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Stanley Cup preview? That would suit the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche just fine. But first things first: a pseudo home-and-home preseason matchup.  The teams
first meet in Montreal at 7:30 pm Thursday night before heading north to Quebec City, an informal homecoming for the ex-Nordiques
on Friday.

P-A Parenteau will face his former team for the first time since he was acquired by Montreal for veteran Daniel Briere. Parenteau finds himself playing alongside Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais, arguably the team’s first line – not bad considering Briere was regulated to fourth line duty during his short stint with the Habs.

With two games against the Avs, there’s a decent chance Habs fans will get to see Nathan MacKinnon in action. The 19-year-old picked up the Calder Memorial Trophy in his first season with Colorado and is looking to avoid a sophomore slump.

Eyes will also be on Colorado’s coach Patrick Roy, who returns to Montreal where he won two Stanley Cups before the worst trade in history of sports (in my biased opinion) sent him to the Avalanche. At the very least, Roy should provide us with a few tweetable quotes during his medium scrums. If we’re lucky, he won’t break anything.

Habs fans will have a new defence pairing to keep an eye on: Michel Therrien confirmed that Alexei Emelin and P.K. Subban will spend some time together. The Canadiens’ blueline was shuffled this offseason with Josh Gorges traded to Buffalo in addition to the UFA signing of Tom Gilbert. The changes allow Emelin to play on the left side, his natural position.

The game will be Montreal’s second of the preseason, having completed a comeback win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. The Bruins took an early 2-0 lead before goals from Jiri Sekac and Christian Thomas evened the score. Drayson Bowman completed the comeback with just over 40 ticks left on the clock.

Colorado dropped two contests (in the same night!) during split-squad play against Anaheim on Monday. The Ducks coasted to easy 5-2 and 4-0 victories over the Avalanche, who should arrive hungry to improve their play for Mr. Roy, lest they awaken his rage.

In other news, Michel Therrien split his training camp roster into two groups: A and B. It’s pretty clear from comparing the lists that those in Group A have the best shot at earning roster spots on opening night. That said, Therrien was quick to remind everyone not to count out anyone from Group B. After all, Michael Bournival played his way out of Group B and into a regular role with the Canadiens after an impressive training camp last year.

Habs Projected Lineup

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau

Scherbak – Galchenyuk – Gallagher

Prust – Malhotra – Weise

Moen – Hudon – Bournival

Emelin – Subban

Beaulieu – Weaver

Drewiske – Bouillon



Lars Eller and Michael McCarron remain sidelined with lower-body and upper-body injuries, respectively. 
Prospects Connor Crisp, Stefan Fournier, Jeremy Gregoire, Jack Nevins, and
Dalton Thrower are also listed as injured.