5 dates Montreal Canadiens fans should circle on their calendar this year

Sep 19 2022, 3:33 pm

With the new season right around the corner, many Montreal Canadiens fans are excited to see how their beloved Bleu Blanc Rouge bounce back after a disappointing year.

While playing among the talented teams of the NHL’s Atlantic Division will surely be no picnic, the Habs have made some improvements in the front office, behind the bench, and on the ice, of course. With that, they’re at least hoping to be competitive.

As we get closer to puck drop, old rivalries and fresh challenges alike begin to reignite in the hearts and minds of players and fans. And certain matchups carry a little more emotional weight than others.

Here are five games Habs fans should circle on their calendar this year.

Wednesday, October 12 – Toronto Maple Leafs

Rielly Dvorak Canadiens Leafs

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Unsurprisingly, Montreal opens their season at home this year against their longtime rival the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite coming off a long offseason break, both teams have been known to bring it right out of the gate. And after sharing a seven-game series in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, the history between the two clubs has only grown richer.

Starting the season with a W is key, and losing feels that much worse when it’s against the Leafs.

Expect playoff-style hockey in October.

Thursday, December 6 – Seattle Kraken

shane wright (1)


Most people thought the Canadiens would select Shane Wright with the first overall pick.

When they didn’t, things went from bad to worse for the Kingston Frontenacs star centreman when both the New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes also passed on him. While he was eventually selected by the Seattle Kraken with the fourth overall pick, the 18-year-old’s disappointment was almost palpable.

Wright left reporters with the following quote: “I’m definitely gonna have a chip on my shoulder from this for sure. Definitely a little more motivation. I’ve always been self-motivated. Always been pushing myself internally, but it’s definitely gonna give me a little more fire, for sure.”

If the stars align, Wright will bring that fire this December when he gets his first chance to play against the team that passed on him.

Wednesday, December 21 – Colorado Avalanche

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadiens will be tested when they arrive in Colorado to face off against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. They’ll also be greeted by a familiar face in playoff hero Artturi Lehkonen, who joined the Avalanche last season.

If Montreal can hold their own against the league’s best team, they will show the doubters that they have both character and chemistry. If they crumble under the pressure, they’ll be in for a long night in their own zone against the offensive powerhouse.

Side note: this game will be extra entertaining if the Avalanche decides to pull out their vintage Quebec Nordiques uniforms.

Thursday, January 24 – Boston Bruins

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what position the teams find themselves in the standings, the Canadiens/Bruins rivalry is one that seldom disappoints. It’s not only one of the best in hockey, but one of the fieriest in sports at large.

While it’s calmed down in recent years, things can often get heated when these two teams are involved. You can expect the penalty boxes to fill up when these bitter adversaries meet up for the first time in the new year.

Thursday, February 16 – Carolina Hurricanes

kotkaniemi hurricanes habs

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and former captain Max Pacioretty are two prominent forwards who left the Canadiens on a sour note. They are now both members of the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that has been known to troll the Habs on Twitter from time to time.

Montreal will get a chance to settle the score — on the ice, at least — when the two Eastern Conference teams meet up this February.

Al SciolaAl Sciola

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