Montreal’s last two games against Vancouver will fall on consecutive evenings. Will they be elusive straight wins?
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT / 4:00 p.m. PDT In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French) In the Canucks region: Sportsnet Pacific Elsewhere: NHLTV / NHL Live
In the past few weeks, being ready to play from the opening game has been a problem for Canadians, whether it comes down to not having the right staff on the ice to start or just not at the same level as that Opponents promotion, the same thing happened on Wednesday night, and Montreal lost 1-0 for just 50 seconds
Better starts into the next two periods let the Canadians find their way back into the game, and a relentless effort throughout the final frame was rewarded with a late goal to ensure the Habs would go home by at least halfway the points available on a six game road trip
That was once again all the points the Habs were able to draw from the match when they ran off the ice for the eighth time with bowed heads after extra time
Despite the eight points that are still on the table in the first half of the season, Montreal feels reasonably comfortable in the playoffs. It would have been nice to be only four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs (and now the Edmonton Oilers too their win last night) to have the top spot in the division, but the gap is still only six and the Habs have at least one game in hand for everyone above them
You have a great opportunity to narrow that distance significantly this weekend with back-to-back games against the Vancouver Canucks The Canadians had full control of the season up to this point, with points in each game and five goals in six of them These are the last two meetings between the teams this year and the chance to start a strong homestand with six games
Much of it will depend on whether Thatcher Demko can maintain his incredible form, though the back-to-back set likely means Montreal will only face him once when the Canadiens stopped their winning streak at four games when they turned up last met in Vancouver So he’s decided to start a new of three games since his lowest saving percentage among those seven wins (including one against Montreal to open the final road trip) was a 938 mark on Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators
The question for head coach Travis Green is what game he will give Demko, will he go all-in with his team in his freshest form for a first regular win against Montreal tonight, or will he see if Demko will make the difference in a game played on Saturday between two tired teams?
For Dominique Ducharme, that decision doesn’t weigh as much while Carey Price has re-established himself as number one, Jake Allen has the seventh highest savings percentage among goalkeepers to get at least 10 starts No decision (aside from a desperate wish, Price to lead in both) will be a bad one – unless the first game is a loss and of course it is played as a major controversy
The coach’s biggest concern should be how his defense will hold up against another team with some top-of-the-line offensive weapons, unable to slow down Kyle Connor in the two-game set in Winnipeg The staff had done an admirable job to spread the Ice Age among the six blue liners, but with Ben Chiarot, Xavier Ouellet was only given about 12 minutes a night in his two games
The upcoming schedule isn’t slowing down, and Jeff Petry and Shea Weber shouldn’t get closer to 25 minutes per game in this stretch.Maybe this will mean different pairings to find better partnerships, but some changes need to be made to prevent this That the main options burn out before the end of the season
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World News – CA – Canadiens vs Canucks: Game Preview, Start Time, Tale of the Tape, and How to See Them