The Canadiens will play a scrimmage in front of a sold-out Bell Centre crowd tonight as they prepare for the pre-season which gets underway Tuesday against the Boston Bruins.
Fans were able to get the tickets free of charge either by going to a Canadian Tire or by visiting the Canadiens website. Those fans that donated used skates were given prestige seating, meaning they will be watching the game from the first few rows of the Bell Centre.
This dress rehearsal will be a good opportunity for some rookies like Nikita Scherbak to get the jitters out of the way. "Alex Galchenyuk told me you'll be shaking when you get on the ice for your first shift" the Habs first round pick of this year told the media. He will play tonight on a line with Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. It's an opportunity that Scherbak is looking forward to.
"It's exciting, we're a bunch of young guys playing together and Galchenyuk has been helping me out throughout camp so I really like this line," Scherbak added. This will also be the first time Jacob De La Rose gets to see ice time at the Bell Centre. The 19-year-old Swedish forward is one of the players in the running for the opened right wing position.
Even though he usually plays on the left, De La Rose has no problem playing on his off wing and feels he is getting better every day. "It's a little odd when you have the stick on the wrong side when you are in the defensive zone but that is something I am getting use to" De La Rose said.
He began camp playing on a line with Rene Bourque and Lars Eller but the Canadiens announced on Monday that Eller is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Habs prospect Charles Hudon will replace Eller at centre for tonight's scrimmage.