Canadiens vs. Avalanche preview

 

 
 
 
 
Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy smiles during National Hockey League pre-season game against the Canadiens in Montreal Thursday September 25, 2014.
 

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy smiles during National Hockey League pre-season game against the Canadiens in Montreal Thursday September 25, 2014.

Photograph by: John Mahoney, Montreal Gazette

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COLORADO AT MONTREAL
(Saturday, 7 p.m., CITY TV, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690)

The set-up: The Avalanche is in a world of hurt after losing two goaltenders and a game Thursday night. While the Canadiens were coming back to beat the Boston Bruins 6-4 at the Bell Centre, the Avalanche surrendered a 3-1 lead and lost 5-3 to the Senators in Ottawa. The Canadiens have a 4-1 record, while the Avalanche — which struggled throughout the preseason — is 1-3-1 and has scored only seven goals.

Goalie down: Colorado’s woes began during the morning skate Thursday when Semyon Varlamov, a Vézina Trophy finalist last season, left the ice with a groin injury and was placed on injured reserve. Backup Reto Berra started against the Senators, but left at 2:47 of the first period when he collided with Kyle Turris, who was pushed into the crease by Colorado’s John Mitchell. Berra suffered a neck or head injury. Calvin Pickard, who was recalled from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, made his NHL debut after arriving in Ottawa at 4 p.m. If Berra can’t play Saturday night, Roman Will is expected to join the Avalanche from the Wolves, although Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic might be working the phones with the most interesting speculation centring on veteran free agent Marty Brodeur going to Denver.

Motivation, Part 1: P.A. Parenteau said he’s looking forward to this game. Parenteau is delighted to be in Montreal, but he didn’t take kindly to remarks Avalanche coach Patrick Roy made after he was traded for Daniel Brière. Roy said Parenteau was expendable because he couldn’t be a top-six forward in Colorado. Parenteau is a top-six forward in Montreal and scored twice against Boston to give him five points for the season.

Motivation, Part 2: Roy’s retired number may be hanging from the rafters at the Bell Centre, but he would like nothing better than to beat his former team. The Canadiens beat the Avalanche twice during the preseason and Roy was embarrassed when he returned home to Quebec City and a veteran Colorado team lost to a bunch of guys wearing Canadiens sweaters who are now playing for the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

Still more motivation: Expect Brière to be pumped up for this game. The veteran never gained coach Michel Therrien’s confidence in Montreal last season and spent a lot of time on the fourth line. Brière has a goal and an assist in five games with the Avalanche.

The Price is not quite right: Carey Price has a 3-1 record, but the Canadiens goaltender isn’t being mentioned as the early favourite for the Vézina Trophy. Price was a winner against Boston, but his goals-against average went up to 3.75 and his save percentage went down to .874.

High demand, high prices: The scalpers look forward to games like this because demand is high and supply is low. There are fewer than 200 tickets available on StubHub! with prices ranging from $65 to $809. The Canadiens’ official resale site had about 400 tickets Friday afternoon with prices ranging from $79 to $495.

 
 
 
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Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy smiles during National Hockey League pre-season game against the Canadiens in Montreal Thursday September 25, 2014.
 

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy smiles during National Hockey League pre-season game against the Canadiens in Montreal Thursday September 25, 2014.

Photograph by: John Mahoney, Montreal Gazette

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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