WHERE: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
WHEN: 7:30 PM EDT
MEDIA: Sun Sports (cable, not currently available on DISH Network), 620 WDAE (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGE: Habs Eyes on the Prize
For far too long, a road game in province of Quebec has resulted in an incessant droning, quite like a continuous vuvuzela tooting. Perpetual, encompassing, annoying...
That sound was usually the Montreal media machine, working dilligently trying to prove for the umpteenth time that the Montreal Canadiens were about to secure the rights to Quebec native and Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier.
While the Montreal media machine buzzes on, for the first time (ever?) the Bolts visit Bell Centre without the whispers of a Lecavalier trade being the story that surrounds them in the province.
Local media from Tampa Bay to Montreal will all point out the pertinent stories of Quebec natives and former Habs making their return (on the night of Bell Centre's season opener, no less) to the glorious city, to take on the glorious franchise.
But while the media focuses on the homecoming for Ass't GM Julien BriseBois, head coach Guy Boucher and assistants Dan Lacroix and Martin Raymond, as well as forwards Martin St. Louis, Simon Gagne, Dominik Moore, and mon capitaine Lecavalier.... Well, I revel in the knowledge that the story this time around is not the perpetual rumor mongering.
The Bolts are facing a four games in the next six days. Back-to-back match-ups tonight (Canadiens) and Tomorrow (Flyers), with the Panthers on Saturday and Dallas Stars on Monday. Compare this to last season, where the Bolts had a sleepy schedule to start the season (as did most of the rest of the NHL) and the torrid pace is almost welcome.
This is the first of four meetings between the Bolts and the Habs this season. The Lightning are 2 for 5 on the power play afer one game, the Habs are 0 for 6 in two games. The Canadiens have yet to allow a power play goal (in 11 opportunities) while the Lightning have only allowed 1 goal in 8 short-handed situations.
Our game-thread opens at 7 PM tonight.