The Canadiens are due to be in New York to play the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. By then, all things being equal, airports will again be open and the game will go off as scheduled.
The storm still could have it’s effect on the game however. The Rangers are scheduled to play the Islanders at Long Island Tuesday night. There is a strong possiblity that game will be postponed to Wednesday, leaving the Rangers in a back-to-back situation when they play the Canadiens Thursday.
At the same time, the Canadiens play the Dallas Stars Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Under normal circumstances the Canadiens would practice Wednesday morning and then take charter flight to New York in the afternoon. If the storm is as bad as predicted, the Habs may be forced to fly into New York on Thursday, the day of the game or, worst case scenario outside of postponement, find another transportation method.
In their more than 100 year history the Canadiens have had only two games postponed.
A game at the Forum against Vancouver was shut down after the city was hit with a nor’easter that dumped 47 centimetres of snow (18 inches) on the city in March of 1971. The Canucks were comfortably waiting out the storm in their Mount Royal Hotel rooms only a short ride in the Metro from the Forum. It was the Canadiens who were unable to reach the Forum to play the game.
The only cancelled Canadiens road game came before what was to be the deciding game of the 1919 Stanley Cup final in Seattle. The world wide Spanish influenza pandemic struck both the Canadiens and the Metropolitans forcing the cancellation of the series with it tied at 2-2. The Canadiens offered to forfeit to Seattle but Metropolitan management refused and the series is listed in the record books as “not completed”. That flu outbreak claimed the life of Canadiens Hall of Fame defenseman Joe Hall.
The most recent Canadiens brush with heavy snowfall in the New York area was Dec. 26, 2010 against the Islanders. The Islanders had requested the game be postponed but the NHL ordered the game played despite conditions outside the Nassau Coliseum because both teams were already at Long Island and available. A gaggle of 3,136 fans watched the game, including eight bus-loads of Montrealers who braved the storm. The Islanders, led by a goal and assist from P.A. Parenteau, defeated the Canadiens 4-1.