Preview Game #62

Canadiens vs. Toronto

Air Canada Centre – Feb. 25, 2017 – 7:10pm

Season Records – Canadiens – 61GP (32-21-8) 72 points. First in Atlantic Division. Toronto – 60GP (28-20-12) 68 pts. Third in Atlantic Division.

Season Series – Fourth of four meetings.

Last Time Out – Canadiens lost to the NY Islanders 3-0 Thursday. Toronto lost to the NY Rangers in 2-1 shootout Thursday.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (2-7-1) Toronto (4-3-3)

Home/Road – Canadiens on the road (14-12-4). Toronto at home (15-10-5)

Lineup Changes

….David Desharnais and Sven Andrighetto will come out of the press box to play on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell. Mike McCarron and Brian Flynn will sit this one out..

….Nikita Nesterov replaces Greg Pateryn on the third defense pairing.

Head to Head

….This is the fourth of four scheduled meetings. @ Bell Centre Oct. 29th – Canadiens-2 Toronto-1. Galchenyuk and Weber (PPG), Kadri for Toronto. Price stops 37 of 38. @Bell Centre Nov. 19th – Canadiens-2 Toronto-1. Byron, Galchenyuk PPG. Nylander for Toronto. Price stops 31 of 32.     @Toronto Jan. 7th – Canadiens-4 Toronto-3. Scherbak first career goal in NHL debut. Radulov with 1goal, 1 assist. Price vs. Andersen.

….The Canadiens have won 13 consecutive games vs. Toronto and 14 of the last 16. Eight of the thirteen games were decided by one goal; four in either overtime or shootout. In seven of the last ten games against the Canadiens the Leafs have been limited to two or fewer games.

….The most consecutive wins by the Canadiens over an opponent is 23 (vs. Washington 1974-1978). They defeated the Oakland/Cleveland Barons franchise 16 consecutive times 1974-1977). Along with Toronto, they also defeated Vancouver in 13 consecutive games 1971-1973.  It should be noted that, outside of the Toronto streak, all wins were in regulation time.  Four of the thirteen consecutive wins over Toronto were decided in overtime or shootout.

….The Canadiens have won ten of the last 12 at the Air Canada Centre.

….The last time Toronto defeated the Canadiens was Jan. 18, 2014 – 5-3. It was also the last time the Leafs beat the Canadiens at home.

About the Canadiens

….Since the Canadiens win over Toronto on January 9th, the Canadiens are 7-12-2; a .381 pts.%. The only team in the league with a worse record over that stretch is Colorado at 3-15-2 – .200%.

….In the 46 games since their 13-1-1 start the Canadiens have collected 45 points (19-20-7) which ranks them 24th in the 30 team league.

….The Canadiens have a 2-7-1 record in February. Excluding the five they scored vs. 29th ranked Arizona Feb 9th, they have eight goals in nine games; one or fewer 6 times and have been shut out four times.

….The Canadiens have been shut out in four of their last eight games and outscored 30-13. The last time they were shut out in four of eight was February/March 1954.

….Over the last two seasons the Canadiens October/November record has been 34 wins-14 losses (5 loser points). To date, in the remaining months of the last two seasons their record is 36-59 ( with 9 loser points).

….The Canadiens have 72 points, only four points more than the first non-playoff contending team in the Eastern Conference. On January 7th, that lead was 12 points.

…Over the last decade, more often than not the Eastern Conference playoff cutoff point has been 93 points. (last season it was 98 points) If 93 points is the benchmark, the Canadiens would need 21 points in their final 21 games to squeeze into a playoff berth.

….Coach Claude Julien has changed up all but his top line. In the ten February games Danault/Radulov/Pacioretty has accounted for 6 goals -Pacioretty with 4; Radulov-2; Danault-none. The combined goal output of members of the new second and third lines is two. Galchenyuk/Lehkonen/Gallagher has only one goal in February – Galchenyuk-1; Lehkonen-none; Gallagher- none (in 4 games); The new third line Plekanec/Byron/Shaw has totaled one goal this month – scored by Shaw.  No member of the new fourth line of Desharnais/Mitchell/Andrighetto has a point in February.  The other five goals in February were scored by defensemen – Weber and Markov 2 each. Nesterov-1.

….With their loss to the Islanders Thursday, the website reduced Canadiens chances of reaching the playoffs by 5.6% points to 88.3%.

