Habs This Week - Feb. 14, 2011
Canadiens vs. Sabres – Tuesday, February 15 @ 7:30pm
The Habs kick off their week with a Tuesday night matchup that sees them square off against the Sabres on Bell Centre ice. Montreal will be looking to keep its momentum going after coming off a Saturday night shutout over the Maple Leafs that carried them back to within a point of the division-leading Boston Bruins.
After a suffering a tough overtime loss in the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 18 that also saw sniper Michael Cammalleri leave the game with a separated shoulder, the Habs will be gunning for a little revenge over Buffalo in the form of a win Tuesday night.
Montreal’s defense will have its focus set on the Sabres’ Drew Stafford whose offensive production has exploded as of late, the Buffalo winger scoring two hat-tricks in his last three games and eight goals total in his last four. On the Habs’ end, Max Pacioretty has had the hot hand in the month of February and will try to extend his point streak to four games against the Sabres.
Canadiens @ Oilers – Thursday, February 17 @ 9:00pm
The Canadiens will start their western swing with a visit to Edmonton to take on the Oilers for the second time in 2010-11. While the young Oiler team and their 16 wins on the season may rank them dead last in the NHL, the Canadiens surely haven’t forgotten that one of those wins came at their expense.
While the Oilers have registered only one victory in their past seven games in the month of February, count on the Habs to be prepared for a battle after watching Edmonton storm back to erase a two goal deficit and go on to win in overtime the last time the teams met on Dec. 1 at the Bell Centre. A win from the Canadiens Thursday night would spilt their season series with the Western Conference team at one game apiece.
Canadiens @ Flames – Sunday, February 20 @ 6:00pm
The Habs round their week out in style, paying a visit to Calgary’s McMahon Stadium to take on the Flames in the Heritage Classic. If the teams’ last meeting was any indication of what’s in store for fans at the much-anticipated event, this latest Canadiens-Flames matchup should be one to remember.
Their last encounter, a Jan. 17 game at the Bell Centre, was an emotional game to say the least. The Habs jumped out to 4-0 lead by the mid-way point of the match, only to go on to give up four straight goals, allowing the Flames to pull even before P.K. Subban’s goal sealed the deal for Montreal in overtime.
While the Flames may have the hometown crowd on their side, the Canadiens staff will have the edge in helping their players deal with the freezing temperatures, having already had a taste of professional outdoor hockey in the original Heritage Classic held in Edmonton in 2003.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
Road to recovery
Habby Birthday Tommy!