Looking at this week's schedule, the Habs play Buffalo twice and will make the trek to Long Island on Thursday. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a more depressing schedule. The Sabres are a mess and Nassau Coliseum is even messier. Throw in a snowstorm here in Winnipeg, and today is the Monday-est Monday ever. If you're like me and need something to cheer you up, here are some quality links from around the blogosphere:
Habs News and Analysis
- Not much roster information this afternoon. Michel Therrien has said, according to the Canadiens' Official Twitter account, that Michael Ryder should be good to go when the Habs face off against the Sabres tomorrow.
- The Larry lovefest continues with Christopher Boucher analyzing Lars Eller's 2013 performance to date. Boucher notes that Eller's even strength risk/reward rating (the number of positive events a player is involved in per minute of ice time, minus the number of negative events a player is involved in per minute of ice time) is the best amongst forwards. Anyone who wants to trade Eller and his beautiful contract needs to give their head a shake.
- Super-friend of the blog Mathieu Roy compares the 2011-2012 Habs at the first quarter mark to the 2012-2013 at the half season mark. MathMan notes that although Therrien and Bergevin have done excellent work "the early 2011-2012 Habs were a good team, displaying strong 5-on-5 ability in their first 21 games. So while there is certainly a large measure of improvement relative to the best work from last season's squad, it's not quite the terrible-to-awesome change it's been heralded as." At the quarter season mark, the 2011-2012 Habs actually put up better "close" possession numbers than this Habs team has put up through 27 games.
General News and Analysis
- Cam Charron over at NHL Numbers updates the team PDO numbers. The Habs' have the third highest PDO in the league, ranking 6th overall in EV team save percentage at 92.9% and 6th overall in team EV shooting percentage at 9.80%. Charron notes that the Canadiens' single loss in regulation is unsustainable and that the Habs "could be close to a [Toronto like] losing streak."
- The Habs drop to fourth overall in the NHL Numbers predictive power rankings, but maintain their position of 2nd in the east and the four seed in NHL Numbers' projected first round.
- Patrick D over at Fear the Fin has a smorgasbord of team statistical information, including score-adjusted Fenwick standings and Monte Carlo simulated playoff probabilities. The Habs rank 4th in the east, and 10th overall in score-adjusted Fenwick and make the playoffs in 97.7% of Patrick's simulations.
- Derek Zona over at Copper 'n' Blue has some commentary on LW3H's second quarter CHIP (cap hit of injured players) standings. The Habs have been one of the healthiest teams in the league, ranking 26th in CHIP, while our divisional frenemies in Ottawa rank first. Another interesting thing is that the Southeast has been the league's most injured division, with four teams in the top eleven, while the Atlantic has been the league's healthiest division, with four teams in the bottom third of the CHIP standings.
- Former Hab Sergei Kostitsyn made a really terrible decision against the Oilers last night, going for a line change in the midst of a shorthanded two-on-two. Edmonton ended up scoring the shorthanded goal and winning the game by one. Jonathan Willis over at Oilers Nation breaks the play down in fantastic detail.
- Dominik over at Lighthouse Hockey looks at the "varied paths" prospects take to full-time NHL employment. He notes the importance of coach buy-in/trust to a prospect's ability to crack the roster.
- Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel over at the New York Times' Slap Shot give a list of things to look for when the NHL GMs meet in Toronto on Wednesday. There's nothing definitive yet, but Hackel and Klein suggest that hybrid icing, the length of overtime, and coaches challenges could be on the agenda.
- The Washington Capitals accuse Steve Ott of breaking "the code", by challenging a player to fight and then refusing to drop the gloves in order to draw a roughing minor.
Archive Material and EOTP News
- Kevin van Steendelaar has all the details on this day in Canadiens history. Highlights include Maurice Richard becoming the first player to score 50 goals in one season on March 18, 1945.