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Paris: Despite 12 straight setbacks, the Coyotes are the favorites against the Canadiens tonight.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

As you’re no doubt aware, there’ ll be a summit duel at the Bell Centre tonight. The Canadiens will host the Coyotes.

Those who follow hockey know that the two clubs are fighting (once again) more for a good draft pick than anything else this year. These are not good hockey clubs.

Martin St-Louis’ men have 52 points and André Tourigny’s have 51, so it’s possible that the Arizona representatives could overtake Montreal in the standings as early as tonight.

Obviously, it won’t be easy for the Coyotes. And I’m not just saying that because the Habs, who have lost their last five games, are playing the best hockey of their season (in terms of on-ice performance) in the eyes of their coach.

And I’m not saying that because it’s cold (or was yesterday) in Montreal, according to the Arizona Coyotes’ X account. I really wonder what the Bear thinks of such a tweet, by the way…

I say that because the Coyotes have still lost their last 12 games. I say that because the organization is in the news for all the wrong reasons (Adam Ruzicka and the rumours of a move, in particular), which creates distractions.

Inevitably, this doesn’t help performance on the ice.

That said, the good news for the Coyotes (if there is any good news) is that the timing is right for them if they really want to get back on the winning track.

After all, the Habs have lost their last five games and have just two wins in their last 10. So it’s not against the team of the hour that the Arizona representatives will be rubbing shoulders, we agree.

And that’s not counting the fact that Jake Evans and Jayden Struble are doubtful for tonight’s game. We may find out more at today’s training session at 10:30.

But the fact remains that the Coyotes are still (narrow) favourites on Bet 99 for tonight’s game. Mise-O-Jeu offers the same odds – at the time of writing – for both the Habs and the Coyotes, for those interested.

(Credit: Bet 99)

Given that the Coyotes have lost every game since their win on January 22 (over five weeks ago), that says a lot about the Habs, I think. No one should take tonight’s game lightly. Unless you want a good draft pick, of course.

Note that Samuel Montembeault will be the starter. Martin St-Louis is in it to win it.

In gusto

– Listen now.

– Which NHL coaches are in danger? [BPM Sports]

– You have to wonder.

– We’ll see it again, I think.

– Did he?

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