Hurricanes could kick-start year against Habs again

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – A successful, year-end tilt against the Montreal Canadiens (22-11-2) on Monday could be exactly what the Carolina Hurricanes (10-21-4) need in order to finally make a turn in a positive and upward direction.

Coincidentally enough, as the midpoint of the NHL season approaches, it is the Canadiens who have returned as the Hurricanes’ final opponent at PNC Arena in 2014, similar to last year.

Though not playing on New Year’s Eve, the two teams will face off against one another in similar circumstances, so to speak.

Last season, Carolina entered the game holding a 14-16-9 record against a Montreal team that then sat at 23-14-3.

Carolina is currently 2-2-1 in its last five games while the Canadians are 4-1 and heading into 2015, the Hurricanes can use some winning momentum at home, particularly when it will play seven of its 12 games in January in front of their Caniacs.

Earning a win over Montreal, a squad that beat the Hurricanes 4-1 in Montreal on Dec. 16, would definitely provide a tremendous boost to this hard-working, yet still underachieving squad.

The two teams’ meeting last year, a 5-4 comeback win in overtime provided the momentum the Hurricanes needed to go on a five-game winning streak and eventually finished last January with a 10-4 record.

It was their most productive month, albeit as part of another campaign that didn’t include postseason play.

With the added excitement surrounding Jordan Staal making his season debut after recovering from a broken leg he suffered during the preseason, a win against the Habs would definitely provide the infusion of energy and confidence that Carolina and its fans need right now.

Such a finish could kick-start some very positive things to happen for the Hurricanes in the coming months, as it did last year.