Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 2/13/12

Carolina Hurricanes (20-25-11) at Montreal Canadiens (23-24-9)
Bell Centre, 7:30 p.m.
TV: FS-Carolinas, TSN-Habs

Tonight's game should be a very emotional night for Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller as he returns to Montreal for the first time as the Carolina bench boss. Muller was well-traveled over his NHL career but he is best known for his time with the Montreal Canadiens as he led the team to a Stanley Cup in 1993 and served as team captain for the 1994-95 season. He may have spent only four seasons in Montreal but his service as a player and captain there are not forgotten. There is no doubt that he was loved in Montreal and that he loved Montreal, as well so this is going to be a very special game for him and the Canadiens fanbase.

That aside, let's not forget that the Canes are coming off back-to-back overtime losses, both of which were heart-breaking. I am sure that Muller hasn't forgotten about those and will look to get the Canes back in the win column tonight. Let's hope the Canes do Muller a solid tonight and help him make this night even more memorable.

Lines & more after the jump

Hurricanes

Tlusty - Staal - Ruutu
Samson - Jokinen - Skinner
Nodl - Sutter - Dwyer
Stewart - Brent - LaRose

Allen - Gleason
Harrison - Faulk
Spacek - McBain

Ward

Canadiens

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Cole
Bourque - Gomez - Kostitsyn
Darche - Plekanec - Leblanc
Palushaj - Eller - White

Gorges - Subban
Gill - Campoli
Kaberle - Emelin
Diaz

Price

Getting to know the Habs

Earlier in the season, I said that the Habs were a good team that was destroyed by injuries and bad luck. Right now, they are starting to play more like the team we expected to see out of this year even if they are still banged up a bit. Most of the focus on the Habs for the last week has been on Scott Gomez scoring his first goal in what seems like forever but what is getting overlooked is that some of their younger players are contributing nicely. Max Pacioretty is having quite a season, Hamilton call-up Louis Leblanc is getting some time with Tomas Plekanec and taking advantage of it by showing off some of his scoring touch. Lars Eller is also having a good season even if he is being plugged on the fourth line. The most consistent player for the Habs, however, is former Hurricane Erik Cole who is second on the team in both goals and points, trailing only Pacioretty in both categories. He is driving possession at a much superior rate than he did last season and the pucks are finally starting to go in for him, as well so he could be on his way to another 30-goal season. I wasn't a huge fan of Cole but I am glad to see him playing well this year.

Game Notes

  • Also returning to Montreal tonight is Jaroslav Spacek and I'm not sure how the reception for him will be after he said that he "didn't miss being there" and that the media was "a circus" in the city. Although, he wasn't exactly off-base with those comments but it likely wont win him over too many fans. Either way, I am hoping he scores tonight just for the hell of it.

  • Jerome Samson is getting his second call-up of the year in place of Drayson Bowman, who had a very poor showing in Colorado and was sent down two days later. While Bowman wasn't scoring, I think the main reason for replacing him with Samson is because of how well he played in his previous call-up, which was cut short by injuries if you remember correctly, and the coaching staff wants to give him another look now that he's fully healthy. I look forward to seeing if he can pick up where he left off in January.

  • Skinner's line is coming off a rough game in Colorado so here's to hoping they rebound because the team really needs them to get going right now.

  • I'm not sure who Nodl-Sutter-Dwyer and Gleason-Allen will be matched up with tonight because Montreal spreads out their "big guns" throughout the lineup but it seems logical to put them against their top-scorers, which would be Cole and Pacioretty.

  • Tonight will be Ward's 13th consecutive start and I think it's been over a month since back-up Justin Peters last played. Get well soon, Mr. Boucher.

Enjoy the game and let's go Canes.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker