Pre-game party starts at 3 p.m. at Place des Festivals

The Canadiens’ season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bell Centre (CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690), but the fun starts outside several hours earlier in the Quartier des Spectacles.

The NHL is hosting a free street festival Tuesday at Place des Festivals from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. where people can also watch the RDS broadcast of the game on giant video boards.

The 2013 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off will feature performances by Kings of Leon, the headline act, as well as Loco Locass and The Beaches, a Toronto-based indie rock group. The event also includes family-friendly, free interactive games, prizes, street hockey clinics, and a chance for fans to compete for the hardest shot.

This is the third time the event has been held in Canada, with previous editions in Toronto and then Winnipeg.

“It has a little bit of everything for the fan base,” said Brian Jennings, the NHL’s chief marketing officer.

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson went on Twitter Tuesday afternoon asking fans at the Bell Centre to sing out loud to O Canada before the game.

Tweeted Molson: “Ce soir, on va demander aux partisans de chanter l’hymme national…tonight, we will ask our fans to sing the national anthem… #GHG” 

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)

Game preview,

It begins tonight,

Ready to party,

NHL Network and predictions,

Eastern Conference preview,

Western Conference preview,

Habs’ Parros ready for action,

The evolution of P.K. Subban,

Eight-year, $64-million deal for Leafs’ Kessel,

NHL players approve hybrid icing rule,

Plenty of intrigue as NHL blazes new path,

Ten questions looking for answers,

The 5.2 hole,

Weird names +wild cards,


  1. Bryant Mac Lean says:

    More disgraceful play by the Montreal Canadiens & disgraceful refereeing Great start to the Season “congrats”. Have a little pride for Christ’s Sake!! The Toront Maple Leafs go into to the Bell Centre and kick your ass and send you “tuff guy
    ” to the hospital, injur your top scoring.(I have to live in Toronto). I just feel sick, I know it was the first game of the season but I can get a bad feeling!! Same old!!

    Bryant Mac Lean

  2. yakhab says:

    RDS has much better coverage than TSN
    Oops sorry to those unilingual anglophones … ur burnt !

  3. Danno says:

    Only an hour and a half until game time.

    Tick, tick, tick…. Can’t wait!

    Tonight – Go Habs


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  4. Danno says:

    Phil Kessel is quite possibly the world’s best-paid lumberjack


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Yeah Johnny, I jettisoned clothing in Glasgow and made it through Pearson unscathed. If you go go use Rabbies Tours out of Edinburgh. They are top notch. You won’t be disappointed. Slainte!

  6. frontenac1 says:

    @neuman.Visited 8 distilleries on Islay. Beautiful island,great people, very laid back. 7 of the distilleries are now owned by multi nationals and 2 are still independent. Islay whiskey is distinctive for the peat fired barleysmokiness and sherry or bourbon cask aging. Liquid Heaven.

  7. frontenac1 says:

    @johnnyLarue. Was at the distillery on Islay two weeks ago. Bought some bottles for about $ 60. And they gave me as many free drams as I wanted before I purchased. It was a religious experience amigo.

  8. DipsyDoodler says:

    Worst 20 sports franchises of all time.

    Three NHL teams: St.Louis, Phoenix and, of course, the Maple Leafs. Toronto also makes the list with the Raptors.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Tonight’s game drink is Lagavulin neat. Chased with Guinness. Rounded out with Cohiba. Saludos and Go Habs!

    • H.Upmann says:

      DAMNNN!!! WIth a Cohiba too… baller

    • Say Ash says:

      If we lose, you do a second lap?

    • johnnylarue says:

      @Front, Lagavulin’s still my fave too.

      Unfortunately, I developed a taste for it back when you could still get a bottle for $60-$70. It’s become more of an occasional indulgence for me as a result–whereas it used to fall safely within my “self-medication budget” 15 years ago.

    • neumann103 says:


      Did your sojourn in Scotland change your tastes in booze?

      I like things a bit less peaty and salty. My go to dram is still the 12 year old Highland Park. Just a nice balance

      “Et le but!”

      • johnnylarue says:

        I dig the Highland Park as well.

