Preview Game #72

Canadiens vs. Toronto

Air Canada Centre – March 17h, 2018 – 7:10pm

Season Records – Canadiens 71GP (26-33-12) 64 points. 26th in the league. Tornto – 71GP (42-22-7) 91 pts. Third in Eastern Conference.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (3-4-3) Toronto (6-2-2)

Home/Away – Canadiens on the road (9-22-4) Toronto at home (24-8-2)

Lineup Changes

…..Charlie Lindgren in goal for the Canadiens vs. Curtis McElhinney.


….Third of four scheduled meetings. Canadiens 0-1-1 vs. Toronto. @Bell Centre – Oct. 14th Toronto-4 Canadiens-3 (OT). Ended fourteen game Canadiens winning streak over Toronto. Auston Matthews second goal won the game in overtime. Drouin 1 g, 1a. Price allows 4 goals on 22 shots. @Bell Centre Nov. 18th – Toronto-6 Canadiens-0. Matthews with two goals. Niemi replaced Lindgren in third period. Frederik Andersen 33 saves for shutout.

….The last meeting between the teams in Toronto was Feb. 25th of last season, a 3-2 Canadiens overtime win which completed a four game sweep of the season series. Andrew Shaw scored at 1:06 of overtime. Auston Matthews with two goals.

….The Canadiens have won eleven of their last 13 games at the Air Canada Centre.

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

…..Including their two losses to Toronto this season, the Canadiens have won 14 of their last 16 against them. Of the 16 games, ten were decided by one goal, six of them in either overtime or shootout.

….Charlie Lindgren has one career start vs. Toronto – He allowed 5 goals on 27 shots before being replaced by Niemi for the final 11 minutes in a 6-0 Bell Centre loss Nov. 18th. As a result he is 0-1-0 with 6.12 GAA and .815save%.

….Curtis McElhinney has been in three games vs. the Canadiens with an 0-2-1 record, 2.64GAA and .910 save%.

….Auston Matthews has 6 goals and 7 points in six career games vs. the Canadiens.

….In 22 games vs. Toronto Alex Galchenyuk has 7 goals, 7 assists. Brendan Gallagher has 6 goals, 10 points in 22 games.

….Nikita Scherbak made his NHL debut in Toronto January 7th, 2017 and scored his first NHL goal on his first shot on goal in a 5-3 Canadiens win. It is his only appearance vs. Toronto.

….In the 100 year history of the Montreal/Toronto rivalry, the Canadiens hold the largest gap in the final standings between the clubs at 37 points (1977-78). Should Toronto win in regulation they would be 29 points ahead of the Canadiens with ten games remaining on the schedule.

About the Canadiens

….The Canadiens are currently 6th in the NHL lottery (26th in the league). At 6th their odds of landing the number one draft choice are 7.6%; the #2 pic 7.8% and #3 – 8.0%. Should they get as high as 3rd their odds would increase to 10.5 percent for the top pick. (Odds of the the number one lottery team (currently Buffalo) earning the top pick are 18%.)

….The Canadiens have lost six of their last seven overall games (1-4-2) and 14 of their last 18 (4-8-6) and 17 of 23 (6-11-6).

….The Canadiens have lost seventeen of their last nineteen games on the road (2-14-3) dating back to back-to-back road wins they recorded Dec. 19th and 22nd in Calgary and Edmonton.

….In those last 19 road games the Canadiens have been outscored 65-32 and been limited to one goal or fewer ten times (three times shut out)

….With 22 of a possible 70 points on the road this season (9-22-4) the Canadiens are the worst road team in the league.

….Montreal has now lost 14 of their last 18 overall games (4-8-6). Their wins since they recorded back to back victories vs. Anaheim & Ottawa Feb 2nd and 3rd were against the Islanders (twice), the Rangers plus Dallas on Tuesday..

.….Since December 23rd the Canadiens are 9-18-8. The nine wins are the fewest in the league over that stretch.

….The Canadiens have allowed at least one power play goal in each of their last eight games – 11 power play goals in 32 times shorthanded – a kill rate of 65.6%.

….Only three teams have a worse penalty killing record than the Canadiens’ 75.7% – Islanders, Philadelphia and Edmonton.

….After scoring 3 vs. Dallas Tuesday the Canadiens power play rose from 19th in the league (19.8%) to 14th (20.8%).

….The Canadiens have been shut out ten times this season – most in the NHL (Ottawa has been shut out 8 times).

….In the 54 games since November 9th the Canadiens have scored three or more goals only 23 times. Their record in those games 14-9.

….Brendan Gallagher has 5 goals, 3 assists his last nine games. In his last 24 games he has 20 points including 10 goals, 10 assists.

….Gallagher leads the Canadiens with a career high 26 goals. He needs three points to equal his career high of 47. His 44 points are the fewest in the NHL by a player leading his team.

….Gallagher has a good chance of becoming the first Canadiens winger other than Max Pacioretty to record 30 goals since Erik Cole in 2011-12 (35 goals) and the first right winger since Alex Kovalev (35) in 2007-2008.

….Alex Galchenyuk has ten points his last nine games (4g, 6a) and 16 points his last 18 games (4g, 12a). He has two points in each of his last two contests.

