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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 81: Top Prospect Hutson To Make NHL Debut

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Montreal Canadiens lane hutson

The Montreal Canadiens (30-36-14) are set to face the Detroit Red Wings (39-32-9) in the penultimate game of the regular season. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

The Habs are coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators in which sniper Cole Caufield scored twice, pushing his goal-scoring tally to 27 goals this season.

Fans are well aware Caufield has suffered through some of the worst shooting luck in the NHL, however, given that he still has an outside chance to score 30 goals, we can also admit his season hasn’t gone as poorly as it may appear.

It should also be noted that the loss improved the team’s Draft Lottery odds.

The main storyline on Monday will be the NHL debut of top prospect Lane Hutson. The former Boston University defenceman signed his entry-level contract last week, which means the team is burning a year off his deal as a reward for joining the organization early.

Hutson, 20, projects as one of the most talented prospects in franchise history. His creativity, offensive prowess, and anticipation make him the perfect addition to a Canadiens lineup that desperately needs an injection of talent.

On that note, we should not expect Hutson to play a starring role in the first game of his NHL career. Hutson logged heavy minutes in the NCAA and has had a rather busy season, including winning a gold medal with Team USA at the 2024 World Junior Championship.

MUST READ: What To Expect From Top Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutson

Hutson practiced alongside veteran David Savard at practice on Monday, a combination that makes sense given that Hutson lacks professional experience and Savard is the team’s defacto mentor. Savard is a great communicator, which should help the newest member of the organization find his ryhthm both on and off the ice.

In other roster news, Samuel Montembeault will be given the start, while defenceman Jayden Struble will make his way to the press box.

As for the Red Wings, the expectation is that they’ll offer up one of their best efforts of the season against the Canadiens. Detroit is desperate to qualify for a playoff spot, but they only have two games remaining on the docket.

They will probably need to win their final two games to give themselves a relatively healthy chance of leapfrogging the Washington Capitals for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Lucas Raymond is the team’s hottest scorer, as evidenced by his eight points in the last five games. Dylan Larkin has been doing the bulk of the goal-scoring during that stretch, as he has found the back of the net on four occasions. Former Senators forward Alex DeBrincat rounds out the players the Canadiens will have to pay close attention to, as the sniper has scored 26 goals this season.

For the view from the other side of the rink, we invite you to visit our sister site, Detroit Hockey Now.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Arber Xhekaj (out indefinitely)
  • Joshua Roy (4-6 weeks)

Detroit Red Wings Injuries

  • Michael Rasmussen (out)
  • Ville Husso (out)
  • Andrew Copp (day-to-day)

 

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

LWCRW
Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Brendan GallagherAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaChristian DvorakRafael Harvey-Pinard
LDRD
Mike MathesonJustin Barron
Lane HutsonDavid Savard
Jordan HarrisLogan Mailloux
Goalie
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau

 

Detroit Red Wings Projected Lineup

DeBrincat – Larkin – Raymond

Perron – Compher – Kane

Fabbri – Veleno – Fischer

Aston-Reese – Czarnik – Sprong

Defence

Chiarot – Seider

Edvinsson – Petry

Maatta – Gostisbehere

Goalie

Lyon

 

How to Watch

TV

Sportsnet, RDS