Thursday, February 17, 2011

Habs vs Oilers

There are two good reasons that Nikolai Khabibulin could find himself back into the crease tonight vs the Habs.

Reason 1) Two nights ago, Khabibulin shattered his woeful 14 game winless skid to help his club win against the Dallas Stars.

Reason 2) Arizona Lawyer, Eleanor Miller may have found a way to overturn Khabibulin's 3 convictions and order a re-trail.  Khabibulin was "not directly asked in court whether he waived his right to a jury trial, something that is required under Arizona’s Rules of Criminal Procedure."  More details to follow in the coming days.


With two monstrous, monkey's off of his back, Khabibulin, will now have the opportunity to concentrate on being a back-stopper as the season winds down.  And why not play the veteran?  This is now a chance for the Russian net-minder to prove his worth all over again, and try to at least pull his team out of the dank basement; and perhaps try to string a winning streak before the end of the month.

"The biggest challenge for us now is trying to throw some consistency together and tonight's going to be the first step in that direction," said the Oilers Captain. "We need to be a team that's better at home, harder to play against at home. I think we're really starting to figure out the type of game we need to play to be successful.

The Canadiens (31-20-7) are nothing to snuff about though they have a lot on their plate.  Immediately after tonight's game, the club will head to Calgary for the franchises' second out-door game.  While the jitters and excitement may be be swirling around the Habs, Tom Renney advised his team to equal the Habs' at the very start. 

"This team always starts well -- it doesn't matter where they are, at home or on the road,so we have to make sure that we take our start to them and don't allow them to feel real good about what it is they're up to," Renney explained. "With that being said, we have to make sure that we manage our shifts well, push the pace, try to play as much hockey as we can in their own end so that, again, they can't feel good about their game."

It is speculated that, Renney will use the same line combinations as he did for the Dallas game.

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Gagner - Paajarvi
Jacques - Reddox - Jones

Oilers vs Habs on CBC 6:08 start!  

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