Canadiens captain Saku Koivu scored twice, including the winner on the power play in overtime, to lift the Canadiens to a 3-2 season-opening victory over the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Read below for a selection of pre-game press notes.
FROM THE CANADIENS’ PRESS NOTES FOR TONIGHT’S GAME:
Closing in on 100
The Canadiens open tonight the 98th season of their history and a 91st in the NHL. Since 1917-18, the Canadiens have played 2,855 games, winning 2,933, losing 1,899, along with 837 ties and 41 overtime losses.
On the road again
The Canadiens open a 32nd season on the road, posting a 13-12-6 record in previous season openers. It’s a seventh consecutive season opener on the road for the Canadiens, who posted a 4-2-0 record in previous contests.
The last time the Canadiens opened a season at home was October 2, 1999 when the Maple Leafs recorded a 4-1 win at the Molson Centre.
The Canadiens play the first of three consecutive road games (Carolina tonight, Toronto Saturday and Pittsburgh next Wednesday) before opening an 11th season at the Bell Centre, Saturday, October 13 hosting the Carolina Hurricanes.
Among the 23 players on the Canadiens’s roster, which includes 2 netminders, 8 defencemen and 13 forwards, four players could don the Canadiens sweater for a very first time. They are defenseman Roman Hamrlik and centreman Bryan Smolinski, along with two rookies: goaltender Carey Price and centreman Kyle Chipchura.
The Canadiens recorded four wins and four losses (including one in overtime) in pre-season, good for 9 points and a second-place finish in the North East Division.
Lun. / Mon. 17 Sept. vs Pittsburgh @ Centre Bell V 3-2 W (Prol. ∕ OT)
Mar. / Tues. 18 Sept. vs Pittsburgh @ Centre Bell D 5-2 L
Merc. / Wed. 19 Sept. @ NY Islanders @ Colisée de Moncton D 3-1 L
Vend. / Fri. 21 Sept. vs NY Islanders @ Centre Bell V 3-2 W (Prol. ∕ OT)
Sam. / Sat. 22 Sept. vs Ottawa @ Centre Bell D 2-1 L
Dim. / Sun. 23 Sept. @ Boston @ Halifax Metro Centre V 4-3 W
Jeu. / Thu. 27 Sept. vs Boston @ Centre Bell V 3-2 V
Sam. / Sat. 29 Sept. @ Ottawa @ ScotiaBank Place D 5-4 L (Prol. ∕ OT)
Canadiens vs Hurricanes
Out of the four meetings scheduled between the two teams this season, three will be played in October (3rd, 13th and 26th). It is the 162nd regular-season matchup between the Canadiens and Carolina, with Montreal holding a 87-51-20-3 edge.
Last year, the Canadiens and the Carolina Hurricanes met four times, with the Canadiens winning once and losing three times. Tomas Plekanec led Montreal skaters with three goals and one assist in four games.
Joe Malone of the Canadiens holds the NHL record – tied with Harry Hyland of the Montreal Wanderers (1917) and Toronto’s Babe Dye (1922) – for most goals scored on opening day as he found the back of the net five times against Ottawa, December 19, 1917.
Upcoming Canadiens milestones
Needs one game to reach 1,000 NHL games.
Needs 9 games to reach the 1,000 NHL games.
Needs 8 points to get his 800th in the NHL.
In his next game, Patrice Brisebois will pass Jean-Guy Talbot and take sole possession of 6th place on the all-time Canadiens defensemen list for most regular-season games played with 792. Only Jean-Claude Tremblay (794), Tom Johnson (857), Doug Harvey (890), Serge Savard (917) and Larry Robinson (1202) are ahead of him.
Passing Talbot will also give him sole possession of the 18th rank on the all-time Canadiens players list for games played, Jean-Claude Tremblay ranking 17th.
Needs 9 games to get his 800th with the Canadiens.
His next shutout will be his 10th with the Canadiens.
Needs 8 games to reach 1,000 NHL games.
Trades, Roster Moves and Signings
Sept. 14, 2000: 62 players are invited to the Canadiens’ training camp.
Sept. 14-16, 2007: Canadiens open training camp in Pierrefonds (Sportplexe 4 Glaces).
Sept. 16, 2007: The Canadiens assign Olivier Fortier, Yannick Weber, P.K. Subban, Cameron Cepek, Sébastien Piché, Mathieu Labrie and Andrew Loverock to their respective junior team.
Sept. 24, 2007: The Canadiens cut goaltenders Cédrick Desjardins, Loïc Lacasse and Yann Danis, defensemen Jon Gleed, Andrew Archer, Mathieu Biron, Pavel Valentenko, Jamie Rivers, Marvin Degon, Mathieu Carle, Jean-Philippe Côté, as well as forwards Mathieu Aubin, Eric Manlow, Duncan Milroy, Gregory Stewart, Matt D’Agostini, Sergei Kostitsyn, Cory Urquhart, Jimmy Bonneau, Francis Lemieux, Jonathan Ferland, Ajay Baines, Janne Lahti, Corey Locke, Ryan Russell, David Desharnais Thomas Beauregard, Ryan White and Ben Maxwell.
Sept. 24-27, 2007: Training camp moves to Mont-Tremblant.
Oct 1st, 2007: The Canadiens assign centre Maxim Lapierre, defenceman Ryan O’Byrne and
goaltenders Jaroslav Halak to the Hamilton Bulldogs.