        I always found an ice cube was a good way of taming the peat/smoke in some of those heartier single malts. Opens ’em up a bit.

        • neumann103 says:

          Yes, one of my objections to the purist approach is the fear of ice. I understand that flavours become fuller when warm but what if I like that warming happening in my mouth?

          Especially when people consider soda water an acceptable addition to whisky? I don’t have a problem with that if it is what they like but I can’t believe that anyone could declare the actual flavour of soda fine but be afraid of the temperature of ice.

          “Et le but!”

    • Bash says:

      Oban for me tonight!

      “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  10. Luke says:

    Here’s hoping that Phil Kessel is unmotivated for the next 8 years due to that contract!

    Cheers Phil! May you ride that cash cow to 8 straight 16-24 goals seasons while never breaking 60 points again!!

  11. GrimJim says:

    Anyone know of a Habs friendly bar in Calgary? I’ve got a buddy with a brother-in-law in from Mtl looking for a place to watch th game and get a few pops.

  12. habsfan0 says:

    Apparently, the Flyers will be signing Hal Gill to a contract.

  13. Max says:

    Mr.Frontenac,what’s tonight’s game drink?

  14. Adidess says:

    Pre-game party? What pre-game?

    Why is the NHL starting the season so much earlier than normal? Last year (err, I mean this year), they started in January.

    Why is everybody so excited anyway? It is just another meaningless pre-season game, no?

    Who’s in net for us tonight, Budaj or that goalie from Chicago? I heard we traded for him over the summer.

    Somebody mentioned the game is on TV, does anyone have a link please? I have RDS and CBC, but no links.

    Just read about this HIO summit thing in Montreal, is it for Habs fans or Allouettes fans? Do I get to go if I win the raffle or how does that work?

    Who can help me here?

    Haha, nothing to say between now and game time. Thought I’d say random things anyway. Can’t waits-)

  15. Propwash says:

    My feelings for tonights game…


  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    I looked over the predictions I posted prior to the last couple of seasons. For 2011-12, I was excited about the arrival of Erik Cole and the return of Max Paccioretty, but troubled by the enduring absence of Andrei Markov. I predicted the team would battle to squeak into the playoffs. We did battle that year, never really gave up, but ended up last in the Conference.

    For the abbreviated 2013 season, I missed the importance of the addition of Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk. I didn’t see the régime change as significant, insofar as I didn’t include it in the writeup. I worried about the absence of P.K. Subban and a downturn from Erik Cole after a career year. So I predicted another season at the bottom of the standings. And we placed second in the Conference.

    So maybe this prediction game is tricky, fraught with pitfalls for the amateur prognosticator. One tries to resist the herd instinct, but it seeps in regardless, when you’re unaware. You try to keep an even keel, not be too optimistic or pessimistic.

    Practically, how does this apply? What do we take as a given, say, in Carey Price’s case? A season like the last, good to very good at the beginning before crashing to earth and ending up with a .905 save percentage? Or the season that his talent, physical gifts, pedigree and track record indicate he should have, one near the top of all goaltending statistical categories.

    What about P.K.? Norris-season plus, with one more year of experience and training? Or Norris-season minus, with teams keying on him even more, targeting him to get him off his game, or worse?

    Is Andrei Markov going to be better, one year further removed from his knee injury, or is he now diminished by a lack of mobility?

    The rest of the defence corps has big question marks too. Josh Gorges routinely overachieved in seasons past, to the point where we now expect that from him. Does he have another ho-hum season like last year or does he revert back to form? Does playing with an ACL in his knee not agree with him? Does Raphaël Diaz continue his upward trajectory, or has he hit his ceiling?

    My most immediate worry is the fact that Jarred Tinordi will begin the season without the support of Douglas Murray, who is out for 4-6 weeks with an injury. While I was envisioning a blue line with Mr. Murray and Alexei Emelin soon, one in which Jarred Tinordi would be insulated and protected like Messrs. Gallagher and Galchenyuk were last season, the bleak reality is that Jarred will be front and centre, and will have to do the heavy lifting. That’s not optimal, and I hope it doesn’t stall his development.

