Since the Montreal Canadiens opened training camp on July 13, Habs fans have been eagerly anticipating when they can see Nos Glorieux on the ice. Today, the NHL and its Quebec broadcast partners, TVA Sports, finally announced when the Habs are going to be back on the ice. An exhibition game between longtime rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs will be aired on July 28 at 7 p.m.
When the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto were finally decided upon in early July, anticipation ramped up among fans and players alike.
Training camps kicked off shortly after the NHL announced its hub cities and for the past week, your Habs have been hard at work, shaking off the rust and getting their games back.
While not technically in the playoffs, the Habs will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in a five-game play-in series to determine whether or not they'll make the playoffs.
Over the past weekend, the Habs held their first official full-team scrimmage at their Brossard practice facility.
The Habs are widely considered as underdogs against the Penguins but some outlets believe they might pull off an upset.
Already one week in the books. #GoHabsGo https://t.co/wufH32Jjr7— Canadiens Montréal (@Canadiens Montréal) 1595113660.0
Most importantly for the NHL, the play-in series and subsequent playoffs must go off without a hitch and follow the strictest public health regulations.
This means that the Habs will have a limited staff on hand and that all players will need to be housed together with careful schedules to ensure no one gets sick.
Games will also be hosted in empty arenas with limited contact between players and arena staff.
Reports indicate that some Habs players tested positive for COVID-19 but as it stands, the team hasn't released any further details.
Habs defenseman Karl Alzner is so far the only Habs player to opt-out of participating in the play-in series against the Penguins.
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: https://t.co/NDWmOwnvnf— NHL Public Relations (@NHL Public Relations) 1594047614.0
According to the NHL's COVID-19 report on July 6, more than 2,900 tests were conducted league-wide.
23 players apparently tested positive.
Carey pêche aussi à Montréal. 🎣 Carey caught his biggest Tuna yet. #GoHabsGo https://t.co/dEsae1aA5P— Canadiens Montréal (@Canadiens Montréal) 1594920329.0
It'll be a tricky thing to navigate and games won't look or sound the same at all, but hey, at least hockey is finally back!
The Habs will play an exhibition game against the Leafs on July 28 at 7 p.m.