|A few tidbits before game-time at the Bell Centre||04.22.09 at 3:12 pm ET|
MONTREAL, Quebec — A few tidbits prior to game-time:
–Put-upon Montreal goalie Carey Price will get the start in net for Montreal. Both Andrei Markov and Robert Lang aren’t expected to play for a beat-up, beat-down Canadiens team that is clearly being backed into a corner on Wednesday night.
–Claude Julien indicated pre-game that Milan Lucic will be back in the lineup, but he didn’t tip his hand as to whether that meant that Byron Bitz or Blake Wheeler was headed toward being a healthy scratch. Don’t be surprised to see Bitz remain in the lineup for this elimination game after looking so strong during Game 3.
–No Calder Trophy for Blake Wheeler, who didn’t finish among the top three candidates vying for the hardware. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards Show extravaganza in Las Vegas, Nevada this summer. Wheeler still has a chance to make the All-Rookie team with fellow forwards Bobby Ryan and Kris Versteeg, but Blues forward Patrik Berglund is also a pretty formidable candidate.
–The Canadiens have a little fan festival-type pavillion set up at 1260 De la Gauchetière Ouest, and there are three classic US vs. Russia bubble hockey games set up and ready for anybody to play. I tried to represent to the US well and won the first abbreviated game 1-0 over the New Bedford Standard-Times Mick Colageo, but fell 4-0 — and scored two goals on my own net — in the second full game. Mick was classy in victory, but the shame and embarassment I’m feeling right now following defeat is real and palpable. The next step is convincing my fiancee that we need bubble hockey for our condo, so I can practice my game. Don’t see that happening any time soon.
–Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced on Wednesday day that the club has signed Bemidji State University sophomore goaltender Matt Dalton, a pact that is a two-year, entry level deal.
This past season, Dalton helped the 16th seed Bemidji State Beavers earn their first Frozen Four berth in school history and became the lowest seeded team to reach a Frozen Four in NCAA tournament history. Dalton was brilliant in helping carry Bemidji to the Frozen Four, and went undrafted during his years of eligibility. In 31 games during the regular season, the 6-foot, 189-pounder compiled a 19-11-1 record with a College Hockey America Conference best 2.19 Goals Against Average and a .921 Save Percentage.
The 22-year-old sophomore from Clinton, Ontario spent the 2005-2006 season with the Bozeman IceDogs of the North American Hockey League and the 2006-2007 season with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League before joining Bemidji State in for the 2007-2008 campaign.
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