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Canadiens vs. Red Wings: Lines, Notes & How to Watch

Lyon will start in goal for Detroit vs. Montreal

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Red Wings

It’s fitting that this is the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Detroit Red Wings’ tradition of throwing of octopi on the ice at playoff time.

Brothers Jerry and Pete Cusimano worked at the family fish market at Detroit’s Eastern Market. They came up with the thought that the eight tentacles of an octopus could represent the eight wins a team needed to win the Stanley Cup in that era.Β  On April 15, 1952, after Detroit downed the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 to complete a four-game sweep in the Stanley Cup Final, the Cusimano brothers hurled an octopus onto the ice at Olympia Stadium. The Red Wings went 8-0 in that postseason. The Octopus tradition was born.

Over time, the tradition evolved to the point that fans were pitching multiple octopi over the glass after every Detroit goal in the playoffs. Because it was a safety issue and a significant disruption in the game, the NHL finally dictated the tradition had to be curtailed, although the Red Wings do tolerate the throwing of one octopus per game at playoff time.

The anniversary is relevant because the Red Wings play the Montreal Canadiens today at Little Caesars Arena in a game that feels like a playoff game. Detroit’s team has been in playoff mode for a few weeks. We’ve seen octopi thrown.

Postseason Drought

To qualify for the postseason for the first time in eight years, the Red Wings probably need to beat the Habs tonight in Detroit and Tuesday in Montreal. Even then, they could need help. What we know for sure is if Detroit and Pittsburgh lose in regulation tonight, they are eliminated.

“It’s about that first period at home on Monday night, getting a good start,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “Our starts have been good of late. Stay composed, narrow our focus and that narrow focus will be our first period.”

You can bet an octopus will fly over the glass tonight.

Game Time

Monday: Montreal at Detroit

Where: Little Caesars Arena

TV/RADIO: Bally Sports Detroit/97.1 FM

Time: 7 p.m.

Canadiens Preview

Dynamic rookie defenseman Lane Hutson could make his debut for Montreal in tonight’s game. The slick puck mover has played for Boston University the last two seasons. Hutson posted 48 points as a freshman and 49 as a sophomore. He participated in the morning skate today…Montreal has lost five of its last seven, but did earn a point in two of the losses…The Habs rank 27th in scoring (2.8 goals per game) and 26th in goals-against average (3.40)… Montreal’s top line is Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky. Young Slafkovsky had a hat trick last week against Philadelphia.

Red Wings Preview

Lalonde is going with Alex Lyon in net.Β James Reimer is 7-2 in his last nine decisions. That includes a 5-4 overtime win against Toronto Saturday. Lyon has been the team’s No.1 ..Forwards Andrew Copp (broken cheekbone) and Michael Rasmussen (upper body injury) are injured. Copp did skate this morning with a full shield and he will decide after the morning skate with he can play. Copp has missed the past two games and Rasmussen has been sidelined since April 1…The Red Wings have given up 10 goals and scored 10 goals in their past two games…Lucas Raymond has generated four goals and four assists over his past four games. …Alex DeBrincat has two goals and three assists for five points in his past two games. DeBrincat will play against with Dylan Larkin and Raymond. J.T. Compher will center David Perron and Patrick Kane. The Red Wings are ninth in the NHL with a power play efficiency of 23.2%. The Canadiens rank 23rd on the penalty kill at 76.4%