—-The Canadiens entered the All-Star break in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are two points behind the sixth place Rangers and two ahead of eighth place Atlanta. They hold two games in hand over each of them.
—-The Rangers, Canadiens and Atlanta should all fear the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes who just completed an eighteen-point month of January. (8-4-2) The Canadiens in their eleven January games were 6-2-3 for fifteen points.
—-The Canadiens have a penchant for losing to the NHL’s bottom feeders. Thirteen of the Canadiens twenty-three losses this season have come against teams currently out of the playoff picture.
—-The Montreal season has been saved by their 11-3-0 record against fellow Northeast Division opponents. Against the rest of the league the Canadiens are a .500 team (16-15-5). Those three Northeast Division losses have been against 26th ranked Toronto-twice and 27th place Ottawa. .
—-The Canadiens still think they can win the Northeast Division. Boston is four points ahead and have finally pulled even in games-played at fifty. The Canadiens are 3-0 this season against Boston with three more to play, two of them in Boston.
—-The Bruins haven’t been able to pull away from the Canadiens despite 8-4-1 record in January. The Canadiens, as mentioned earlier, were 6-2-3. One of the six Canadiens wins was that January 8th overtime game against the Bruins at the Bell Centre.
—-Since their head to head meeting January 8th, the Bruins picked up both games in hand they held over the Canadiens. Over the ensuing two and one half weeks, the Bruins were 7-3-0 (ten games – 14 pts) while the Canadiens were 4-2-2 (10 points in eight games).
—-The Bruins, like the Canadiens have slumping players. David Krejci – 0 goals in sixteen games; Nathan Horton 1 goal last twenty; Blake Wheeler 1 goal last fourteen; Tyler Seguin 1 goal last thirteen. Patrice Bergeron has been carrying the team with 11 goals and 25 points the last 21 games.
—-Game four of the six game season series will be played in Boston February 9th. Then the Canadiens see them twice in March.
—-I don’t know whether it matters (especially when it comes to the Canadiens) but, in February, nine of the Habs scheduled twelve opponents are teams currently not in the playoff picture. Of the Bruins eleven February games, only five involve non-playoff teams. During their month they’ll have to deal with Dallas at home; a home and homer against Detroit and a game in Vancouver and of course that four-pointer against the Canadiens.
—-After their game in Washington February first, the Canadiens play six of their next eight games at home. Of their thirteen games in February, eight are at home.—-