The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes that while Guy Carbonneau had intended to use his Opening Night roster for the last two exhibition games, those plans might have a hit a snag because some questions remain as to who will be on that roster.
The biggest question seems to be who will be the team’s No. 2 goaltender. The answer is no clearer today than it was at the start of training camp, with Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price continuing to battle it out for the job.
And Mikhail Grabovski seems to have shuffled the cards on the forward lines, taking a place yesterday on a line with Guillaume Latendresse and Bryan Smolinski, leaving Maxim Lapierre and Garth Murray as the odd men out.
With Patrice Brisebois returning to the ice for the first time in training camp yesterday, there is now nine healthy defenceman at camp. At least one will have to be cut before the season starts if the Canadiens decide to keep eight blue-liners like they did last season.
Hickey writes that the Canadiens’ most interesting decision on defence will be concerning rookie Ryan O’Byrne, whose size and skating ability are offset by his lack of NHL experience. The fact he is the only defenceman with a two-way contract might also factor into the decision.