The Canadiens (1-1-0) are in Calgary Wednesday night to take on the Flames (1-0-2) and start their 4-game road trip in Western Canada. The puck drops at 8:00 Eastern time and can be seen on RDS and TSN.
This is the first of two meeting between these teams, like all Western Conference teams, the Habs and Flames will meet once in each team’s building. The two clubs didn’t meet during the lockout shortened season last year, their last match was March 6, 2012, when the Flames beat the Habs 5-4 in Calgary.
What to Watch:
If they keep playing the way they did in the first two games of the season, it will be hard to miss the (insert nickname here) line of Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. The three have a combined 12 points in two games and are responsible for 5 of Montreal’s 7 goals this season.
David Jones is off to a hot start in his first season with the Flames. The former Avalanche has points in each of his first 3 games, tallying 2 goals and 2 assists so far to go along with a +3 rating. But Jones isn’t the only Flame off to a quick start, Jiri Hudler, Mark Giordano, Lee Stempniak and Sean Monahan all have points in each of Calgary’s first 3 games this year.
What’s at Stake:
The Habs will visit Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg during the next week, four talented offensive teams each averaging close to 4 goals per game so far this season. The road trip will give the Habs a chance to test out their defense in what will likely be faster paced games than they’re used to from Eastern Conference teams.
After missing Saturday’s game, Max Pacioretty is expected to make his return to the lineup Wednesday night. That still leaves George Parros (concussion) and defensemen Alexei Emelin (knee), Douglas Murray (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder) on the sidelines.
The Flames will be missing ex-Hab Mike Cammalleri (hand) as well as Matt Stajan (leg) and defenseman Chris Breen (shoulder).
Newcomer Daniel Briere is still looking for his first point as a Hab. With two games under his belt, Briere and linemate David Desharnais have yet to register a point. The return of trigger-man Max Pacioretty will be a welcome boost to what was expected to be the Habs’ top line. Pacioretty missed Saturday’s game against the Flyers and parts of Montreal’s opener against the Leafs after he injured his wrist on a check from Colton Orr.
The Question Mark:
We want to hear from you: Can the Habs sweep their Western Canada road trip? How many games will they win out West?
Have your say by leaving a comment below or use the #MTLHockey hashtag to let us know on Twitter.
Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.