Montreal Canadiens vs Carolina Hurricanes: Hockey 360 Pre-Match and Game Preview

2023-12-27 21:21:00

The match between the Canadiens and the Hurricanes is presented on all our platforms, Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m., with the Hockey 360 pre-match

After a brief return to Montreal to celebrate the holiday season, the Canadiens headed back to Raleigh to hold a practice before the clash against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday evening.

Montreal (15-13-5) remained in the race in the Eastern Conference by winning three of its last four games (3-0-1). At this time, the Habs find themselves four points from a playoff spot in an extremely tight standings.

The results of the coming weeks will dictate the team’s approach as the March 8 trade deadline approaches. If expectations remain moderate, recent performances do not rule out a push in hopes of participating in the playoffs.

“Our goal is to play meaningful matches until the end of the year,” explained Martin St-Louis after his team’s training. “It’s about controlling the things we can control. We are evolving as a team. You shouldn’t fall in love because you win. You have to focus on the task, on the process. We are disciplined in this. This discipline brings us consistency. »

The next four matches will represent a major challenge for the St. Louis men. After the visit to Carolina, the Habs will travel to Sunrise, Tampa and Dallas to conclude their trip.

“We are in a place, as a team, where it is a good thing to have these challenges, to go and play against these teams on the road,” explained the head coach. I can’t wait to see how we perform, but I like the energy. We finished strong before the break. I like our work, I like our commitment. Today, we find ourselves together, there is a lot of enthusiasm. It’s about coming back to work and going out and executing like we know we can play. »

However, the task will be difficult. Considering that the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Lightning and Rangers will likely make the playoffs, there are still three spots available for other teams in the Association.

The Islanders (16-8-9), Flyers (18-11-4), Capitals (18-11-4), Hurricanes (17-3-4), Devils (17-13-2), and the Red Wings (16-14-4) are all ahead of Montreal in the general standings. The Penguins (15-13-4) find themselves one point behind Montreal, while the Sabers (14-17-4), the Senators (12-17-0) and the Blue Jackets (11-18-6) will be strong to do to invite yourself to a dance where there are already many guests.

“There’s a lot of hockey to be played. This is not the time to pat ourselves on the back,” Brendan Gallagher put things into perspective. “If we continue to build what we are building, we will be in a position to play games that matter at the end of the season. »

For the clash against the Hurricanes, Cayden Primeau will be given the mandate to defend the net. The goalie won his last two starts against the Sabers (December 9) and the Blackhawks (December 22). This season, he has a 4-3 record with a 3.20 goals-against average and a .902 efficiency rating.

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During the training session, defenseman Jordan Harris found himself paired with Jayden Struble on the 3rd pair of defensemen. Absent since November 18, the defender could find his place in the lineup for the benefit of Johnathan Kovacevic.

“It’s a possibility… We’re going to have, we have 24 hours,” Martin St-Louis simply said about Harris’ availability.

For their part, the Hurricanes are having a season slightly below expectations after losing four of their last five outings. With the absence of Frederik Andersen, Carolina must rely on Piotr Kotchetkov and Antti Raanta, who was recently recalled from the AHL, to hold down the fort in net.

“It’s one of the toughest places to win,” Gallagher said of the Hurricanes’ home ground. “Especially after the break, we will have to be ready to start the match quickly. Normally, playing two matches in 24 hours is a disadvantage, but tomorrow it might be a good thing. They will be cooler than us. We’ll have to quickly get rid of our holiday legs. »

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