The Montreal Canadiens (25-30-4) look to end the curse in San Jose as they face the Sharks (18-30-12) on Tuesday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.
Although the California trips are usually a difficult time for the Canadiens historically, they’ll have some reinforcements coming along to help them break the trend.
Denis Gurianov, freshly acquired from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Evgenii Dadonov, will be suiting up for his first game with the Canadiens.
He was seen at practice on the top line with Mike Hoffman and Nick Suzuki, with head coach Martin St-Louis openly expressing his desire to give his new 25-year-old forward room to express himself on the ice offensively.
For Guhle, it’s important that he get as many games of experience during this season as possible.
Prior to his untimely injury in late December against the Florida Panthers, Guhle looked to be coming into his own as a staple on the Canadiens’ top pairing.
With 22 games left this season, it will be imperative for Guhle’s development to have him play important minutes down the stretch as the Canadiens keep an eye on the future.
Kaiden Guhle reviendra au jeu ce soir à San Jose.
Kaiden Guhle will return to play tonight in San Jose.#GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 28, 2023
Speaking of the future, Edmundson’s potential return impacts the immediate future, as his return to health would be a significant bit of good news for general manager Kent Hughes.
Unfortunately, he won’t be returning to play tonight.
Edmundson remains an interesting commodity on the NHL trade market and getting into a few games to show that his injury is behind him would go a long way in convincing rival general managers to pay the Canadiens’ price to acquire him.
With all these bodies jumping into the lineup, the Canadiens proceeded to a mass lineup shuffle.
After Samuel Montembeault got last Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, it’s expected that Jake Allen will get the start against the Sharks.
The veteran goaltender put up some impressive numbers for the Canadiens in February, sporting a 0.934 save percentage through four games and securing three wins.
The Rebuild Begins
It’s part of a process that will take some time in San Jose, as they look to pivot their direction and sell off some of their older assets for youth and picks.
Losing Meier is a huge blow for their roster, as he was having a stellar season, but that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly.
The Sharks have played spoiler quite a few times this season, still possessing a very strong centre line with Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl pivoting the top two lines.
On defence, likely Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson, is having a season to remember. The veteran defenceman has been on fire so far this year, potting 19 goals and 58 assists for 77 points in just 60 games.
If he maintains his current pace, Karlsson may be the first defenceman since Brian Leetch in the 1991-1992 to reach 100 points in a single season.
Kappo Kahkonen is expected to be starting in goal for the Sharks. The 26-year-old has registered a 0.885 save percentage and a 3.57 goals-against average so far this season.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game:
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Chris Wideman (Week-To-Week)
- Joel Armia (Day-To-Day)
- Kirby Dach (Out Indefinitely)
- Brendan Gallagher (Injured Reserve)
- Jake Evans (Injured Reserve)
- Arber Xhekaj (Injured Reserve)
- Juraj Slafkovsky (Injured Reserve)
- Cole Caufield (Injured Reserve)
- Sean Monahan (LTIR)
- Carey Price (LTIR)
- Paul Byron (LTIR)
San Jose Sharks Injuries
- Markus Nutivaara (Injured Reserve)
- Lune Kunin (Injured Reserve)
- Jonah Gadjovich (Injured)
Montreal Canadiens Previous Lineup
|Juraj Slafkovsky||Alex Newhook||Josh Anderson
|Joshua Roy||Owen Beck||Jesse Ylonen|
|Xavier Simoneau||Lucas Condotta||Nathan Legare|
|Micheal Pezzetta||Mitchell Stephens||Sean Farrell|
|Kaiden Guhle||David Reinbacher|
|Arber Xhekaj||Justin Barron|
|Jordan Harris||Logan Mailloux|
San Jose Sharks Projected Lineup
|Team||PP %||PK %|
|Montreal Canadiens||16.3% (28th)||72.1% (29th)|
|Boston Bruins||22.7% (11th)||87.1% (1st)|