After getting crushed from coast to coast Saturday afternoon on Hockey Day in Canada the Canadiens are in the United States #1 hockey town Detroit Michigan for the first time in over three years. At one point the Wings and Habs would play 14 times in a single season but with expansion and the separation of the two teams into different conferences meetings have become sparse. As of today both teams sit in 4th position in their respective conference.
The Red Wings have won a majority of their games on the back of their impeccable team defence as only the Devils have allowed fewer goals per game. One of the reasons goals may be tough to come by against the Wings is the fact they are the only team allowing fewer than 25 shots against per game. The Canadiens must take advantage on special teams where the Habs are the only NHL team in both top five of the power play and penalty kill, the Wings rank 17th in both categories.
In their last meeting on October 20th 2003 Steve Begin and Richard Zednik scored for the Canadiens en route to a 2-1 victory while, Mathieu Dandenault scored for the Wings. Mathieu Garon made 18 saves for what turned out to be his only win of the season while Dominik Hasek could only stop 13 Canadiens shots.
Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau imposed a curfew for the Canadiens after the loss on Saturday night and after Huet was yanked in the second period and is believed to be getting the night off in favour of David Aebischer who has won three of his last four decisions. Dominik Hasek is expected to get the start for the Wings. Hasek has won 9 of his last 11 decisions and has the leagues best goals against average was snubbed for the All Star game in Dallas later this month. Hasek said he was surprised he was not selected.
Game Notes: Radek Bonk (inner ear/ face) and Steve Begin (ribs) are still listed as day-to-day for the Canadiens while Tomas Kopecky (Broken collarbone) and Mathieu Schneider (Sprained knee) are out for the Wings.
1. In the 1965-1966 year the Canadiens and Wings played 20 times 14 in the regular season and 6 in the playoffs. The Canadiens won the season series 7-4-3 and came back from 2 games down to win four straight for their 14th Stanley Cup. Henri Richard scored the winning goal in overtime.
2. On 11 occasions this season the Wings have allowed 20 or fewer shots and have allowed more then 30 just nine times. The Canadiens on the other hand are yet to allow fewer than 20 and have surrendered more then 30 29 times.
3. Hasek had a history of destroying the Canadiens while he was with Buffalo has only won twice against the Canadiens in five opportunities since leaving the state of New York. Hasek had a record of 20-8-4 against the Habs before signing with Detroit in 2001.
4. Between David Aebischer and Cristobal Huet they have 9 career starts against Detroit, but just one win.