While it’s not just Canadian teams in action today to focus on (there’s a ton of interest-worthy games today), we do enjoy this annual event. This year we have Calgary and Edmonton facing off at Noon, followed by Montreal taking on Boston and Toronto versus Ottawa, and the late game has the Canucks and Oilers squaring off.
The Flames/Jets game should be a barnburner, with two Western teams that have played above expectations this year do battle. The Flames are riding a 7 game winning streak, while the Jets have lost 2 straight, but still won 6 of their last 10.
Toronto and Ottawa features a Leafs team desperate to get a win and get back on track, and an Ottawa team that’s looking completely lost, almost shockingly so after that run to the Conference Finals last spring.
Montreal gets another crack at the Bruins after losing in Claude Julien’s first game back in Boston the other night. They’re 9 points out of a wild card spot right now, and it’s looking pretty unlikely that they can make up that much ground over the next 2 1⁄2 months.
After their layoff the Canucks return to action in Edmonton, taking on an Oilers team that is after all of the proclamations last year, still a bloody horrible hockey team. It makes one’s stomach churn to think that a team so horribly mismanaged, so dysfunctional that they make the Canucks look merely unlucky to be in their current situation, might end up with another lottery win. And with the news that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be out 6-8 weeks with broken ribs, they’re going to be even worse down the stretch. On the bright side, at least this keeps another team from fleecing them in a trade for RNH, right?
The Canucks won’t have Bo Horvat back in the lineup just yet, but considering they went 2-11-2 in his absence, it should give them a boost to have him back.
Tonight’s Habs/Bruins match will have a somber tone to it with the passing of legendary Montreal Gazette hockey writer Red Fisher yesterday. Fisher was probably the greatest hockey journalist not just of his generation, but ever, and was an inspiration to many. One of the great stories about him was that his first night covering the Canadiens was the infamous Richard Riot in 1955. How’s that for getting thrown into the fire?
Every year we ask you to say what hockey means to you as Canadians, but this year the question is this: What is the greatest moment in Canadian hockey in your opinion? Not as easy an answer as you might think. Let us know, and enjoy the day.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN- It is quite simply, the best hockey music video ever made : DOA’s cover of the BTO classic “Takin’ Care of Business”.