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Training camp: let’s see how different it will be from 2022

Over the next few weeks, the Habs will slowly but surely begin to return to normal activities. Sooner rather than later, we’ll get to the golf tournament, and from there, it’s all downhill.

And it’ll happen faster than you think.

The rookie camp… the start of the real camp… the Red-White game… the pre-season games… the cuts… and before you know it, it’ll be October, pumpkin coffee will be all over town and the CH will be ready to take on Toronto.

Going through camp will be interesting because, as I’ve already said, there are a number of issues to keep an eye on.

One of the things I noted last week was the training camp itself. Will the Canadiens’ camp be very intense on the coach’s part?

We’ll have to wait and see.

After all, let’s not forget that last year, we noted the intensity of Martin St-Louis’s camp, his first experience at the helm of an NHL training camp.

And it was criticized.

The intensity, right from the start, was in the carpet. Marc Denis, who once played with St-Louis in Tampa Bay, compared his former teammate’s camp to that of John Tortorella.

And considering how much Denis “adored” Tortorella as a coach, he must have had war flashbacks when he saw the CH’s camp last year…

In reality, if there’s one aspect I want to follow, it’s how the injury situation will be handled on the sidelines of camp. Training intensity is one aspect.

After all, with a revamped therapy staff, Flanelle fans can expect to see their favourites stay healthy more often than not.

The number of preparatory games is another thing to keep an eye on.

After all, if the Habs have decided to play fewer games during the preparatory schedule, it’s no doubt to limit the chances of exhausting the guys too much or to limit injuries.

Last year, defenseman Mike Matheson was injured during one of the CH’s preseason games. He also played extensively during the preparatory schedule.

Instead of playing eight games, the CH has decided to play six this season. Of these, the first four will take place in Montreal and the other two in Ontario, which won’t wear the guys out right from the start, we agree.


As Renaud Lavoie mentioned this morning on BPM Sports, in the morning show with Paul Houde and Gilbert Delorme, the CH has no choice but to play several preparatory games at home because of revenues, but as we can see, they’ve cut the fat on the road.

Last year, that included a two-game road trip to the Maritimes. This year? No.

Playing fewer games will give the veterans a bit more rest. Remember that for each exhibition match, at least eight veterans must play.

Otherwise, the show isn’t worthy of the NHL.

Gilbert Delorme is the first to admit it: in an ideal world, a veteran would have to play a maximum of three of every six games to be ready. Last year, there were too many games to reach such a figure.

This is another aspect that should help the CH stay healthy in a camp that promises to be different from last year’s in many respects.

Another aspect is that the Habs don’t need as many games as last year, since they won’t be revamping their entire blue line.

While the club made room for a number of rookies last year, particularly on the defense side, that won’t be the case this year. As a reminder, the CH could have no rookies in its line-up for the season opener on October 11 in Toronto.

There will be plenty of youngsters, but not necessarily rookies.

But hey. No matter what, the youngsters will have to take the chances offered to them, however many there are, and try to maximize them. And if there are fewer games, they’ll have to make do.

In a gust

– I like the result.

– I don’t see the CH granting tryouts, for those wondering.

– The CH and its failures in Sweden. [TSLH]

– We’ll have to take it to the next level.

– He’s all alone in the world.

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