On Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs rivalry reignites in the NHL season opener at the Bell Centre. As expected, head coach Michel Therrien will make Ryan White and Michael Bournival the healthy scratches up front. On the back end, the Habs called up Nathan Beaulieu from the Hamilton Bulldogs, even though Therrien said Monday they wouldn't be making a call up after the club announced Douglas Murray will be out 4-6 weeks with a upper body injury.
"We thought about it again and realized it would be too risky to have only six defencemen. We did not want to expose ourselves," the head coach said Tuesday morning. Beaulieu will not play on Tuesday.
This will be a special game for one player in particular, Daniel Briere, who will play his first regular season game as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. A native of Gatineau, Quebec, Briere grew up a Canadiens fan and it was a life-long dream to play for them. Having passed up the opportunity to play for the Canadiens in 2007 due to family reasons, Briere could not say no a second time around when the Canadiens came calling this off-season.
"I'm just trying to soak it all in and enjoy this first day as a Montreal Canadien," Briere said after the team's morning skate.
Many of Briere's family members and friends will be in attendance for tonight's game.
"I had to get 12 tickets, but I was lucky a lot of them were able to find tickets on their own, which is never easy," Briere told the media.
Tonight's game will be a game Briere will remember for many years to come.
Lines from morning skate:
Bourque - Plekanec - Gionta
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Briere
Galchenyuk - Eller - Gallagher
Moen - Prust - Parros
Gorges - Subban
Markov - Diaz
Tinordi - Bouillon