Who Will Want It More?, Flyers at Habs Tonight
Once the official drops that vulcanized piece of rubber at center ice, we're looking at quite the battle for two points.
Sitting at first in the Eastern Conference, the Flyers could extend their six-game winning streak to seven, thus going ahead of the Boston Bruins (tied) by two points in the standings. But then on the other end, you have the Montreal Canadiens who are currently wrestling for playoff contention with the New Jersey Devils (33-pts) at the bottom eighth and ninth seeds of our Conference.
The Habs are coming off of a two-game winning streak, and are 4 - 2 - 4 in their last ten tilts. Middle of the road performance, but they're still a desperate squad. And desperate teams make for dangerous opponents. Especially when we're taking them on their home ice.
Many can validly argue that the Bell Center in Quebec, ON houses the most intimidating hometown crowd in the NHL. Though hockey is not spread thin in the City of Brotherly Love, it is not nearly the religion it carries through the hearts of its populates like in Hab Country. And judging from last time the two teams met, the Canadiens fell 3 - 1 to our Bullies, the atmosphere could play a third-person factor against Philadelphia.
Since acquiring Tomas Kaberle from the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal's gone 2 - 0. And in the Holiday month of December, the Habs haven't lost one contest in regulation time.
Players like Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole lead their team in double-digit goals-scored, both tied at 11. Montreal averages 2.52 lit lamps a game to Philadelphia's league leading 3.66. If you consider these peripherals, the Canadiens have more to lose than Philly has to gain.
This warning wasn't written for the purpose to intimidate our fans or make them worry. The facts are simply stated so that we all go into tonight's game respecting what could be, and not underestimate a relatively struggling Eastern Conference neighbor.
There's no need to remind anyone that Claude Giroux is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion, but we saw what our defense and firepower is capable of in his absence against the Washington Capitals. It was destruction brought down on our Nation's Capital by the fist painted orange, black and white.
In other words, it was epic watching the league marketed and toted Ovechkin flounder beneath the handicapped boot of Philadelphia's Broad Street Massacre. What's to stop us from performing the same way against an even lesser Montreal Canadiens?
Tonight will tell.