With the official season opener set for October 8 (Canadiens at Maple Leafs), we only have 12 days to go before hockey is officially back.
Because it's never too early to be optimistic we're celebrating the first game of the Habs 2014-15 pre-season with a new list.
1. Bell Centre Now Sells Beer for Away Games
Most important news, to be honest.
2. With No Captain and Four Alternates, A Cup Handoff Could be Historic
...or just hilarious. Imagine four sweaty guys trying to hold one Stanley Cup between them, like a group of reverse jugglers.
3. Awesome Habs Murals are Scattered All Around the City
Whatisadam left these striking, bank-robber-chic, hockey stencils all around Montreal (check them out here, here, and here), and these two Montreal-ers even made a Carey Price mega-mural on the side of an entire building.
4. The Habs First-Round Draftee is Completely Adorable
Watch Nikita Scherbak's draft interview here. 1) He knows a total of three words in French. 2) "Curling? It's my favourite sport" 3) This tiny Russian toddler is going to to make more money that me and all my friends combined.
5. One of the Habs Prospects is Clearly a Beep Test Cyborg
6. Also, a Habs Prospect Bounced Back From Spending Two Months in a Coma
Tim Bozon was in a coma for two months after a near fatal bout of meningitis. At the start of the summer, he had lost 40 pounds, had trouble walking, but still persevered to get a training camp invite (if not an actual roster spot). If he does make it on the team, imagine how inspirational it'll be to end his story with a Cup win. Sports movie material, right there.
7. Meanwhile, this Habs Prospect Is Definitely the Male Hero in a Harlequin Romance Novel.
He's 6-foot tall, Swedish, blond, and his name is Jacob de La Rose. WHAT.
8. Marc Bergevin and His Suits Will Be Making a Return
...not to mention his dance moves.
9. The Habs Literally Have Too Many Good Goalies
Carey Price, Peter Budaj, Dustin Tokarski, plus Zach Fucale in the pipelines. Our goalie talent pool is overflowing.
10. Everyone's Already Hungry for the Tim Horton's Stanley Cup Doughnut
Like this, but with bleu-blanc-rouge sprinkles.
11. The Subban Family is in the Middle of the Greatest Hockey Rivalry Of All Time
P.K.'s little brother plays goalie, and he's on the Boston Bruins' roster for tonight's pre-season game. I really hope that Malcolm Subban somehow ends up as Tuuka Rask's backup, and that this year we see an awesome sibling twist on the classic Montreal-Bruins rivalry.
12. Sportsnet Has a Historic Three-Year Deal For You to Watch the Habs
For the first time, you can watch all 82 Habs games in English in the Canadiens' region.
There would be SO many people downtown during a Cup parade and barely space for cars, but let's pretend.
14.Return of the Best Bromance in the League
15. More Habs Shenanigans On Their Way
Remember when Brendan Gallagher pie-d Dustin Tokarski in the face after a playoff win? More of that is coming, very soon.
16. A Bunch of New Bars Showing the Games Just Opened In Montreal
Places like Midway Tavern - stay in tune for MTL Blog's rundown posts for these next week.
17. Habs Legend Guy LaPointe will have his jersey retired on November 8
Guy LaPointe won 6 Cups as a defenseman, which means he's indirectly responsible for 25% of the championships in Montreal history. Time to celebrate his achievement, but also get that down to 24% (ie. 6 out of 25).
18. This Is the Perfect Season to Get Into Advanced Stats
You don't need a statistics degree to enjoy hockey, but if you do want to get deeper into the game, everyone agree's that now is the best time. With a young and talented roster, this season is finally a non-depressing time to understand just how good we are through mysterious terms like Corsi, Fenwick, zone entries, etc. (Look, P.K. Subban gets it. You can too.)
19. Toronto is Still Terrible
Ranked the worst sports franchise in North America, but what else is new?
20. Tomas Plekanec and His Turtlenecks Will Also Be Making a Return
21. Brendan Gallagher Spent This Summer Working Out With Milan Lucic
No, seriously. This type of betrayal better result in a championship.
22. We're About To Find Out Who is Montreal's Next Anthem Singer
The Habs front office just held public auditions to find their next anthem singer. Hundreds of people showed up, but no winner has been announced yet. I guess we'll find out once the season starts.
23. The Habs Are Growing Up
Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Subban, Pacioretty and Price are 20, 22, 26, 26, and 27, in that order. AKA. in their prime playing age range.
But the Canadiens are also growing up in other ways - according to James Mirtle, the Habs were the smallest team in the league last year, with their average height squeaking in at over just 6 feet. That's tall by normal people standards, but it's itsy-bitsy for hockey players, who are all built like Thomas the Tank Engine. But now, with the departure of adorable smurf-sized Brian Gionta and Daniel Briere, the Habs may no longer be the shortest team in the league.
24. 2014-15 Is Our Chance to Cheer Up Youppi!
After losing a bet with TV host Jimmy Fallon about Montreal vs. New York in the playoffs, the Canadiens twitter account sent out 10 photos of Youppi! looking dejected. Let's never let that happen again.
25. Because You Don't Need a Reason to Be Excited
Because hockey's coming back, pure and simple. We gonna win it!