…Over the last decade the Eastern Conference playoff cutoff point has been 93 points more often than not. (Last season it was 98 points).  If the 93 point average holds true the Canadiens would need 21 points in their final 21 games to squeeze into a playoff berth. In the 22 games since the Canadiens defeated Toronto 5-3 January 7th, their record is 8-12-2.

….Max Pacioretty has 3 goals, 5 assists over his last six games and 4 goals, 6 assists in his last nine.

….David Desharnais will be in the lineup for only the fifth time in the last 35 Canadiens games dating back to December 6th. He missed 24 games with a knee injury and has been a healthy scratch the last six games.

About the Leafs

….Toronto has picked up points in eight of their last 11 games.

….Over their last four home games they have scored sixteen goals.

….Auston Matthews has 13 points his last 11 games, including 7 points in a 3 game point streak at home (2g, 5a).

….Matthews is fourth in the NHL scoring race with 28 goals. His 52 points are second to Patrik Laine among rookie skaters. He leads the Leafs in both goals and points.

….Over the last eight years the Canadiens have drafted in the top ten overall five times – Matthews (1st overall 2016); Mitch Marner (4th – 2015); William Nylander (8th -2014); Morgan Rielly (5th – 2012); Nazem Kadri (7th – 2009). The four forwards Matthews, Marner Nylander and Kadri have combined for 85 goals this season. Rielly, a defenseman, has 3 goals and 22 points.

….Nazem Kadri has 26 points his last 23 games (12g, 14a).

….Alexey Marchenko will play in his second game for Toronto. He was claimed off waivers from Detroit earlier this month.

….Toronto is 1-7 in shootouts this season.


….Carey Price in 46 games has a 25-16-5 with a 2.43GAA and .918 save%.

….In his last 22 starts Price has a record of 7-12-3 and is 5-11-1 since January 9th. In his first 24 starts this season he was 18-4-2.

….Career vs. Toronto Price has a 22-13-1 record with 4 shutouts/2.48GAA and .913save%.

….Frederick Anderssen in 49 appearances has a 24-13-11 record with a 2.76GAA and .915 save%. Three of his 13 losses were against the Canadiens, two of them by 2-1 scores.

….Anderssen has appeared in only 4 career games against Montreal with a 1-3-0 record, a 2.58GAA and .913save%.

….Anderssen‘s only career win vs. the Canadiens came as a member of the Anaheim Ducks – a 2-1 win at the Bell Centre Dec. 18, 2014.

Special TeamsPower Play – Canadiens ranked 22nd (38/181) 80.3%. Toronto ranked first (42/182 23.1%. Penalty Killing – Canadiens ranked 22nd (42/213) 80.3%. Toronto ranked 8th (32/194) 83.5%.

….The Canadiens have killed off nine consecutive opponent power plays over the last three games and 16 of 17 over the last five games.

….Toronto’s special teams ratio is plus-10. The Canadiens are minus-4.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

62-Artturi Lehkonen 27-Alex Galchenyuk 11-Brendan Gallagher

41-Paul Byron 14-Tomas Plekanec 65-Andrew Shaw

42-Sven Andrighetto 51-David Desharnais 17-Torrey Mitchell

74-Alexei Emelin 6-Shea Weber

26-Jeff Petry 79-Andrei Markov

28-Nathan Beaulieu 89-Nikita Nesterov

31-Carey Price

Injuries – none.

Scratches – C Mike McCarron; C Brian Flynn; D Greg Pateryn;

Toronto Lines and Pairings

47-Leo Komarov 43-Nazem Kadri 32-Josh Leivo

25-James van Riemsdyk 42-Tyler Bozak 12-Connor Brown

11-Zach Hyman 34-Auston Matthews 29-William Nylander

15-Matt Martin 33-Frederick Gauthier 26-Nikita Soshnikov

44-Morgan Rielly 22-Nikita Zaitsev

51-Jake Gardiner 2-Alexey Marchenko

2-Matt Hunwick 46-Roman Polak

31-Frederik Andersen

Injuries – D Connor Carrick (upper body); C Mitch Marner (IR shoulder); D Stephane Robidas (LTIR knee); LW Joffrey Lupul (LTIR conditioning); RW Nathan Horton (LTIR spine)

Scratches – RW Ben Smith; D Martin Marincin