So tomorrow night marks the opening of the 2013-14 season as the Montreal Canadiens take on their usual opening day rival in the Toronto Maple Leafs at home in Le Centre Bell..
Most of us have been waiting through the excruciating summer months to see our beloved La Flanelle hit the ice again as the off-season once again has brought some changes and heightened hope.
There are not substantial changes to the face of the team over the off-season. The exceptions to that being the addition of Daniel Briere, George Parros, and Douglas Murray.
Briere will most likely be the only new face in uniform on opening night as Murray is already sidelined for four to six weeks with an upper body injury. Parros has not dressed for a single pre-season match (also due to injury) even though he has clearance from the medical team to begin play.
There is a bit of uncertainty about how a Habs team will fare over the full season this year, despite the additions. There is plenty of Montreal type speculation as to whether Briere was even the right addition to the roster. All of this yet to be seen well after the first puck drops.
I guess there is still somewhat of a bitterness in many fans mouths after the early exit to the Ottawa Senators in the first round, especially after shining all season long.
Things will be different this year. There is no short season. Players will have to stay healthy or it could bring early detriment to the team for the long haul.
A positive addition that is not getting a lot of discussion came when Marc Bergevin announced the appointment of Stephane Waite to the staff as the new goalie coach. Price has serious talent, incredible athletic ability, and great hockey vision, but with the addition of Waite, we may see him slow Price down and focus him further. Something immensely important considering how much this team will be placing on his back once again to add numbers to the win column.
At the end of the day, tomorrow night is only game one. A long way to go after those sixty minutes expire. But we all know how important it is for the horse to come clean out of the gate and set the tone for the rest of the race.