Puck drops on a new Montreal Canadiens season tonight
CBC Montreal sports reporters Douglas Gelevan, Andie Bennett discuss what fans can expect from Habs this year
The Montreal Canadiens open the 2015-16 NHL season in Toronto against the Maple Leafs tonight with out any major changes to the roster from last year's team.
But still there were a few eyebrow-raising personnel moves coming out of training camp.
What is the biggest surprise coming out of camp?
The Habs look like they're keeping eight defencemen on the team to start the year, including Jarred Tinordi. Is it going to benefit his development if he's on the team as the eighth defenceman? How much ice time is he going to get? He needs ice time to develop and we know defencemen tend to develop slower than forwards.
Dustin Tokarski not making the team is the biggest surprise for me. Heading into last seaso,n I thought that he was the real deal. It appears I was wrong. He had a disappointing camp, lost his job to Michael Condon, cleared waivers and is starting the year in the AHL.
Has Zack Kassian blown his opportunity to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens?
I think we forget how young Kassian is because he looks like he's 30 years old, but he's not. He's a 24-year-old guy that obviously needs some help. I'm not ready to knock Kassian out and say he's done. We need to remember that these players are people. Maybe when we were in our early 20s, we didn't make the smartest decisions all of the time either. It's so easy to point a finger at a rich hockey player and say he was being an idiot, and maybe he was being an idiot, but we don't need to wash our hands of Kassian.
Marc Bergevin was clearly upset with Kassian. We saw that in his comments to the media early this week. But there needs to be some patience here because the team traded away a proven player in Brandon Prust for player with potential in Kassian. He's entering into stage two of the league's substance abuse program so for me it's fair to assume that that means he's already failed stage one. If the Habs knew that, they should have known the risks.
How far can the Habs go this year?
If they can manage to keep the key players like Carey Price healthy through the season, this team can make the playoffs and go deep. Pacioretty needs to take that next step in his playoff performance. They need him — he's the captain now. This team seems like a tight group and if they stay together there is no reason why they can't go deep into the playoffs.
Goal scoring is still a big concern for me. I'm afraid to say that the Eastern Conference finals might be the best this team can achieve. That is unless they can add a proven elite level goal scorer to the line up.
Who is your pick to win the Stanley Cup?
It's so tough to pick. The favourites from last year are still the favourites, so I'm going with Chicago or Tampa Bay.
The Los Angeles Kings have all the pieces to go all the way. Plus they're going to be angry that they didn't make the playoffs last year. They will have a bounce back season that ends with the Cup.
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?