Time: 7:30 PM EST
Place: Little Caesars arena
TV: FS-Detroit, RDS, TSN2
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket/1270 AM
Habs Blog: Habs Eyes on the Prize
The Red Wings are coming into their first meeting at home vs. the Canadiens this year having dropped 8 of their last 9 and 20 of their last 23. They are still on pace for 44 points. HOWEVER, they welcome in a Canadiens team who they are 2-0(!!!) against this season. Still, not much is going right for the Wings, but there are small slivers of hope here and there. Filip Zadina continues to produce as he now has 10 pts. in 18 games, including that wicked snipe the other night vs. Chicago, his best goal yet as a Red Wing. Jonathan Bernier has surprisingly been very good lately as he has a .943 SV% over his last 7 GP (He’s 3-3 in those games haha). Dylan Larkin is starting to play better as well as he has 5 points in his last 5 games. Yes the losses are still piling up, but it’s safe to say the Red Wings have played much better over their last 5 games and hope to continue that trend tonight.
As for Montreal, they were in 2nd place in the Atlantic on December 20, but since then have lost 7 of their last 8 and now sit 9 points out of 3rd in the division, and 6 points out of the 2nd Wild Card spot. That’s the NHL for you. One bad stretch from fringe-playoff teams and you could end up gasping for air. A big reason for that is Drouin has been out since mid-November with a wrist injury, Brendan Gallagher has missed the last two games with a concussion he sustained on NYE and Joel Armia (21 Pts. in 35 GP) has been out since December 23 with an upper body injury. Gallagher ranks 2nd on the team in points and Drouin would be right up there as well if he wasn’t hurt. Of course, Tomas Tatar leads the team in points with 37. Another big reason for the Canadiens struggles is Carey Price, who has a 3.65 GAA and .879 SV% in this current 1-6-1 slump by the Habs. Not only that but Price has career lows in both GAA (2.99, he’s never finished higher than 2.83 and that was in his 2nd year) and SV% (.903%). For someone making $10.5M a year, that certainly isn’t good enough. It will be interesting to see if Price gets the call tonight or not after losing 3-2 to Winnipeg last night. In nine back-to-backs this year for Montreal, Price has played both games in three of them, including three of the last five. No matter who is in net, this is a golden opportunity for the Red Wings offense to wake back up.