Last man standing wins, as the battered and broken Habs bus down to Ottawa to take on a Sens team who just got beaten up in Philly. Bodies start hitting the floor at 7:30, live from Scotiabank Place, somewhere deep in the DMZ around Kanata. You can watch the carnage live on RDS, or Sportsnet East if you can stand it.
Who's in triage? Look, all anyone is talking about since the Habs got Buffaloed is the wounded, so let's get it out of the way: Max Pac got his chest Wizzed on but thinks he can go tonight so he'll be a game time decision. Cammy is out up to a month with a messed-up shoulder. Halpern didn't make the short trip because he got his bell rung versus Lindy's thugs on parade. Chicken is a game-time decision, still suffering from flu-like symptoms. Hal Gill's hand/wrist seem okay. PK's foot got banged up but he's in. Markov and Gorges are still done. Sens are also MASHed up, missing Jason "I always score a great looking goal against Montreal" Spezza, Pascal "No Quebecois goalie to bite the Habs ass tonight" Leclaire, and L'Artiste himself, Alexei Kovalev (broken mojo/bum knee).
New recruits: Already sporting greenhorns Yanick Weber and David Desharnais, plus Max Pac and PK, the Habs get two more call ups from the Bulldogs as Andreas Enqvist and Ryan White make the trip to Ottawa. Chocula already loves the boring, safe, defensively responsible and offensively challenged Enqvist like a son. White hits too much and offers too much energy to really be accepted by Chocula, although his glaring offensive weaknesses at least earn him "foster child" status.
Hot Lips Houlihan has nothing on these guys: Carey Price has started treating pucks like North Korea treats journalists again, allowing very few past his borders. He's 4-1-1 after the rough stretch in December. PK scored the game winner versus Calgary and played roughly three hours versus Buffalo; he and the Wiz (10 points in 9 games) carry the defence. Big Tits has looked like a player you'd want over the past two. Pleks has turned it around some (4 points in 5). Special mention to Panger-sized David Desharnais, who is making some noise in an attempt to stick with the big club. For Ottawa, Milan Michalek and the Foligno kid have 5 points in their last five.
Colder than Hawkeye and BJ's martinis: Seriously, when was the last time Gionta scored? And not to go back to early season lamentations, but don't look at Gomez's stat line over the past week (1 point in 5 games and a costly penalty in Buffalo). With Cammy suddenly not able to stay healthy, Bob Gainey's smurf spending spree of a few years back is again a concern. Alex Auld looked shell-shocked versus Calgary. The Sens are brutal right now and not even Saint Alfredsson can save them: he has one point in his last 4. The Ottawa defence is particularly culpable - Sergei Gonchar might be the worst free agent signing of the year, youngster Eric Karlsson has 2 points in 7, and Chris Phillips hasn't tallied a point in 27 games. Christ, you can almost get second assists by accident and a guy playing top four minutes hasn't scored a point in half a season?
Suicide is painless: We miss FiveforSmiting and wish SLC hadn't pulled the plug.
In war, all the humour is dark: Some sick bastard in NHL scheduling just had to put the Habs back-to-back versus the Yin and Yang of the early 2000's Habs, didn't he? Kovy and Koivu (sniff) on consecutive nights makes for an interesting comparison.
Post-game entertainment: It's Not-So-Sexy Friday night in Kanata. You might have more fun in a war-torn 1950's Korea, especially if the nurses looked like this: