Series To Watch

Habs PensThey may not be in the same division, they may not have much of a history, but the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens had some of the most intense games of the 2006-07 season, and they’re only going to get better.

First off, the pre-season game last night between the two Eastern Conference rivals showcased a fight, a beautiful goal scored from behind the net by Sidney Crosby, and some unbelievable end-to-end third period action, not to mention a lot of expletives thrown around in the sold out Bell Centre.

This is just the aftermath of a season series last year that saw the two teams tie, with one of the games going into overtime, and another into a shootout.

Then there was the thunderous hit laid by Eric Christenson on Saku Koivu behind the Montreal net which caused a miniature melee in Montreal.

But there are so many other reasons that this matchup should be the one to watch:

  • Sidney Crosby, the leagues MVP is in the series, and grew up cheering for Montreal.
  • There will be a controversy in the Montreal crease with the Canadiens boasting two semi-number one goalies in Cristobal Huet and David Aebischer, both of whom have shown some serious potential, but have yet to show it in the playoffs.
  • Any game Jarkko Ruutu is playing in is worth watching, as he is known as one of the best pests in the NHL.
  • Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau already took a shot at Penguins tough guy Georges Laraque for fighting the no-name tryout player Ruutu was getting under the skin of, saying that he wouldn’t have had a problem with it if he were protecting Crosby.
  • Sidney Crosby took, and in some cases handed out, numerous cheap shots throughout the season series and last night, almost looked like the Hart trophy winner was ready to drop the gloves after a no-call.
  • The young talents on Pittsburgh can’t be touched by any other team in the league, so you know there’s going to be some pretty goals, and some flashing of the leather by the 2004 first overall pick Marc-Andre Fleury, who is famous for his over-exaggerated glove saves.
  • Young players to keep an eye on for both teams: Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Whitney, Michael Ryder and Guy Latendresse.

Trust me, mark down October 10th on your calendar, because these two teams will not disappoint.

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