MONTREAL – Like any guest at a housewarming party, the Canadiens will wish the Devils all the best in their new home, their match-up on Friday night notwithstanding.
The Habs are certainly not shedding a tear as the Devils leave their former home in East Rutherford behind. In 42 games at the Meadowlands Arena dating back to 1982-83, the Canadiens did, after all, only muster a 10-27-4-1 mark.
Since a wave of new buildings swept through the NHL in the 1990s, the Canadiens have christened their fair share of brand spanking new rinks and haven’t always been cooperative with their hosts. Since 1994, the Habs hold a 6-6-2 in their first cracks at a new rink, outscoring their opponents by a 42-39 margin.
In 1996 with Mario Tremblay behind the bench, the Canadiens spoiled the inaugural game at Ottawa's Corel Centre with Jocelyn Thibault blanking the Sens in a 3-0 Habs victory. Three years later, the Canadiens weren’t quite as successful the night they helped unveil the Air Canada Centre as the Leafs celebrated their new home address with a 3-2 win over the Montreal on Feb. 20, 1999.
Time will tell if the Devils will manage to bottle their success against the Canadiens and carry it over to the Prudential Center by the time the puck drops on Friday.