- The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday ahead of their tilt against the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre. It is the first of four regular season meetings between the two Atlantic Division rivals during the 2014-15 campaign.
- After watching the Canadiens’ last two games from the press box as a healthy scratch, Dale Weise returns to active duty on Tuesday night against the Red Wings. He’ll take Jiri Sekac’s spot in the lineup on a line with Lars Eller and Rene Bourque.
“I thought Weise had a mediocre start to the season. I’d like to see him play with more intensity, just like he did at the end of last season and during the playoffs. I want to give Dale a chance because I’m not the type of coach that waits for things to go bad before making changes. It’s bad for the team. I really believe in team spirit. The time was right to bring him back,” stressed head coach Michel Therrien, who will give Weise an opportunity to play in front of the Bell Centre faithful for the first time this season. “We’d like Sekac to watch the game from a different angle. That doesn’t mean he’s gone for good. These are things that happen with young players.”
- Like Weise, youngster Jarred Tinordi knows a thing or two about being shuffled in and out of the lineup. The 22-year-old rearguard was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the year, but has played every game since, stringing together one good performance after another with the help of veteran defensive partner, Mike Weaver.
“It’s awesome having him there. He’s a great guy to lean towards. I know sometimes I might make mistakes out there, but it’s nice knowing that both him and Pricey are right there backing me up. It’s good,” offered Tinordi, who has registered eight hits and seven blocked shots in four games thus far this season. “He’s been around a long time. He knows what it takes, especially being a smaller guy. For him to have the career that he’s had so far, playing a similar style as me, it’s awesome to have him to look to for advice.”
- If the Canadiens manage to best Mike Babcock’s contingent on Tuesday night, they will have gotten off to their best start since 1977-78, when they began the year with six wins and a tie through their first seven games.
In Brendan’s Gallagher’s eyes, the Habs’ early-season success can be attributed to a few key intangibles.
“I think right now we’ve got a lot of lines contributing. We’ve been able to put the puck in the net, and create momentum for the team. We’ve been playing in the offensive zone. When you can roll four lines like that, it’s tough to play against. If we’re able to do that, it creates another challenge for our opponent,” confided Gallagher, who boasts three goals and five points on the year. “We’re very comfortable with our team. I think everyone has a role, and everyone sticks to it every night. There’s good accountability in the locker room. When we do that, we have success.”
The Canadiens will certainly need to roll those same four lines against a Red Wings team that is off to a hot start, too. Like Montreal, Detroit is seeking a third straight win, and they will also be featuring forward Pavel Datsyuk in their lineup for the first time this year on Tuesday night. The two-time Stanley Cup champion sustained a separated shoulder during training camp on Sept. 22 and missed the first five games of the regular season.
“The Red Wings are a good team,” praised Therrien. “They play really well, and they have a lot of speed. Defensively, they’re really sharp. It’s going to be a hell of a challenge for our young team.”
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. He boasts a 4-3-1 record, a 2.85 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in eight career outings against Detroit. The Red Wings will counter with Jimmy Howard, who gets the call after a groin injury forced him on to the 48-hour goaltender injured reserve list over the weekend.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.