Sports: Canadiens game day: Kinkaid gets start, potential change on blue line - PressFrom - Canada
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Sports Canadiens game day: Kinkaid gets start, potential change on blue line

22:05  09 october  2019
22:05  09 october  2019 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Keith Kinkaid has made the most of his pre-season

  Keith Kinkaid has made the most of his pre-season Two stellar performances have gone a long way toward reassuring Canadiens fans.The general manager could have let his stable of young AHL netminders battle for the spot, but he opted for Keith Kinkaid to bring a veteran mindset to the position.

a hockey game in the snow: Canadiens goaltender Keith Kinkaid makes a save against Leafs' Ilya Mikheyev during the second period at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday night.© John E. Sokolowski Canadiens goaltender Keith Kinkaid makes a save against Leafs' Ilya Mikheyev during the second period at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday night.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Backup goaltender Keith Kinkaid will make his first start as Canadien Wednesday against the Sabres (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and head coach Claude Julien hopes it’s the first of 20-25 appearances for the veteran.

“There’s injuries, there’s hot streaks, there’s slumps but, at the end of the day, if your backup can play 20 to 25 games, it gives your No. 1 goaltender a bit of a rest,” Julien said following an optional morning skate Wednesday at KeyBank Arena. “Sometimes it’s more,  but you look at those numbers as a start. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re trying to get them, but that’s the ideal. There are short-term and long-term goals during the season, but there are times when you have to ride your goaltender and it throws your plans off.”

Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid set to make Canadiens debut in Buffalo

  Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid set to make Canadiens debut in Buffalo Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid set to make Canadiens debut in BuffaloWhile head coach Claude Julien was being coy Monday about how he will deploy his goaltenders this week, it’s a given that Kinkaid will get a start with Montreal playing three games in four nights. The Buffalo game is the obvious spot for Kinkaid. It’s the first half of a back-to-back set and the Canadiens will want to play Carey Price in their home opener against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday and again on Saturday, when the Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues visit the Bell Centre.

That’s what happened last season when the  Canadiens lost all confidence in backup Antti Niemi. Price played 27 of 28 games down the stretch before Charlie Lindgren appeared the season finale. Niemi played only 17 games, while Price played 66.

a hockey game in the snow:  Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev tries to deflect a puck past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Keith Kinkaid as defenceman Victor Mete helps out during the second period at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sept. 25.© John E. Sokolowski Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev tries to deflect a puck past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Keith Kinkaid as defenceman Victor Mete helps out during the second period at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sept. 25.

“(Backup goaltenders) never get enough credit for being in what is a tough role to be in,” said Julien. “You don’t play that often; your practices become your games. You have to what we call steal some points during the season. You have to give your No. 1 a break. It’s becoming more obvious that teams who go with two goaltenders and don’t ride one of them have more success.”

Parise scores winner, Wild beat Canadiens 4-3 for 2nd win

  Parise scores winner, Wild beat Canadiens 4-3 for 2nd win ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild called a players-only meeting as they struggled to start the season. In their first game since that meeting, the Wild earned a win and gained a sense of relief. Zach Parise scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the Wild won their second game of the season, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Sunday. "It's been a tough start for everybody," Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I loveZach Parise scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the Wild won their second game of the season, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Sunday.

Change on defence? Julien wasn’t forthcoming when he was asked whether there would be any other changes for the Buffalo game, but there are signs pointing to a change on defence.

Rookie Cale Fleury and Brett Kulak remained on the ice for some extra skating after the optional practice and that’s usually a tip off that they won’t be paying. They have been the No. 3 pair for the first two games of the season, but it appears they will cede their positions to Mike Reilly and Christian Folin.

McCarron placed on waivers: The Canadiens placed 2013 first-round draft pick Michael McCarron on waivers. McCarron was injured early in training camp and was on the season opening injured reserve list. He had to be placed on waivers in order to be sent to the Laval Rocket.

McCarron’s career has been marked by injuries and disappointing performances. He has two goals and six assists in 69 NHL games and spent all of last season in Laval.

Canadiens expected to use both goalies in weekend road games

  Canadiens expected to use both goalies in weekend road games ST. LOUIS — Canadiens coach Claude Julien plans to use both his goalies this weekend, but he wasn’t saying after practice Friday in Brossard which order they will play. The Canadiens flew to St. Louis after practice for the start of a busy weekend with road games against the Blues on Saturday (3 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and the Minnesota Wild on Sunday ( 5 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio). The Canadiens flew to St. Louis after practice for the start of a busy weekend with road games against the Blues on Saturday (3 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and the Minnesota Wild on Sunday ( 5 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

Cleaning things up: The Canadiens have given up far too many breakaways and odd-man rushes, and Julien said it was a matter of cleaning things up in the neutral zone.

“People don’t realize how important it is to play well in the neutral zone,” said Julien. “And sometimes it’s in the offensive zone when our (defencemen) are pinching in and our guys aren’t reloading. Those two areas are the most common situations that lead to odd-man rushes.”

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In the Habs Room: Penalty-killing problems continue in loss to Wild .
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The Canadiens’ power play is much improved this season, but their penalty-killing is a lot worse. Both those things were on display in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Canadiens went 1-for-2 on the power play, with Tomas Tatar getting the goal, and they are now clicking at 27.3 per cent for the season, ranking in the top 10 in the NHL. But the Wild went 2-for-5 on their power play and the Canadiens’ penalty-killing now ranks near the bottom of the NHL at 71.0 per cent. Last season, the Canadiens ranked 30th on the power play (13.2 per cent) and were 12th in penalty-killing (80.9 per cent).

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