Start of Habs camp just around the corner
This 2013-14 NHL season, training camp starts earlier this year due to the NHL taking a 17 day break in their schedule in February to accommodate the Winter Olympics between Feb 9 and Feb 26, 2014.
In addition, the 2013-14 will be marked by changes to both the NHL schedule and NHL playoffs format.
First, realignment was finally settled with Winnipeg moving to the Western Conference and Detroit and Columbus moving to the Eastern Conference. As such, the Detroit Red Wings are now part of the newly formed Atlantic Division consisting of: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Columbus moves to the newly created Metropolitan Division.
|Western Conference||Eastern Conference|
|Anaheim Ducks||Chicago Blackhawks||Boston Bruins||Carolina Hurricanes|
|Calgary Flames||Colorado Avalanche||Buffalo Sabres||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Edmonton Oilers||Dallas Stars||Detroit Red Wings||New Jersey Devils|
|Los Angeles Kings||Minnesota Wild||Florida Panthers||New York Islanders|
|Phoenix Coyotes||Nashville Predators||Montreal Canadiens||New York Rangers|
|San Jose Sharks||St. Louis Blues||Ottawa Senators||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Vancouver Canucks||Winnipeg Jets||Tampa Bay Lightning||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Washington Capitals|
The schedule calls for the Montreal Canadiens to play 4 or 5 games against opponents within their own division (they will play 5 games against each the Senators and Maple Leafs), play 3 games against teams within their conference. And the Canadiens will play both home and away games against teams in the Western Conference.
The playoff format also changed. The top three teams in each division qualify for the post season play, followed by two wild card teams that make up the two best teams remaining in the conference. With the first seed in each division playing a wild card team (the #2 seed will play the #3 seed within their division).
It all kicks off officially Tuesday September 3, 2013 when the Montreal Canadiens hold their annual Golf Tournament, this year at the Club de golf Laval-sur-le-Lac. As TSN690′s Amanda Stein tweets, @amandacstein: “The official start to the years hockey madness.”
It is followed by the Canadiens Rookie Camp from September 5-9. With the official start to the Montreal Canadiens Training camp taking place on Wednesday September 11.
The Canadiens will have three weeks to bring their roster down to the 23 man roster. The season kicks off October 1st when Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens.
Key dates leading to the start of the season.
September 3: Montreal Canadiens Charity Golf Tournament; Club de golf Laval-sur-le-Lac
September 5 – 9: Montreal Canadiens Rookie Training Camp; Centre Sportif Bell in Brossard, Qc. 40-man rookie roster lineup
September 11: Official Montreal Canadiens Training Camp opens, with players report for physicals; Centre Sportif Bell in Brossard, Qc
September 15: Montreal Canadiens first pre-season game vs the Buffalo Sabres; 7pm at Bell Centre, Montreal, Qc
October 1st: Montreal Canadiens inaugurate the 2013-14 season playing host to the Toronto Maple Leafs; 7pm at Bell Centre, Montreal, Qc