Fans fill Bell Centre for Red vs. White scrimmage (Video)

scrimmage hio photo

A sell-out crowd of 21,273 filled the Bell Centre Saturday for a scrimmmage that helped raised money for rebuilding efforts in Lac-Mégantic.

Fans were delighted to find a welcoming committee of Canadiens’ players when they walked into the Bell Centre. People snapped pictures, shook hands and high-fived the players as they moved along the receiving line.

“The important thing is we get to say hello to our fans and thank them for being here and supporting the initiative,” said Geoff Molson, the Canadiens’ principal owner who was at the main entrance.

Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon received a warm ovation in the third period when he thanked fans for attending the event.

“I think Lac-Mégantic is something that touched us all this summer. And it’s nice to see people support a cause like this,” Bouillon said after the scrimmage.

The White team won 2-1, led by a pretty back-hand goal by Martin Reway and a long shot by Stefan Fournier that slipped through Peter Budaj’s pads. Tomas Plekanec scored for the Red team.

Proceeds from the scrimmage will go to the Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic. Tickets cost $5 each and fans received a free hot dog, bag of chips and soft drink.

Dustin Tokarski replaced Carey Price in net in the second period and Zachary Fucale, picked 36th overall by the Canadiens’ in last June’s entry draft, took over for Budaj.  

It was a banner day for Fucale. He made his Bell Centre debut and the team announced they’ve signed him to a three-year, entry level deal.

Max Pacioretty knocked into Fucale twice, the first time receiving a goaltender interference penalty. Fucale took it in stride and Pacioretty’s aggressive play won praise from coach Michel Therrien.

“I thought Patch did a really good job going hard to the net,” coach Michel Therrien said after the scrimmage.

“He’s so powerful with his speed,” Therrien said.

“We want to make sure he’s concentrating on those things because he’s one of the best skaters in the NHL,” Therrien said. “And he’s tough to contain when he’s using that speed and going hard to the net.”

Forward Sebastian Collberg, who has been out with a knee injury, took part in the scrimmage.  Collberg was a bit nervous at the start but said he felt pretty good with Charles Hudon and Martin Reway in the scrimmage.

“I didn’t expect that today,” Collberg said of the huge crowd.

“It was awesome to be out there.”

The Canadiens’ made their first cuts at training camp on Saturday. They announced that Tim Bozon, Connor Crisp and Jérémy Grégoire will return to their respective junior teams.

You can hear more of what Fucale had to say about his Bell Centre debut and new contract here:

(Video by Brenda Branswell)

And you can watch a video by Gazette photographer Peter McCabe of Canadiens’ players greeting fans at the Bell Centre with Danny Brière talking about the experience here:



  1. Propwash says:

    So…the season is already a write-off?

    Screw it, I’m gonna watch it anyway.


  2. jols101 says:

    V. Nichushkin (sp) 2 goals 9 shots in 1st exhibition game with the Dallas Stars.
    6’4 210 lbs Right Winger with an over abundance of raw talent. I wonder which team I know that could use a big RW with elite skill ?
    Overachieving last year did us no good whatsoever.

  3. Timo says:

    Can anyone see a reason for Tinordi not to start the season with the big club instead of Diaz or Bouillon?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      or Drewiskie…

      Reason for Tinordi not to start here is to have more ice-time in Hamilton. He’ll be up halfway through the season. Would like to see Pateryn given a fair shot. Mature and has the size. Probably an play better on the right than Boullion, Drewiskie and Murray.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

      • Timo says:

        I meant the starting lineup – top 6. It’s a given Drewiske won’t be getting within a sniff of top 6… although… Michael Therrien is still the coach so everything is possible.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Since MB traded for him, he will play. It’s the GM disease where they can’t admit they made a mistake…

          “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

          • Timo says:

            So more of the same pretty much.

          • Bill says:

            I disagree and I think it’s clearly Drewiske’s job to be the 7th man. The Habs will start the season with Markov, Subban, Gorges, Diaz, Murray, and Bouillon as the top six. When an injury happens you might see Drewiske sub in for a game or two. But any longer term injury and we’ll see Tinordi or Pateryn.

            A reasonable case could be made that Bouillon is really borderline at this point, and that Tinordi or Pateryn are better options. But I think management is serious about bringing them along slowly and it is never a bad idea to do that.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Sportfan says:

      I really don’t see Diaz getting any kind of boot or demotion and unfortunately MT will be playing the Cube, for at least one more year.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  4. Timo says:

    A meh kind of game… who cares – pre-season.

    Don’t see what the deal about Reway is… all I saw was another DD – tiny, lots of useless running around, can’t get the puck, can’t hold the puck. Congratulations on his 15 minutes of fame – suivant.

    MOAR Bigger is better. I though Mike McC played a great game. So did Tinordi and to a smaller extent Pateryn.

    Diaz can’t leave soon enough.

    And can some one show Galchenyuk how to tie guys up in a fight? Koleta, as ahole as he is, took it easy on Galchenyuk. I realize Alex will never be a fighter, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t know how to protect himself in a fight. Churla, Prust, Parros all should show him some effective techniques on how to tie guys up and not get destroyed. If it;s a regular season and game means something Koleta is taking that punch.

  5. Bill says:

    Tomorrow night against Bruins: Murray, Tinordi, Moen, Blunden, White, Tarnasky, and Fournier all dressing. Therrien sending a message. Message reads: “Dear Boston, you will no longer beat us up … in the pre-season”.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  6. Bill says:

    Stats, for what they’re worth:

    Good: Eller was 13-6 on face-offs, McCarron led the Habs with five hits, Tinordi and McCarron had two points each, Matt Lashoff led with four blocked shots, and Martin St. Pierre had a goal and an assist while going 11-5 on face-offs. And of course the star of the night was Bournival with the two nice goals.

    Bad: Raphael Diaz, playing a Markov-esque 27:00 minutes, had just one shot, was -2, and had 0 hits; Brandon Prust went -3, the EGG line managed 0 points and just five shots combined (4 of them Gallagher’s), and neither Budaj or Fucale could break an .870 save percentage.

    All of the above stats are fairly meaningless – exhibition game – but they’re still fun to look at.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think the one stat that I look askance at is the EGG’s line busy ineffectiveness. I know only 1 pre-season game but ‘purposeful play’ must accompany enthusiasm to achieve results.

      There will be times in the season when we need to put out maybe this same line with orders to deliver.

      • Bill says:

        Not sure Eller and Galchenyuk were really giving it full effort, of course. It’s exhibition and they’re guaranteed spots. Gallagher of course gave it everything he’s got because he only has one gear, and that is “go”.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  7. Danno says:

    Malcolm Subban in nets tomorrow night.

    Would love to see it go to a shootout and see the brothers face each other.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  8. pmaraw says:

    pateryn gets no respect, go greg go

  9. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Good first game for the pre-season. Lots of positives and the core players are getting back at the pace of doing the game. A little bit rusty on their part though.

    The players that did shine here are Bournival, St. Pierre, Reway, McCarron, Tinordi, and Fucale.

    Can’t wait to see PK and his brother Malcolm w/ goons behind him play here tomorrow.

  10. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  11. Cal says:

    Lots of goals and lots of fun. Hockey’s back! 😀

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