Pregame Preview: Canadiens vs Flames (Game #57)

habs canadiens vs calgary flames montreal priceMatch Up:

The Canadiens (29-21-6) play games 3 in their 4-game homestand Tuesday night when they host the Flames (21-27-7). The game starts at 7:30 and is on RDS and TSN-Habs.

This is the second and final game between these teams this season. The Flames handed the Habs their second loss of the season in early October, and one of just two losses in their first seven games of the year. Calgary jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 win. Rookie Sean Monahan opened the scoring and picked up an assist on Calgary’s second goal.

What to Watch:

The Canadiens announced Monday the acquisition of Dale Weise from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Raphael Diaz. Weise looks to fit into the Habs’ bottom six forwards, but it’s unclear who he’ll play with. The good news for Habs fans is that the 25-year old is already having a career year in terms of points scored; the bad news is that in 44 games he has 3 goals and 12 points.

Despite a mediocre record, the Flames are on a 5-game winning streak heading into Tuesday’s game. Mikael Backlund has now strung together 4 2-point games in a row, with 5 goals and 3 assists over that span. He was named the NHL’s Third Star last week. Jiri Hudler leads the Flames with 42 points on the season. The former Red Wing is having a career year, his best prior season was 2008-2009 when he totaled 57 points.

What’s at Stake:

The Habs have just 3 games remaining before taking two and a half weeks off for Sochi and they’ve slipped down to fourth place in the Atlantic division and seventh seed in the playoff race, just two points up on the Red Wings. A win will at least let the Canadiens pace with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have a game in hand and a 2-point lead in the standings over Montreal.

Who’s Out:

The Habs are missing Alex Galchenyuk (hand), Davis Drewiske (shoulder) and Ryan White (upper body). Francis Bouillon has missed the last 6 games as a healthy scratch.

The Flames are missing Karri Ramo (knee) and Curtis Glencross (lower body).

What Else:

The Montreal – Vancouver trade marks the first trade for both teams since the season began. With just over two weeks of hockey left to play before the March 5 deadline, 21 deals have already been made this season. During the strike shortened 2012-2013 campaign there were 69 trades during the season, including 17 on deadline day. Montreal’s biggest deal last year was a swap that sent Erik Cole to Dallas in exchange for Michael Ryder and a third round draft pick.

The Question Mark:

A day later, how do you feel  about the Raphael Diaz-Dale Weise swap?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment or send us a tweet by using the #MTLHockey hashtag 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.

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About Rob Elbaz

Rob Elbaz has written 150 post in this blog.

Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show Panelist and all around good guy.

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