Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche are in town and the Habs should brace themselves. This is a great team that can make things happen offensively, they are 3rd in scoring league wide and tonight, Cayden Primeau will be tasked with stopping the Avalanche. This will be his baptism of fire as he'll start his very first NHL game at 20 years old. Drafted by the Habs in the 7th round in 2017, 199th overall, he was the 21st goaltender selected that year. When you look at his stats, the late selection makes sense as he was coming off an off year but look at the statistical progression since:
Frankly, I thought the Canadiens would go back to Carey Price tonight and give the rookie the start in New York on Friday since he's a New Jersey native and it would have been close to home. Furthermore, given the current climate, the fans at the Bell Centre could be short-tempered tonight should the team collapse yet again and one can wonder if a rookie goalie is well equipped to deal with that possibility. That being said, against all odds, this 7th round pick is now the heir apparent to Carey Price and if he is to one day fill up those big skates, guess he might as well get used to the madness that is Montreal.
Meanwhile, tonight will also be the NHL debut of Otto Leskinen. Undrafted and signed by the Habs as a free agent, he's arguably been the best defenseman in Laval this season with 12 points in 24 games and 39 penalty minutes. According to the lines and pairing at practice, he will be paired up with Cale Fleury. Puck drops at 19:00 and it will be interesting to see how the 2 rookies perform!