy new right-winger, Kovalev, come to town. Kovalev is sure to get some kind of appreciation from his adoring Montreal fans. Here's hoping he doesn't totally bury us each time we face Ottawa this year!
Sat, Oct. 24, 2009 - Montreal vs. NY Rangers - Higgins.
Montreal fans get their first look at Higgins in a NYR uniform. Something tells me that Chris will be motivated to show us that we made a mistake trading him.
Sat, Oct. 31, 2009 - Montreal Vs. Toronto - Komisarek returns.
Habs fans get their first chance to see Komisarek, in Montreal, wearing a Leafs jersey. I wonder who gets the bigger boo's out of him and Grabovski. Something tells me that the hate directed at Komi will be fierce!
Thurs, Nov 5, 2009 - Montreal at Boston - Begin - the rivalry continues.
The ever present, ever growing hatred between Boston and Montreal might take an early season step back just by virtue of all the new players in Montreal. That being said, I am certain it will only take a period or two for the new players to become acquainted with the rivalry. Not to mention that Paul Mara AND Hal Gill both used to play for Boston, so there will be no love loss there. Also, keep in mind that Steve Begin signed with Boston during the off season, meaning he will get his first shot at his old team. Something tells me that he will be VERY motivated.
I am eager to see how the new-look, bigger, stronger, bulkier Habs fair against the Big Bad Bruins. Something tells me that George Laraque and Shawn Thornton won't be the only ones scrapping. I get the feeling that Travis Moen will quickly become public enemy #1 against Boston!
Sat, Nov. 7, 2009 - Montreal Vs. Tampa Bay - Lecavalier et al.
After all the trade speculation swirling around Vinny, over the last 6 months or so, he makes his 2009 Montreal debut, STILL wearing a Tampa jersey. I wonder if he'll gets cheers or boo's. I know that if Brian Lawton was on the ice, he would get boo'd!
Fri, Dec 4, 2009 - Montreal Vs. Boston - Begin returns - the centennial celebration.
This day in history marks the offical 100th birthday day of the Montreal Canadiens organization. This game is sure to be kicked off with celebrations and fanfare that the Habs have become well known for. On top of that, Montreal fans will be treated to a classic Montreal/Boston match up. Any bad blood that was accumulated during the first game in Boston will surely continue to boil in Montreal. Begin makes his debut in Montreal, wearing a Boston jersey.
Sun, Mar. 7, 2009 - Montreal at Anaheim - Koivu - oh Captain, my Captain...
Montreal play the Ducks and gets their first look at Koivu in an Anaheim uniform. I feel sick just thinking about it. I am sure there will be some real emotion for Koivu on that night. Just wait till the Ducks play IN Montreal (maybe next season, if Koivu is still there)....that will be one hell of a reception.
Sat, Mar. 13, 2009 - Montreal Vs. Boston - Last call...
The final game of the season, versus Boston, in Montreal. This should be a heated game as the NHL is in the home strecth and every point in the standings counts that much more. Where will these two teams be, relative to each other, in the standings? Only time will tell...
Sat, Apr. 10, 2009 - Montreal Vs. Toronto - Stick a fork in me, I'm done...
As poetically as it all started, with Montreal in Toronto, the season will end with Toronto as the visiting sqaud, in Montreal. The Komisarek storyline, will now be 5 games deep, and this will be a great way to cap off the season. How much will those final two points mean to each team? Where will each be in the standings? What will the future hold? With either the playoffs or the golf course loomin, the whole season ends on this night....let's hope it was a good one!
What about you, what games are you looking forward to?