To be honest, I don’t remember the last time I had to write a title such as the one above. Feels awesome though!
Getting back to business, your 11th place Montreal Canadiens face the 15th place Carolina Hurricanes tonight at the Bell Centre. What’s at stake? Closing that 7 point gap between the Habs and the Leafs. Interesting all the teams above them have either lost or are on losing streaks: Toronto (3 straight), Washington and Winnipeg both lost their last game. They remain 3 points behind Winnipeg with a game in hand, and 6 points behind Washington who has 1 game on hand.
On the positive side for the Canadiens, the record in the last ten games is 6-3-1 and the powerplay has scored in consecutive games. Tonight would be a good opportunity to gain some ground in the standings.
They face the Hurricanes, who have lost their two last games (OT loss in the last one). They are coached by Habs alumnus Kirk Muller and have a 4-2-4 record in their last ten games. The two teams have met twice this season, both times resulting in a win for the Canadiens. In those two wins, the Canadiens scored 8 goals and allowed 3, went 1-for-6 on the powerplay and and outshot the Canes by a margin of 70-58.
Needless to say, this is a good game to get the two points in regulation. It should be within the realm of possibility. And interestingly, the Caps (who lost yesterday) are facing the Sharks tonight. Canadiens fans should collectively hold their breath for another Caps loss.
Players to watch tonight:
- Tomas Kaberle: It’s his former team, and I would imagine he would like to show them they gave up on him too soon.
- Erik Cole: He loves playing at the Bell Centre and it’s the first the Canes play at the Bell. Look to Cole to get it done (like usual!).
- I’m going to go out on a limb here and I think Ryan White (who should be playing – got called up yesterday) makes an impact tonight.
For the Hurricanes:
- Chad LaRose has always been a thorn in the Canadiens side, not expecting any less tonight.
- Eric Staal is having a bad season, but he’s not by any means a bad player. He will be dangerous.
With a win tonight, the Canadiens can climb up to 5 points behind the Leafs for 8th. The puck drops at 7:30pm