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Game 7 Preview: Avalanche at Canadiens

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Colorado Avalanche
5:30 MT / 7:30 ET
Montreal Canadiens
4-1-1 October 15, 2009 2-3-0
9 pts
Bell Centre
4 pts
t-1st in West
Montreal, PQ
t-10th East

Boston? Check. Chicago? Half-check. Toronto? Check. Next up on the Original Six tour is the Montreal Canadiens who, I'm told, have a storied history. It's the home opener for the Habs; they're the only NHL team without a home game so far. For the Avs, they've collected 5 out of 8 points so far on the trip. That's not too shabby, but we'll take more.

Carey Price will start for Montreal. He, like his team, is off to a so-so start this year. We don't know who the Avalanche starter will be tonight (might want to get used to that). I'll update that info when we get it, but right now I'm guessing Budaj (just a hunch). [UPDATE: Hunch was wrong this time. Anderson gets start #7]

Both teams will have a new defensemen in the mix. For the Avs, Ryan Wilson is expected to make his NHL debut. He came over last year in the Jordan Leopold trade and, for kicks, will wear Leopold's old #44. Wilson is not afraid to drop the gloves, as he has 8 fights in basically one season in the AHL. The Canadiens have brought up Shawn Belle from Hamilton to give the club a better stay-at-home defensive presence. Belle played 9 games with the Minnesota Wild a couple of seasons back.

Tonight's game will be on Altitude following Tuesday's bizarre and confusing absence.

As I hinted at on Thursday, I'm experimenting a bit with Previews / Live Threads. For now, the preview is going up earlier in the day, and the live thread will be up an hour before game time. I'll also post (or promote) a quick post-game reaction after the game is over to give us all some fresh ice for our gloating / venting. As always, I'm open to feedback on all of this.

STATS
6 GP 5
4 W 2
1 L 3
1 OT 0
9 P 4
0.750 P% 0.400
3.50 G/G 2.40
2.00 GA/G 3.60
38.5 PP% 18.8
87.5 PK% 63.2
23.3 S/G 27.4
33.5 SA/G 32.6
44.8 FO% 49.8

Avalanche vs Canadiens coverage

Avalanche.com preview

Avalanche game notes (love that these are back!)

Habs Eyes On The Prize

Montreal line combos

Today in Colorado Avalanche History: 1996. Joe Sakic scores 5 assists and 6 points - both career highs - against Edmonton.