    At forward, we’ve added scoring with Daniel Brière, although whether he’s ultimately an upgrade over Erik Cole remains to be seen. We lost some toughness in that sequence, and the superficial addition of a few minutes per game of George Parros doesn’t make up for it. Overall, we’re susceptible to goon tactics, and if the referees turn a blind eye, we’ll be bitter with impotent rage by the time Christmas rolls around.

    Generally, a lot of people feel that the team will improve organically, just through the youngsters having one more year of experience and development. I don’t deny that will be beneficial, but I’m always stumped as to why that’s not seen as a two-way street. Sure the youngsters got one year older and thus better, but didn’t the veterans, guys like Tomas Plekanec and Travis Moen and Andrei Markov get one year older and worse, as age diminishes their physical gifts? Isn’t time a treadmill that you have to keep up to, with rookies getting on and veterans falling off? Also, if we insist that it’s so, that the kids got better but the vets will hold the line, how is time a boon for us only and not every other team?

    In any case, the important thing though is seeing the process. Two seasons ago, the fourth line at the onset was going to be Yannick Weber, Mathieu Darche and Flyers castoff Blair Betts. Over the last two seasons, if we ignore the standings, the talent level and depth of the team has improved markedly, and we’re on the cusp of having an overstock down on the farm. Two seasons ago, the shelf was bare in Hamilton, last year we had prospects but no real options to call up, or very few if we allow for Gabriel Dumont, Louis Leblanc (who was having an off year) and Mike Blunden. This season, we have a bunch of defencemen who can be called up if necessary, and the forwards are maturing a little behind them. By next season, we’ll start to have headaches wondering how we’re going to find room for everybody on the roster. That’s a good position to be in, compared to having to claim Blair Betts.

    So for this season, my naturally cautious side forces me to predict the Canadiens will finish 7-10th in the Conference. Too many things have to go right for us to logically assume otherwise. We’d have to have the Carey Price we want, rather than the one we’ve had lately. Our patchjob defence squad would have to overachieve, keep it together despite the absence of two big pieces and the presence of a rookie. We’d need a bounce back from many forwards, David Desharnais, Travis Moen, Daniel Brière. Lars Eller would need to take that step forward, and stay there, not inch back imperceptibly. We’d have to assume he’ll not feel the after-effects of the concussion which ended his season last spring. On and on it goes. For every one of these hopeful scenarios happening, one won’t, and eighteen surprises, good or bad, will skew the data.

    A final concern is injuries. For years we’ve been ravaged by injuries, to the point we’d break records, and we cleared out the training staff and changed our boards and glass in our rink to see if that would help. Well last season it did, and we were remarkably healthy throughout, with no major injuries and all the frontline players in the lineup, and we paraded to the top of the standings. Until the spring, when Alexei Emelin blew out his knee, and Brian Gionta popped his other biceps, and Lars Eller was mugged, and Raphaël Diaz was concussed…

    So with things reverting to the mean, and the Canadiens bound to suffer some serious injuries this season, and with all the dice not coming up sevens, we’ll have the middle of the pack results from our middle of the pack team. And Marc Bergevin will be smart and hold the line and not panic-buy at the deadline, and we’ll retain assets and keep building for the future. And we’ll have a great fun season of watching a great bunch of young men play high-intensity, fast, exciting hockey. And we can’t complain about that.

    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      “My most immediate worry is the fact that Jarred Tinordi will begin the season without the support of Douglas Murray, who is out for 4-6 weeks with an injury. While I was envisioning a blue line with Mr. Murray and Alexei Emelin soon, one in which Jarred Tinordi would be insulated and protected like Messrs. Gallagher and Galchenyuk were last season, the bleak reality is that Jarred will be front and centre, and will have to do the heavy lifting. That’s not optimal, and I hope it doesn’t stall his development.”

      Agree with you 100% on that one. I would prefer if Tinordi was paired up with Murray or at least have Murray in the lineup. Tinordi is going to have all the heavyweights coming after him, especially after he levels 3 people per game. Murray in the lineup at least takes some of the burden away from Tinordi.

