Bartlett: Habs lose defenceman in opener again

John Bartlett
10/7/2011 3:33:13 PM
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MONTREAL – During the second period last night in Toronto, did you ever at some point think the words "Oh no, not again" crossed through the mind of Jacques Martin?

Another season opener in Toronto, where a defenceman gets injured and leaves the game. Not good news for the Canadiens on the blue line as Chris Campoli did not return for the rest of the night. More news is expected to come early next week on his condition. It did prompt the Habs to go out and pick up Joe Callahan today to add some more depth. The weird part is how it happened. Not a hit, blocked shot or any kind of speed play. Looked more like catching a rut in the ice, what a fluke

Not the start to the season the Canadiens were looking for, but there is still another 81 games to go. No need to hit any panic buttons, yet a Leafs-Canadiens season opener always brings out the magnifying glass on both rosters.

The Habs returned to the ice in Brossard today, but Carey Price did not practice as he wasn't feeling well. Goaltending Coach Pierre Groulx put on the pads to fill-in. Michael Cammalleri practiced for about 15 minutes before leaving the ice early, also not feeling well. Lars Eller stepped up on his line with Plekanec and Cole.

The good news is that Eller has been given the green light for contact in practice and they are targeting the home opener against the Flames as his return date. No update though on Blair Betts.

With Campoli out, it looks as though the door may have opened for Alexei Emelin to join the line-up on Sunday in Winnipeg, as he was paired with Josh Gorges.

The Canadiens will need as good, if not a better start against the Jets on Sunday, as the MTS Centre will be a rocking barn with a city that is bursting at the seams with excitement over the return of NHL hockey.

I'm looking forward to the festivities.

You can follow me on Twitter @BartsBytes

Lines from this morning:
Cole - Plekanec - Eller
Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta
Kostitsyn - Desharnais - Darche
Weber - Engqvist - Moen
Subban - Gill
Gorges - Emelin
Spacek - Diaz

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