Montreal Canadiens: Next stop, Stanley Cup Qualifier

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 28: The Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 28: The Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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The Montreal Canadiens got their feet wet in their exhibition game against the Toronto Maple Leafs while the Pittsburgh Penguins are the next challenge.

The respective hot and calming takes were all over social media for the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night.

Many were furious at how it didn’t look like the team fixed anything, and the Habs giving up a goal in the first minute of the game was proof of that. Some were trying to keep a level head about it all, saying it was, “just an exhibition game,” very similar to the “it’s only the preseason,” line.

Both camps are right here: Montreal did show off a lot of their past demons, but the game didn’t mean anything in a significant sense. However, Claude Julien now has another three days to work out any of those kinks in time for the Stanley Cup Qualifier series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, the Penguins didn’t look perfect in their exhibition match either. The Pens got on the board first via Conor Sheary, but special teams and defensive lapses were an automatic anchor. They were able to force overtime, though, which is where they lost, so there are more positives for the coaching staff to take from there.

Not only does Julien have stylistic decisions to make, but he also has more roster ones as well. Alex Belzile was the extra forward in the lineup while Cale Fleury got extra reps on the backend. Does he find a way to get either onto the roster or does he stick to his set of lines and pairings?

A lot of questions and not much time for answers, but the Montreal Canadiens need to get at least some of them solved.

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