Game Day : Habs @ Hurricanes

With a win last night against the Thrashers, the Habs headed to the airport to fly to Raleigh. Tonight they face the Carolina Hurricanes. Both the Habs and the 'Canes played last night, so it may end up being a slower-than-usual paced game. It's games like these that I look forward to the most. The Carolina Hurricanes will forever hold a special place in my heart. Not only do they employ two of my favorite players in the league, Staal and Ward, but they were the team to stop the Leaf's hopes and dreams back in 2002 during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Similar to the Hab's run last season, the Leafs (4th seed) won two back to back 7 game series, landing them a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. It was the Hurricanes that ended their journey. Keeping the 40 year streak going, something that Habs fans hold close to their heart. At least I do. Unfortunately, the 'Canes went on only to lose in 5 games to the Detroit Red Wings.

Tonight is another must win for the Habs. Now that we know what it is to score again, we need to push the pace and walk out of Carolina with 2 points. I'm not sure what is in store for us. The Hurricanes won their game last night against the Washington Capitals. It was a 65 minute game, including a few rounds of shootouts. Also a road game for the 'Canes. All these details point towards a slight advantage for the Habs. However, the Hurricanes are battling for a playoff spot and with Buffalo's loss last night against the Leafs, these two points mean even more to them. All depends who wants it more tonight, and unfortunately it's usually the Hab's opponents that walk away with the points in these situations. Hope that's not the case tonight.

Hot hands? No one is really tearing it up for either team. While Carey Price still looks impressive night after night, his numbers aren't where they were a few weeks back. Not his fault, but they are still his numbers. As for the Hurricanes, Jeff Skinner is playing hard during this final stretch, hoping to be a lock for the Calder. With Couture injured last week, these next few games could make the difference.

Habs have their regular injuries, while the 'Canes have a healthy lineup. Rumor has it that Mike Cammalleri is playing with a sprained ankle, on top of returning quickly from a separated shoulder. Personally, Cammy does not strike me as the type of player to play through an injury, so I feel it's a cover up for his sub par performance the past 60+ games. Yes, I was never a huge fan.

Should be Price and Ward in nets tonight.

So which team will we see walk away with these important points? Will the Habs show up? Or will they fall flat like they did last week? Will the Hurricanes be the more desperate team? What's your prediction?

Post a comment below.

Game starts at 7:00pm and is being aired on RDS and TSN.

Enjoy!

-Jason Pietroniro

2 Comments

George Prax's picture

This is a more important game than it seems I think. I think the Habs are still another 2 wins (and two Canes losses) from clinching, but a win against the 9th place time pretty much puts them 9 points ahead and out of reach for the Canes. Carolina can rebound though, especially with Buffalo playing another tough game vs the Rangers tonight, so with the Canes coming off a tough game in Washington last night, I think their pace might be a little slower. Then again, the Habs' win last night wasn't exactly convincing.

I have no idea who the Habs will start tonight. Don't want to overplay Price but he played great last night. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Auld, as he'll likely only play one other time this season if at all (depending on when the Habs clinch), as well as an OT loss for the Habs.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Forgot to mention that Price is sitting at 35 wins on the season. Tied with franchise record set by Patrick Roy. His next win will solidify Price in Habs history. Milestone for him and the Team. I can see Auld starting tonight as well.