The Detroit Red Wings face a familiar foe in the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7 PM EDT start on Bally Sports Detroit Plus/TSN2/RDS/97.1 FM), and none other than NHL.com’s Dave Stubbs leads off today’s set of morning skate Tweets and articles:
#GoHabsGo meet #LGRW tonight for 599th time in their regular-season history, Canadiens leading 291-207-96-4. Here, fierce rivals and dear friends Jean Béliveau and Gordie Howe and top 20 in scoring vs each other all time. No new names will join these lists tonight… pic.twitter.com/eRw6awwnzu— Dave Stubbs 🇨🇦 (@Dave_Stubbs) November 2, 2021
The Red Wings said, “Happy Tuesday!” by wishing one of their own a happy birthday…
And the Canadiens “took an optional” this morning, so there wasn’t that much to report, in English or in French, save a recall from the AHL:
Jeff Petry just one of a handful of players taking Montreal’s optional skate this morning. No sign of Brendan Gallagher.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 2, 2021
Entraînement optionnel pour le CH. Sont présents :
Montembeault— Jonathan Bernier (@JBernierJDM) November 2, 2021
A rematch: This will be the second game this season between the Canadiens and Red Wings. The Canadiens beat Detroit 6-1 on Oct. 23 at the Bell Centre with Mathieu Perreault scoring three goals. Perreault won’t be in the lineup this time, missing his second straight game with an eye injury that is expected to sideline him for 2-3 weeks. The Canadiens could also be without Brendan Gallagher, who missed Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim, and defenceman Jeff Petry because of injuries. Head coach Dominique Ducharme said after Monday’s practice that Gallagher and Petry would both be game-day decisions. The Canadiens will definitely be missing Cédric Paquette, who was suspended for two games by the NHL on Monday for a hit on the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras.
Another start for Allen: Jake Allen will be in goal for the ninth time in 11 games for the Canadiens. Allen has a 2-6-0 record with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. Backup Samuel Montembeault, who was in goal for the Canadiens’ 4-2 loss to the Ducks on Sunday, has an 0-2-0 record with a 4.06 GAA and a .869 save percentage. Allen stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced when the Canadiens beat the Red Wings in their first matchup this season.
NHL debut for Pezzetta: Left-winger Michael Pezzetta is expected to make his NHL debut with the Canadiens after getting called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Monday. Pezzetta had 3-3-6 totals in eight games with the Rocket, along with 16 penalty minutes and a team-best plus-7. Pezzetta was called up after the Canadiens sent right-winger Cole Caufield down to Laval. Caufield had 0-1-1 totals in 10 games with the Canadiens.
The Canadiens’ website…
Dominique Ducharme’s contingent collected just two out of a possible eight points on their trek to Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim after losing three of four games, including the final two in Southern California.
The steady offensive contributions of winger Mike Hoffman are among the few bright spots for Montreal of late. With a power-play tally in Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Honda Center, the newcomer has four goals in the last five games.
Special teams continue to be cause for concern, unfortunately. The Canadiens rank 29th on the power play (11.1%) with just four goals on 36 chances, while the penalty kill stands 30th (65%) after surrendering a League-leading 14 goals through 10 games.
For his part, winger Michael Pezzetta could make his NHL debut.
When the Red Wings first traveled to the Bell Centre to face the Canadiens on October 23, Detroit committed four penalties and surrendered six unanswered goals in a 6-1 loss, so despite Montreal’s 2-8-0 start, Wings coach Jeff Blashill said his club won’t take the Canadiens lightly.
“The last time we played them, they kicked our butts in here. That’s what sticks in our mind,” Blashill said on Monday. “Our guys aren’t watching their record. What (our guys) have fresh in their mind is the fact that we got our butts kicked last time. We better come ready to play with a great sense of urgency.”
Blashill said the toughest thing about playing in the Bell Centre is the momentum the Canadiens glean from their fans, so he said the Red Wings have to limit momentum by not giving up multiple chances in the defensive zone.
“In this building, they can be 8-0 or 0-8, it doesn’t matter. In this building, momentum matters,” Blashill said. “So you better do a good job of not giving up easy chances. Because every time you give a chance, momentum builds in this building. You better make sure that when you do give up a chance, it’s not a second and a third and a fourth right away. You have to find ways to quell that momentum. The best way to do that is to play in their end as much as possible and make them defend.”
After the Habs’ morning skate, per coach Dominic Ducharme…
Gallagher feeling better this morning. Game time decision. Petry probable vs. Det— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 2, 2021
Habs expect Carey Price back after 30 days in players assistance program. 30 days would be Friday, but Ducharme doesn’t have exact return date yet.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 2, 2021
Ducharme indique que Gallagher prendra part à l’échauffement. Une décision sera prise par la suite.
Pour Petry, une décision devrait être prise dans les prochaines heures.— Jonathan Bernier (@JBernierJDM) November 2, 2021
#Habs Ducharme says Gallagher will take part in tonight’s pregame warmup and then will be a gametime decision. Petry did today’s optional morning skate and is probable vs #RedWings. @TSN_Edge— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) November 2, 2021
The “new guys” will play tonight, too:
Pezzetta et Belzile joueront ce soir.— Jonathan Bernier (@JBernierJDM) November 2, 2021
Ken Kal also said, “Hello” from the Red Wings’ side…
And the Wings took to the ice at the Bell Centre around 11:05 AM: