MONTREAL – While some of us plan on darting out of the office Fred Flinstone-style when the clock chimes five, the Canadiens will be putting their noses to the grindstone, preparing for their fifth Friday night tilt of the season.
The last day of the workweek may represent a two-day break for the average employee, but so far for the Habs this year, Friday evenings have been far from a night off – and that seems to suit them just fine. In all four Friday night outings this year, Guy Carbonneau’s crew has answered the bell, including the 2-1 shootout victory that spoiled the Sabres’ home opening party at the HSBC Arena in October.
Having welcomed Montreal to Buffalo for Friday night match-ups with open arms since 1984, the Sabres have turned their usual date night with the Canadiens into a time-honored tradition. The Canadiens, on the other hand, haven’t hosted a regular season affair on a Friday night since Indiana Jones and his Lost Ark first made their silver screen debut.
On Friday April 3, 1981 at the Montreal Forum, the Habs welcomed the Hartford Whalers to town, sending their guests back to Connecticut with a 6-1 loss. Since then, the Canadiens have not hosted a single regular season game on a Friday night, having played all 145 of their Friday games on the road.
Since the founding of the NHL in 1917, when they have played at home on a Friday, the team has gone undefeated in regulation, posting a 9-0-4 record in that time.
That’s great news for the Canadiens, who are set to ring in the franchise’s 100th birthday on Friday December 4, 2009. And everyone knows, in Montreal, Friday is the best night for a good party. Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.comRead also:Habs Notebook: Feb. 5, 2009 My Essentials: Max Pacioretty Rookie revolution