The Long Road Trip Starts in Montreal
Two of the most storied franchises in NHL history. A match up between Original Six teams. The final game before the All-Star break. All of these factors culminate in what might be one of the more underrated games in the season.
As the first half of the season has shown, these teams certainly don't have much in common at this point.
The Red Wings (8-2-0) are sitting on top of the NHL with a seven-game win streak, and 17 consecutive victories at home, a franchise record. They haven't been the strongest team on the road, but the momentum they have right now can only be easing that pain.
The Canadiens (4-4-2) are 12th in the Eastern conference and are trying to get over the bumps in the road that include trading away Mike Cammelleri and getting a coach that doesn't speak French. So what's going to happen when these polar opposites collide on the ice tonight?
For Montreal's sake, there will be a plan on how to get the puck behind Jimmy Howard. Detroit's starting goalie has won six straight and has 1.95 GAA so far this season, not to mention the first goalie to win 30 games. And while trying to get past Jimmy, the Habs will also be wondering how to stop Pavel Datsyuk. He leads the Wings with 53 points.
Detroit will have to stop Erik Cole, who has a goal and five assists in his last four games and leads the Habs with 18 goals.
The Wings are plagued with as many injuries as the Canadiens either. Detroit will be without Patrick Eaves (jaw), but Montreal will be missing captain Brian Gionta (bicep), forward Ryan White (hernia) and defenseman Andrei Markov (knee).
Puck drop is at 7:30 and the game will be broadcast on the new NBC Sports Network. Be sure to follow TCL-Red Wings on Twitter for the live updates.