Habs fans, get ready to open and close the season yet again with the beloved – NOT! – Loafs. The Habs unveiled next season’s schedule on Thursday and, as usual, the action will kick-off with a dust-up at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. That’s Thursday, Oct. 6. And 876 games later – okay, 81 – the endless regular season winds down with the same hapless Leafs visiting the Habs at the Bell Centre. That game is Saturday, April 7.
Let me guess. Going into that last game, the Leafs will be way out of playoff contention and we will be hanging on by the skin of our teeth to 8th place. Sound familiar? Sure it does.
The Canadiens will play each of their division rivals – Boston, Buffalo, Ottawa and Toronto – six times and Montreal will play each of the remaining ten teams in the Eastern Conference four times. Sadly, Montreal will only play 18 games versus teams in the west. It remains a sore point for me that we get so little chance to see the Habs playing teams from out west.
Here’s a couple of games to mark in your calendar. The Habs meet the Winnipeg Threats – or whatever they’ll be called – Sunday, Oct. 9 in the Peg and the first regular season meeting with the Stanley Cup champion – excuse me while I barf in a paper-bag – Boston Bruins is Thursday, Oct. 27 in Boston, a home-and-home series that continues that Saturday at the Bell Centre. That should be intense. How sickening is that? Just imagine our pals Chara and Marchand rubbing the Habs’ noses in the Cup victory (and you just know they will). Like I said, should be intense.