What I’ll be looking for – Habs vs Avs

Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens take on the Colorado Avalanche and is the Canadiens home opener.

Coming into tonight I’ve seen positives and negatives in the previous 5 games. The Avalanche should provide a very formidable opponent. They’ve got some great young talent and their taking off.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for tonight:

Gomez and Gionta
From the line combinations that we saw in the last couple of days it appears that these 2 guys will be paired up together. Trying to get them going together is nothing but a good idea in my opinion. Gionta always seems to find a way to get open for a shot and Gomez can really pass the puck. Should be a good combination.

Travis Moen
I could have added Moen with Gomez and Gionta… as he will likely play on the top line tonight but I didn’t… (hey, it’s my blog!) I thought Moen was rather invisible in the pre-season and so far in the first 5 games I saw the type of player we’ve been lacking in Montreal for some time. Moen will surely be trying to create some space for Scott and Brian as well as going to the net where he could pick up a couple of goals off of Brian Gionta rebounds. And throwing some good hard hits….

I love Moen’s play so far… can be hard nosed, go to the net.. crash the net… throw the hit.. drop the gloves…. Keep it up!

Maybe having Cammalleri teamed up with Plekanec will bear fruit tonight…. both of those guys have been working really hard through the first 5 games. Both of them have been putting up decent shots on goal… and I think it’s just a matter of time before we see them net a few together. Andrei Kostitsyn…. I really hope he can find some kind of a groove with both Mike and Tomas… AK is loaded with talent and possesses a killer shot. Hope this line clicks tonight. The Bell Center would explode if this line shines.

Carey Price
I’m looking for a strong show from Price tonight, home opener, new mask… new beginning really. BUT… Let’s hope the defense looks stronger in front of Carey this evening as a few games seemed to show a slightly confused defensive system…. but we’re only the 6th game of the season.

Shawn Belle
Although I don’t think Belle will score a hat trick or anything miraculous… I believe Belle will provide a different kind of spark then Weber had.

Where Weber almost looked a bit timid at times, like seeing him avoid a hit and loose the puck in the corner…. Belle will play a much more solid defensive game. He should be able to clear a bit of room in front of Carey and I’m looking for him to want to impress with some solid checks, physical play (in general) and also some simple passes out of his own zone.

I was also kind of impressed with an interview by Belle…. you can find the interview here on the HABSInside/Out website.

Kyle Chipchura
Kyle doesn’t have to do a whole lot except play hard and make some nice simple plays while playing physically. And there’s also one other aspect where he has been playing well…. Chipchura’s been doing well on the faceoff. So let’s hope that trend continues.

Those are some of the things I’ll be watchin’ for tonight.

I’m also hoping that the “boo birds” stay home.

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