Tonight is a big night for Canadiens and Canadian hockey fans. The Canadiens are out in New Jersey to take on the Devils in their first game after seriously acknowledging and apparently working on their problems. The Canadiens held meetings, watched video and cleared the air and will now try to get back to the basics and play the game plan that they need to play in order to put up some wins.
You get the feeling that the Habs have hit rock bottom, acknowledged it and we’ll now see what the team is really made of. The longer the slump extends the more likely a trade will happen. A trade won’t be rushed, but the Canadiens are still in a playoff position and if the current team can’t maintain or improve on that then something will happen. The season is not wasted. Yet.
The Devils have a similar record to the Canadiens and are just a few points behind them. The Devils made news placing Alexander Mogilny on waivers and are welcoming back Patrick Elias. The Canadiens roster is still undetermined as is the status of Mike Ribeiro and Pierre Dagenais.
On a brighter note, Team Canada takes on Team Russia at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver, BC. The Canadians and Russians have a great rivalry at that tournament and are meeting for the 4th time in 5 years. The Russians are favored and the younger underdog Canadian team will have to play disciplined and stick their plan in order to come out with the Gold. It will be a good setting to watch Russian star and Penguins draft pick Evgeni Malkin and see what he can do in a pressure situation.