Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Markov skates, Moen sits

Andrei Markov skated today, for the first time in basically two months, a 15 minute solo session that suggests he is still quite far away from returning to the lineup. For those counting, it has been 14 months since Markov last laced them up n an NHL game.

Another missing Hab, Ryan White, actually practiced over the past couple of days and appears close to a return. However, he will not play tonight against Buffalo.

The Canadiens, as a team, have to win in regulation tonight. They are 8 points back from a playoff spot, and only 2 points up on their opponents, the lowly Sabres. By my count, the Habs basically need 6 of the next 8 points to stay in the race, and they also need to stop giving points away through OT and shoot outs. Narrow the gap to 4 points by mid-February and they’re in the race. Anything less and I suspect spring arrives early for Les Glorieux.

Travis Moen will be missing tonight, as he undergoes further tests for an undisclosed injury. Andreas Engvist was called up in Moen’s absence. Expect Carey Price in net, but with four games this week, you’ll likely see Peter Budaj in net for one of them. My bet would be Saturday or Sunday, but let’s see how Price does against Buffalo and New Jersey.

Let’s see if they can make that distance 6. Can the Habs get to eighth place? Sadly, that appears to be the best they can do. The fight continues tonight.

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About The Upper Canadien

The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com