…..Twenty of Galchenyuk‘s 44 points have come on the power play (7g, 13a) while 18 of Jeff Petry‘s points are on the power play (5g, 13a)

….Artturi Lehkonen has four goals his last four games.

….Jonathan Drouin has 4 goals, 6 assists his last 21 games.

….After winning 11 of 14 faceoffs Thursday vs. Pittsburgh, Drouin has now won 41 of 63 over his last four games (65.1%) Over his last six games he has won 54 of 92 – 58.7%.

….With the Canadiens Antti Niemi is 5-3-4 with 2.43GAA and .930 save%.

….Charlie Lindgren has given up 16 goals on 90 shots in losing his last three starts. His save % over the three games is .822,

….Canadiens offense still ranks 28th in the league – 2.5 goals per game. Defense is 24th, allowing 3.1 per game.

About the Leafs

….The Leafs are on a franchise-record 11-game home winning streak dating back to a loss to Colorado January 22nd. Three of the 11 wins were decided in shootouts. During the streak they scored an average of 4.36 goals per game and have given up 2.55 per game.

….The 11 game streak ties Pittsburgh for longest home win streak of the season.

….Toronto has collected at least a point in 24 of their last 30 games (19-6-5).

….The Toronto 4th ranked power play has produced 6 goals in it’s last 8 opportunities over the last four games.

…..Centre Mitch Marner is the Leafs leading scorer with 59 points (19g, 40a). Their leading goalscorer is James Van Riemsdyk with 31 in 70 games. Auston Matthews has 28 gols in 53 games.

….Five of van Riemsdyk’s 31 goals have come in the last two games (Hattrick vs Dallas, 2goals 1 assist at Buffalo). 31 goals is a career high. (30 in 2013-14) Van Riemsdyk can by a UFA on July first.

….Matthews has missed his last eight games with a shoulder injury.

….Nazem Kadri has six goals over his last 7 games. In his last 22 games he has 13 goals, 10 assists. In the previous 20 games he had two assists.

….38 year old Patrick Marleau will play in his 1,564th game, tying him with Nicklas Lidstrom for 11th most in history.

….Marleau has scored goals in three straight games and points in his last five (3g, 3a). He has 23 goals, 17 assists in 71 games.

….In seven games since joining Toronto Tomas Plekanec has failed to register a point. With Toronto his ice time has averaged 10:53 on their fourth line. He has won 57.1% of his Toronto faceoffs (44 of 77).

….In his last 8 games (five of them starts) Curtis McElhinney is 6-0-1 with a 1.69GAA and .946save% and one shutout.

….Toronto has four top-ten overall draft picks from the last six years in their current lineup (Matthews 1sr-2016; Marner 4th-2015; Nylander 8th -2014; Reilly 5th -2012).

Goaltending –

….In 13 starts this season Charlie Lindgren is 4-7-2 with a 2.95GAA and .907 save%.

….Curtis McElhinny has been in 15 Toronto games this season with a 9-4-1 record; 2.25GAA and .931 save%.

Special Teams Power Play – Canadiens ranked 10th (45/213) 21.1%. Toronto ranks 4th (43/192) 22,4%. Penalty Killing – Canadiens ranked 28th (56/228) 75.4% Toronto ranks 9th (36/201) 82.2%.

Projected Canadiens Lines & Pairings

41-Paul Byron 92-Jonathan Drouin 11-Brendan Gallagher

27-Alex Galchenyuk 25-Jacob de la Rose 62-Artturi Lehkonen

54-Charles Hudon 49-Logan Shaw 38-Nikita Scherbak

20-Nicolas Deslauriers 42-Byron Froese 43-Daniel Carr

28-Mike Reilly 26-Jeff Petry

22-Karl Alzner 58-Noah Juulsen

8-Jordie Benn 36-Brett Lernout

35-Charlie Lindgren

Healthy Scratches – LW Mike McCarron;

Injuries – RW Andrew Shaw (concussion); D Rinat Valiev (lower body); D David Schlemko (upper body); C Phillip Danault (concussion); LW Max Pacioretty (knee); D Victor Mete (broken finger); G Carey Price (concussion); D Shea Weber (IR broken foot); RW Alex Hemsky (IR concussion)

Toronto Lines & Pairings

11-Zach Hyman 29-William Nylander 18-Andreas Johnsson

12-Patrick Marleau 43-Nazem Kadri 16-Mitch Marner

25-James van Riemsdyk 42-Tyler Bozak 28-Connor Brown

20-Dominic Moore 19-Tomas Plekanec 24-Kasperi Kapanen

44-Morgan Rielly 2-Ron Hainsey

51-Jake Gardiner 46-Roman Polak

23-Travis Dermott 8-Connor Carrick

35-Curtis McElhinney

Injuries – C Auston Matthews (IR shoulder); RW Leo Komarov (unknown); G Frederik Andersen (neck); LW Andreas Johnsson (facial laceration); D Nikita Zaitsev (virus); LW Joffreyt Lupul (LTIR conditioning).

Healthy Scratches –LW Matt Martin; LW Josh Leivo. RW Leo Komarov