The Carolina Hurricanes will do battle against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at 7:30. Carolina enters the night with a 20-25-11 record. Montreal’s record is currently 23-24-9. As of late, the Habs have been a very hot team. Montreal enters the contest riding a 4 game win streak, looking to make it 5. Montreal looked untouchable Saturday night when Carey Price was able to shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0. Price has only given up 4 goals in the past four games, while recording two shutouts on the win streak. So is Price playing like a 3 time All Star? Yes he is. Can Carolina overcome fatigue from the road trip to skate away with two points? Yes they can. Here’s how.
The last two meetings between the teams have resulted in losses for the Canes. When the teams first met on November 16, 2011 the Canes were outplayed, and out coached. Score 4-0. A week later the Canes would lose 4-3 in a shootout. So what gives? The latter of the games should have resulted in a W for the boys. Just :34 seconds into the game, Jiri Tlusty would give the Canes the lead. 5 minutes later, Anthony Stewart would extend the lead to 2. The Canes held a 2-1 lead going into the 3rd, but then the wheels once again fell off. Montreal would score 2 goals, and then beat us in a shootout.
So why give you a look into the past? Here’s why. The Canes have to play a FULL 60 minutes of hockey. If the last game wasn’t proof of that, 1.2 seconds, what more do you need. Carolina is very capable of having another 11 wins under their belt. I.E. the 11 overtime or shootouts we have been involved in. Currently Carolina is 0-4 in shootouts, and 2-5 in OT. This is why the Canes have to play 60 full minutes of hockey.
Their will be a lot of emotion in this game. For the Montreal fans, they have the return of Kirk Muller and Jaroslav Spacek. For Canes fans, we get to see Erik Cole and yell at P.K Subban for the game. I am pretty sure Coach Muller has a good game plan ready. Call it a hunch. The Canadiens fans are always, how do I put this nicely, “noisy”. Carolina will have to put emotions aside and play their game.
Forecheck. I watch a lot of hockey, and I might be a little biased, but the Canes have one of the best in the league. The forecheck is a big part of their game, so it has to be used consistently tonight. With fast defensive players as Justin Faulk, Jamie McBain, and Tim Gleason, the game will have to be physical. Faulk had an untimely turnover last game, but I am pretty sure that he learned a lot from that incident.
Group Effort. If you have watched the Canes as of late, their play has been solid as a group. The Canes have not just relied on super star names such as Staal and Skinner to keep them afloat. (I do not mention Cam Ward in that sentence because he has saved us numerous times) The puck movement has been ideal also. Our power play, while it is struggling, actually looks like a power play. The unit works the puck into a spot where there is a shooting lane. Go back at the beginning of the season and watch the Canes shoot the puck and then chase it back in their own end. The chemistry is clicking. Tonight’s game is a big one. I look for Chad LaRose to have a big game tonight. Lets Go Canes!
Please join us tonight as we host a live chat. Simply click on the article “Canes vs. Habs Live Chat, and it will take you there automatically. Hope you can make it.