(Marianne Helm/Getty)


There may be no better environment to watch an NHL hockey game than Montreal. With its well-informed and vocal crowd, the omnipresent history of the organization and how the arena whips itself up into a frenzy for even a routine regular season game is unlike any other game-day experience around the league.

That’s why attending a game here should be on every hockey fan’s bucket list.  The atmosphere as the Canadiens take the ice, with young hockey players flanking the tunnel as flag bearers and the national anthems brings goose bumps to everyone in the building – opposing coaches included.

“The anthem – my wife’s coming to the game [Saturday] just to see the anthem. Anybody who’s watched a lot of hockey in their life has to experience the anthem,” Coach Adam Oates said. “When the kids come out, I’m almost crying on the bench watching them come out. The two mothers of those two boys that come out every night must be bawling their eyes out, because I almost am and I don’t even have a kid.”

The Capitals need to funnel the energy in Bell Centre into their own game Saturday night as they look to move a step closer to clinching the Southeast Division title.

The Winnipeg Jets picked up a point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders Saturday afternoon cutting the Capitals’ lead on first place in the division to one. Washington still controls its own fate, though, and a win of any kind against the Canadiens combined with a regulation win over the Jets on Tuesday would clinch the Southeast.

Faceoff: 7 p.m. Bell Centre | TV: CSN, NBC Sports Network nationally | Radio: 1500 AM, 106.7 after conclusion of Nats game

Discuss the game in the comment section below and based on warmup here’s what the lineup should look like:



Goal: Holtby, Neuvirth.

Scratches: Brooks Laich (lower-body/groin), Joel Ward (left knee contusion), Jeff Schultz and Wojtek Wolski.
IR: Tom Poti.