At 6 p.m. the Habs will take on the Devils in a (sorta) Matinee at the Bell Centre. The Devils have absolutely owned the Habs in recent history in Montreal winning 11 of the last 15 contests, and have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL over their last 10 games, amassing 16 of 20 points. That has been good enough to earn them 6th place in the division, the highly sought after playoff spot that would allow them to face Florida who occupy the 3rd spot only by virtue of leading their division with 65 points. The Devils have been led by Ilya Kovalchuk whose 27 points in his last 18 games is simply remarkable. The guy plays on the penalty kill, and both powerplay units, while collecting just under 25 minutes per night (as a forward!).
Montreal starts the day in 13th place in the East, though sharing 58 points with the 12th place Islanders, and the 11th place Lightning. Montreal occupies the 5th overall pick in the 2012 draft should the season end today – and that is fine with me. The chance to land a talented forward at the draft is frankly my largest hope for this season, so I wouldn’t be disappointed for the Canadiens to lose a tightly fought match in regulation. There is a part of me that hates to loose no matter what, but the Habs really should be seeing the remainder of this season as a chance to build for next year, assessing the young players on the team and in the system, while maximizing the return on pending free agents.
Go Habs Go??!!