Did you know the Montreal Canadiens are our former Original Six rival? I bet you didn't know that.
As overstated as it sometimes seems, the Original Six aspect of Red Wings/ Canadiens actually amps up the game atmosphere considerably. It always seems like these teams pick up where the original rivalry left off, and now they can start sipping a brand new bottle of good old-fashioned Atlantic division Haterade for this game. Along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, this was the other matchup I was most looking forward to this season.
- Pick your favorite beat reporter, but the news is the same: Daniel Alfredsson is back in the lineup tonight in place of Todd Bertuzzi. Unlike most of the previous lineup scratches, Bertuzzi is a healthy scratch. Alfredsson will start with Cleary and Helm. No other lineup changes from le Matin Skate.
- Where oh where to start with the injured players? Jimmy Howard is reportedly progressing well from his knee injury and is eyeing a return date of Tuesday against the Phliadelphia Flyers.
- No defensemen are injured yaaaayyyyy
- Stephen Weiss is also reportedly progressing well from his injury, a sports hernia. His targeted return date is much further away, the first game after the Olympic break.
- Johan Franzen had his first day of "no fogginess" yesterday at practice. He will need to have more of those before he'll be cleared to play.
- Pavel Datsyuk also took part in practice yesterday. A "very optional practice," so of course you can conclude from this that he's saving himself for the Olympics.
- And finally, Joakim Andersson is hoping to return on Sunday against the Florida Panthers from whatever lower body injury he had.
- The Canadiens have been struggling lately, culminating in their most recent blow up against Pittsburgh which almost resulted in a goalie fight.
- Never mind the goalie fight. The Canadiens' recent slide has been so bad, it's actually led to a need for a vent post on the Eyes on the Prize blog.
- When you actually look at the numbers, theyyy kind of have good reason for the vent post. The simpler number is that since a 4-game winning streak in late December, the Canadiens' record is 4-5-2. Unfortunately for our friendly neighborhood French-Canadians, we'd like to see that record drop to 4-6-2 by the end of tonight.
- Carey Price will man the Canadiens' net tonight.
- Canadiens' Projected lineup:
FORWARDS Max "A Million" Pacioretty David "Is that how your pronounce it?" Desharnais Brendan "Not Brandon" Gallagher Lars "HEY! I scored four goals. Once." Eller Tomas "Turtle-turtleneck" Plekanec Brian "Am I next to be traded mid-game?" Gionta Rene "Can I go back to Calgary please?" Bourque Danny "Local Boy!' Briere Brandon "Not Brendan" Prust Travis "What happened to my face?" Moen Michael "There's my superfluous u" Bournival Louis "The Canadiens used a first round pick on me" Leblanc DEFENSE Andrei "Andrey/ Andriy/ André/ Андрей" Markov "I'll probably be putting my team on the" P. K. Subban Nathan "You couldn't shove anymore vowels in my name if you tried" Beaulieu Josh "Don't fall into the" Gorges Douglas "The Canadiens think I'm an NHL defenseman" Murray Alexei "Alexey/ Alex/ Alexiy/ Алексей" Emelin GOALTENDING Carey "Name your" Price Peter "I'm probably going to get" Budaj "off the ice"
I will never understand why the NHL decided it was ok not to have every team play each other at least home and home. The lockout last season didn't help since the Red Wings were still in the Western Conference then, but garbage like that is the reason the Canadiens haven't been to Joe Louis Arena in 4 years. FOUR YEARS! Here is a list of things that have happened since the Montreal Canadiens came to the Joe:
- President Obama was re-elected.
- The Encyclopaedia Britannica discontinued its print edition.
- Occupy Wall Street.
- The death of bin Laden.
- Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope after Benedict XVI resigned.
- Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton got married in front of an aggregate audience of about 2 B-B-Billion people.
- A pastel version of Edvard Munch's The Scream sold at auction for $120 M-M-Million.
- The 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
So you see, the world gets a little on edge waiting for matchups between the Red Wings and Canadiens.
LET'S GO RED WINGS!!!