Hit the Reset button … and pray that it works.
The Canadiens’ killer schedule – six of seven on the road, including the tough California swing – did not begin well in New Jersey.
They are still clinging to a Wildcard spot. But a loss Tuesday night in Detroit, combined with a Carolina win on home ice against L.A. and either a Pittsburgh win or Overtime loss in Columbus, would knock the Canadiens out of the Top 8 spot they’ve occupied for pretty much the whole NHL season.
And after that 40-minute no-show in Newark, are there any optimists out there?
The Canadiens have shown resilience this season. But there are problems that have to be solved … and fast.
• The power play has been a mess since the season began.
• Shea Weber has not been good. And the Captain’s struggles have exposed the weaknesses of Victor Mete, Weber’s fast but undersized partner.
• The Finns are fading: Jesperi Kotkaniemi struggles in road games, and Arturri Lehkonen struggles everywhere.
• The fourth line can’t score.
Will these issues be rectified in Detroit?
The Canadiens have beaten the Wings in two previous games this season: 7-3 at the Bell Centre, 3-2 in Detroit.
Carey Price starts again. New D-man Christian Folin draws in for Mike Reilly.
Puck drops 7:40ish.
Check back later for live game blogging.
• This is why I love sports: L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers calls Timeout and takes over the PA mic to urge an ovation for Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki.