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The rematch no one demanded! Canadiens come home to face their last Tuesday night opponent, the Calgary Flames. Years ago I used to be amped up for games against the Flames, back when the Stanley Cup finals of '86 and '89 weren't decades ago. The Flames were as big a nemesis as any Habs opponent save for the Bruins or Nordiques. Mediocrity, missing the playoffs, and an infrequent schedule (not to mention playing in different conferences) will really kill a rivalry. Look at the Canadiens and Leafs in the 80s - no one cared. It's interesting to see these two Canadian teams play two games so close together while both teams are closer to the top half of the league than the bottom.
The Flames have run into a rash of injuries in the past week which means that the Habs will face a much different Calgary team than they did last week. A distinct Swiss flavour will be seen throughout the lineup. Swiss winger Sven Baertschi makes his season debut after a call-up from Adirondack. Deryk Engelland will sit and former Hab Raphael Diaz draws into the lineup. Finishing off the Swiss trio is Jonas Hiller in net.
The Canadiens will have a few interesting looks to their lines as Michel Therrien decides to go with the line configurations he used to finish Thursday's overtime loss to the Canucks. Dale Weise skates with Patches and DD on the top line. Lars Eller moves to the wing and gains a promotion to the second line alongside Pleks and P.A. and Galchenyuk moves to centre and re-teams with Gallagher as Bourque skates on their left side. The fourth line remains intact. One more change will see Nathan Beaulieu move into Jarred Tinordi's slot on the bottom defensive pairing.
What do you think? Who do you see as the Habs' chief rival after the Bruins and Leafs? How long before Bournival comes back into the lineup?
In Canada (English): City TV
In the Habs Region (French): RDS
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Lars Eller||Tomas Plekanec||PA Parenteau|
|Rene Bourque||Alex Galchenyuk||Brendan Gallagher
|Brandon Prust||Manny Malhotra||Travis Moen|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Mike Weaver|
Scratches: Jiri Sekac, Michael Bournival, Jarred Tinordi
As for the Calgary Flames, here's how they're shaping up
|Curtis Glencross||Sean Monahan||David Jones|
|Johnny Gaudreau||Markus Granlund||Jiri Hudler|
|Sven Baertschi||Paul Byron||Devin Setoguchi|
|Brandon Bollig||Lance Bouma||Josh Joris|
|Mark Giordano||TJ Brodie|
|Kris Russell||Dennis Wideman|
|Ladislav Smid||Raphael Diaz|
Injured: Mason Raymond (shoulder), Sam Bennett (shoulder surgery), Matt Stajan (knee), Joe Colborne (upper body), Mikael Backlund (abdominal strain), Michael Ferland (head)
Scratches: Brian McGrattan, Deryk Engelland
Check out the opposing side at Matchsticks and Gasoline