      Very valid point, that some seem to miss or underestimate.

      • johnnylarue says:

        I’m not sure I see Tiny as a de facto dance partner for other teams’ goons, although I suppose it’s possible he might not have a choice in the matter…

        In any case, throughout his career, he’s been much more of a “sticking up for his teammates”/heat-of-the-moment fighter than a stupid, staged neanderthal-ballet-on-ice dancer.

    • Bill says:

      Up to age 25, I think players are improving. Between 26-32, I think those are prime years where there is little depreciation. It’s 33 and up where you see a decline, so I’m only really worried about guys like Markov, Gionta, Briere, etc.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  17. Mavid says:

    Less then 4 hours to go…I can hardly contain my glee

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  18. shiram says:

    While meat is the talk of the moment.
    Buddy of mine had a BBQ last week-end, but over estimated our appetites.
    We ended up with 5.5 lbs of bbq ribs each.
    Not to mention the veggies.
    Man those things are tasty, but I feel like I’m still digesting them!
    We managed to eat only half of the ribs.

    • Luke says:

      My buddy cooked a 1/2 dozen bacon wrapped beef tenderloins on a cast iron griddle tray (the kind that fits across two stove top burners) at lowest setting in the oven for around 2-3 hours.

      Seared on the stove top on the gridlle tray thing and then the whole unit slid into the oven.


      Best steak I’ve ever had. That was two years ago now… I miss that meal. Chilean bean soup, Scallop Cerviche… the steak… a pile of great wine.

      Helps to have a chum who is a Chef.

  19. Habs_Norway says:

    GO HABS GO!!!
    is the niiiiight!
    When two becomes one.
    homage to spice girls.
    I – CANT – WAIT !!!

    Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

  20. bigshooter says:

    Beer fridge is stocked, ready for the boys to get at it tonight!

    Enjoy the match tonight everyone!!!

    So you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance

  21. Timo says:

    Where is Boone today… asleep in his basement?

  22. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Why won’t this work day end…………..

  23. Hobie Hansen says:

    If anyone hasn’t had a chance to catch Connor McKenna on TSN690 you should take the opportunity to give him a listen. He has a great view on the Canadiens and completely calls it like it is. Very knowledgeable hockey guy.

    He doesn’t mind the odd hockey fight but is against total goonery. Not to mention he’s absolutely hilarious. He jumps on a lot of shows throughout the day and hosts the post game show.

    He’s filling in for Chris Nilan today and assured the listeners that he’s never been in an NHL fight before but has certainly been punched in the face LOL.

  24. frontenac1 says:

    Understood amigo. Fortify the Body. I use AAA Alberta beef cooked rare.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nice, nothing beats the fine AAA beef and its gotta be rare, i can live with medium rare if I get distracted by beer while manning the grill.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Medium rare guy here. I’d do rare if I trusted the grill master!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Fair point Hobie, beef has to be excellent, and indeed the grill master needs to ensure extreme high heat for the first few minutes.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I’ve got a buddy who’s a chef at the top restaurant in Toronto, Scaramousche, I’d eat a rare steak cooked by him on the grill. Always look forward to a BBQ when he’s present!

          • Luke says:

            And then there is the conflicting concept some folks have about what is Med Rare and Medium etc…

            I always ask for chef’s choice at a better restaurant. I like the response I get from the wait staff when I do… I think they appreciate someone who trusts that they know what they are doing.

            I usually say “Med Rare, but closer to Rare than to Medium” when I’m at a more generic eatery.

            \But there is probably a new thread now.

  25. JO says:

    GRAVATAR! Lets get serious

  26. B says:

    Not one of the pundits in the predictions article above picked PK to win the Norris again. It seems like low expectations all around for the Habs this season, that just makes it easier to exceed expectations.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  27. Bill says:

    My HIO won’t refresh so I have to post something to make it refresh.

    Um, Diaz sucks and stuff. Moar Bigger.

  28. frontenac1 says:

    @hobie. Food? For the opener? Interesting.

