A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Canes to end road trip with grueling back-to-back

On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes will enter the friendly confines of the Bell Centre to take on the Canadiens. This game will end at about 9:30 eastern time. The Canes will then immediately fly to Detroit after going through Customs and play a Sunday afternoon game at 5:00 eastern. The Red Wings will be resting at home after having played there Friday night.

This seems extreme, but there are no rules against this kind of quick turnaround.

Carolina hasn't lost a game in Montréal since before the lockout, and there are two Hurricaes players who would just as soon call the Bell Centre home:
  • In nine regular season games in Montréal, Erik Cole has registered 12 (8/4) points including two hat tricks. Last game there, Cole recorded one assist.
    In addition, Cole scored three goals in three playoff games at Molson in 2002.
  • Cam Ward has never lost a game in Montréal. He has a career GAA of 1.48 and a save % of .948 in that building.

For the Hurricanes, Nic Wallin is "probable" for Saturday after sitting out a few games with lingering shoulder issues. Mike Commodore will continue to be out with a broken finger.

As for Les Habitants, they will be without the services of left wing Steve Bégin (shoulder) and centerman Brian Smolinski (knee). The slumping Michael Ryder was a healthy scratch in Montréal's last game as a "message" from coach Guy Carbonneau. Goaltender Cristobal Huet is out with a groin injury, leaving Carey Price at the wheel.

Puck drop will be at 7:00.

The Canes have been doing the Jekkyl/Hyde thing, alternating wins and losses. Their last game was a 2-1 loss at Tampa.

The Habs are coming off a 4-2 win over Boston. They have also been (for the most part) alternating wins and losses.

This will close out the four game series between the two teams. The Habs have won two and lost one. They have outscored Carolina 11-9 in those three games.

Montréal's offensive leaders are Alex Kovalev with 23 (12/11) points, Tomas Plekanec with 21 (9/12) and Saku Koivu with 21 (5/16).

Carolina's offensive leaders are Cory Stillman with 34 (16/18) points, Rod Brind'Amour with 31 (13/18) and Ray Whitney (12/15) Matt Cullen (6/21) and Justin Williams (9/18) with 27 points apiece.

Around the Habs blogosphere:
  • A Theory of Ice
  • Eyes on the Prize
  • Four Habs Fans
  • Sisu Hockey

    A full writeup should follow the game.
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