Morning Skate: Red Wings at Canadiens
7:30p ET, Bell Centre
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NBCSN
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket/1270 AM
Habs Blog: Habs Eyes on the Prize
The Canadiens have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, so they have nothing better to do than be spoilers who ruin things. Theoretically, we are a desperate team who will be playing with a fire under our butts and they will be kind of loafing it since their season is dead and just hasn't stopped twitching yet. Last night, the Red Wings showed that they aren't ready to roll over just yet and there might just be some magic left in this season. We need every single point we can get, and we need other teams to do us some favors. It's not over yet folks...
A historical moment:
The year is 1955, and the Red Wings are in Montreal battling the Canadiens for first place, but nobody cared about the outcome of the game. The Red Wings are in the lead, when NHL president Clarence Campbell arrives to the game, and his reception makes Gary Bettman's boos sound like a choir of angels singing his praises. Why so mad? Campbell had just suspended Canadiens star Maurice Richard for the rest of the season and playoffs as punishment for his deliberate attack of a linesman. The situation quickly escalated and a tear gas bomb was set off near Campbell's seat. The Forum was ordered evacuated, and the Red Wings were awarded the win and two points - two points that would ensure the Red Wings home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals, where they would go on to defeat the Canadiens in Game 7 to clinch the victory. The disgruntled fans poured out into the street, and chaos reigned through the night. In today's dollars, the damage was estimated to be about $900,000.
Know the enemy:
The Habs 5-2 loss to the Rangers was ugly (not Red Wings ugly, but still) and it killed their postseason dreams. Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk are your primary goal scorers for them this season, and Galchenyuk is coming off a bad game so he may be looking for redemption tonight. P.K. Subban is an assist machine but has been out of the lineup for a while, I'd be surprised if he was back in when the Habs aren't fighting for anything but the tattered shreds of their dignity. The Habs powerplay has been bad, but our penalty kill isn't all that great either, so it's a tossup who has the advantage there. The Habs goalies have had a rough ride this season and are far from invincible, so we do not want to spend all game passing, just take the shot.
The Coaching match-up:
Jeff Blashill and his unquestionably brilliant scratch decisions will be up against Michel "Bulldog" Therrien. Stories suggesting who should replace Therrien next season have been circulating for months, but more recent reports have been saying Therrien will be back behind the Habs bench next year. I'm betting the Habs keep Therrien around and we all enjoy another year of Habs fans who are mad online.
Coach Fact: Therrien won the Calder Cup in 1985 as a member of the Sherbrooke Canadiens and he looks like a bad cosplay of Auric Goldfinger.
If the Avengers ever need someone who can make really lame villains seem unstoppable, they should give the Red Wings a call. We like to make life difficult for ourselves, and even when we win we often have to almost blow it first. The Habs are down, and we should kick them while they're down and keep kicking until we skate away with two points. It's one minute til midnight on our Doomsday clock, time is running out, but I'll be here until the end one way or the other.
Once more, with feeling, say it with me...
LET'S GO RED WINGS!
Game Day Prediction Contest
Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.
Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.
Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.