Canadiens

THE CANADIENS DEFENSE – A MAJOR OVERHAUL

The Canadiens defense at last season’s opener in Buffalo included Shea Weber, Andrei Markov, Jeff Petry, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu, Greg Pateryn and junior-aged rookie Mikhail Sergachev.  When the Canadiens open this season October 6th, only Weber and Petry will remain. Pateryn departed during the season. Markov, Emelin, Beaulieu and Sergachev left for various reasons in June and July.

CANADIENS FORWARDS – Success Hinges on Number-One Centre

Last season it is no secret the Canadiens had difficulty stocking their two top lines. As a result, they produced 173 even strength goals which ranked them 13th in the league.
Coaches like to tell us that today’s game is based on defense, but Stanley Cups are not won by teams that score an average of two even strength goals per game especially when they additionally have a lousy power play..

CANADIENS IN EARLY SEPTEMBER – A JOB ‘HALF DONE’

It’s September. Summer is gone. Bergevin will be heading into training camp with a 23 player roster signed and 8.5 million dollars in salary cap room. I think it’s safe to say that Bergevin is not going to be handing that money back to Geoff Molson in order to bolster the Canadiens bottom line.
In other words, Bergvin enters September with “half done work”.

HEAVY LIFTING -THE CANADIENS NEED MORE THAN ONE TOP LINE CENTRE

I don’t think there’s a shred of doubt in almost anyone’s mind that Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is going to make some significant changes to the Canadiens between now and the first week of July. Part of it will be forced on him by what he loses in the expansion draft but the majority

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BERGEVIN HAS FEW OPTIONS WITH WHICH TO TRIGGER MAJOR TRADE

Is there anyone, anywhere who isn’t convinced that whatever ails the Canadiens starts and ends with the middle of their first line. The most casual of fan knows it.  Definitely general manager Marc Bergevin is acutely aware of the issue.  The question for Bergevin is how to execute some kind of deal that will solve

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Hockey-General News

PREVIEW GAME SIX EASTERN QUARTERFINAL – Canadiens @ NY Rangers (April 22/2017)

The last time the Canadiens played the Rangers in the sixth game of a series they were shutout 1-0 May 27th 2014 in the series deciding game.

….The Canadiens have outscored the Rangers 10-9 in the series. (One Ranger goal into empty net)

….The Canadiens lead the Rangers in series shots on goal 178-158 and they have won 50.9% of faceoffs.

….There have been 444 hits in the series, an average of 88.8 per game. The Rangers lead the Canadiens 229 to 215.

PREVIEW EASTERN QUARTERFINAL GAME #5 NY Rangers @ Canadiens (April 20/2017)

.In NHL history teams winning Game Five of a best-of-seven series that were tied 2-2 go on to win the series 78.1% of the time (193-54).

….Over the last twenty years the Canadiens have played in Game Five of a playoff series seventeen times. Their record is 6-11 including losses in five of the last 6. Only twice in the eleven times have the Canadiens recovered from a Game Five loss to win the series.

PREVIEW GAME #4 EASTERN QUARTERFINAL – Canadiens @ NY Rangers (April 18/2017)

Through the first three games of the series the Canadiens have average 45.7 hits per game; the Rangers 53.3. During the regular season the Canadiens were a 22.7 per game; the Rangers 20.9.

….The Rangers have won nine of the last thirteen playoff games against the Canadiens dating back to Game three of the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

….Against the Rangers Canadiens have killed all ten of the Rangers power plays.

….The Canadiens scored two power play goals in game three and now are at 20 percent for the series.

PREVIEW GAME #3 EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTER FINAL – Canadiens @ NY Rangers – (April 16/2017)

Alex Galchenyuk will start the game on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Artturi Lehkonen. Torrey Mitchell will replace Andreas Martinsen on the right side of the fourth line with Steve Ott and Dwight King. Brandon Davidson will make his playoff debut; paired with Nathan Beaulieu.

….Although now skating and considered day-to-day, Alexei Emelin did not make the trip to New York on Saturday with his teammates. Emelin has now missed four games. He was hurt vs. Buffalo April 5th.

PREVIEW GAME #2 EASTERN QUARTERFINAL – NY Rangers @ Canadiens (April 14/2017)

The Canadiens have won only one of their last 6 home playoff games. In those games they have scored six goals while giving up 15.

….The Canadiens are in danger of being swept in the opening two games of a series at home for the third consecutive time – (Tampa won the opening two games at the Bell Centre 6-2 & 2-1 in 2015 Eastern Semi-Final and the Rangers in 2014 Eastern Final 7-2 & 3-1)

….Since Feb. 4th, including the opening playoff game the Canadiens are 6-8-2 at home. In that stretch they have been outscored 35-31. In nine of those games they were held to two goals or fewer.

EAST QUARTER-FINAL #1 – NY Rangers @ Canadiens (April 12/2017)

.Starting in 1930 the Canadiens have played the Rangers 15 times – for New York, the most of any opponent. The Rangers have an 8-7 edge in series.

….Since the Original-12 in 1967-68 they have played each other seven times during which the Rangers have won four of seven including the last two – 1996 & 2014.

….In 2014, the Canadiens pushed the Rangers to six games before losing to them. Dustin Tokarski was in goal for the final five games after Carey Price was injured in the well-documented second period collision with Chris Kreider. The Rangers won the deciding 6th game 1-0. (Tokarski spent the 2016-17 season at AHL-San Diego in the Anaheim Ducks system).

….In 2014 the Rangers outscored the Canadiens 20-16. In their four losses the Rangers outscored the Canadiens 14-5 – the Canadiens were shutout once, scored a single goal once and two goals in the other two games.

PREVIEW GAME #82 Canadiens @ Detroit (April 8/2017)

Six regulars did not make the trip to Detroit. Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov are being rested. Shea Weber and Alexei Emelin are injured.

….The Canadiens brought up defenseman Mikhail Sergachev from OHL-Windsor and will play. He will have #22. He is projected to play on the third pairing with Brett Lernout.

….Charlie Lindgren will be in goal. Al Montoya backup.

PREVIEW GAME #81 – Tampa Bay @ Canadiens (April 7/2017)

Lineup Changes –

….Defensemen Shea Weber, Alexei Emelin & Jordie Benn are out with injuries. Brett Lernout will be paired with Nathan Beaulieu; Nikita Nesterov with Andrei Markov and Jeff Petry with Brandon Davidson.

….Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn will be healthy scratches. The fourth line will be McCarron between Dwight King and Andreas Martinsen.

….Carey Price vs. Andrei Vasilevskij in goal.

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