  29. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Why the f* is Loco Locass on the bill for that free concert? Why is a team named Les Canadiens associating itself with vocal advocates of separation from Canada? Could they not get a less “political” Quebec band/artist?

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Mattyleg says:

      Like Les Cowboys Fringants, you mean?
      (and Canadiens has nothing to do with current-day Canada. It’s what the New France-born settlers called themselves. French-Canadians have been trying to distance themselves from ‘Canada’ from nearly as soon as it was created).

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

        I know the history of the term “Canadiens.” But that has little to do with the modern brand Montreal Canadiens who have always been symbolic of the unity of anglo and franco (well, except during the Richard riots), and federal and provincial. Associating with a band like Loco is wrong on so many levels. ESPECIALLY in the current political climate. Geoff et al should know better.

        I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  30. Hobie Hansen says:

    The running around is done. Hit the treadmill, did the groceries, hit the beer store, hit the LCBO. Homemade wings, wedges and Caesar salad on the menu for the opener. No work tomorrow either, woohoo!

    I hope by the time I’m chomping into my first wing that Jarred Tinordi is smoking Nazim Kadri face first into the glass.

    Go HABS Go!

  31. Trollhunter says:

    My friend just sent me this link. i thought I`d share it with you guys. It starts off a bit rough for our habs but finishes amazingly. Brings back good memories!
    Cheers, and GO HABS

  32. BJ says:

    For the tax problems the Habs have to compete and overpay, I have
    a solution. The team being clearly at a disadvantage should lobby the NHL and get a cap hit based on the taxation percentage of each team. I would think that helping out the poorer NHL teams financially would afford them some leverage to get that through.

  33. Mr. Biter says:

    Just scored tickets for Habs vs. Jets on Oct 15. Taxi ride home expected.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  34. Sportfan says:

    Did another fantasy team this is who I drafted
    Toews, Bergeron, Vanek, Simmonds, Hartnell, Brouwer, Dubinsky, Perron, Saad, Karlsson, Pietrangelo, Ekman-Larsson, Shattenkirk, Bogosian, Yakupov, Hamuis, Mackinnon, Schenn,M Staal, Jeff Skinner, Quick and Howard

    let me know what you think this time it was ESPN/TSN

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

    • Kfourn says:

      Depends what your scoring system is…head to head or points based?

      Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”

      “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

      • Sportfan says:

        Head to Head based on Goals Assists PIMS Shots Average time on Ice, Wins Sv% GAA and PPpoints

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

          • Mattyleg says:

            What a pointlessly long post.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Kfourn says:

            Use side scroll instead of mouse scroll, it goes a lot quicker…other than that I see what you’re saying, didn’t expect it to come out that long, just copy pasted from an existing list.

            Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”

            “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

  35. DipsyDoodler says:

    Based on data from, I estimate that tonight’s first period fight (minute 5 I guess) between Colton Orr and George Parros will be their 8th career bout.

    The last one was last year:

    a narrow Orr victory according to the esteemed hockeyfights punditry.

    Also according to this website the tally is

    1 win for Parros – 4 for Orr – 1 draw and 1 unscored.

    Seems our Big George will be an underdog, however I note that his only win came via TKO.

  36. frontenac1 says:

    @bripro. The “Berry! A true classic. They sponsored our touch football team back in the late “70”s. Is the Girouette still alive?

  37. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I don’t think we’ll take it all but I predict that the Montreal Canadiens will surprise everyone this year with how well they compete. Only two words left to say. Go Habs!

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

  38. Mattyleg says:

    Are these the newer comments?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  39. Bripro says:

    My wife is in school tonight.
    My grandson is at his mother’s.
    I have the back room to myself.
    And like Front, I have Guinness in the fridge, and picked up a few Cubans off the reservation, just to make sure.
    Habs on the TV, phone unplugged, and no one to bug me.
    So don’t call….I’ll be enjoying our first-game home victory, just like the rest of you!
    Here’s to the smurfs, new and old! And the rest of the team.
    Happy 2013-14 season my fellow posters.

  40. habsfan0 says:

    I wonder who former Greenfield Park,Quebec resident Elisha Cuthbert will be cheering for tonight?

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