It's hard to leave the Bruins-Habs series behind particularly because the hockey was so great. The side circus stories I'm over and done with and I'm glad we won't have to talk about Don Cherry, the nose faced killah, or a guy who thinks "stop snitching" shirts are cool.
With the Ranger where do I start? The former Habs coach behind the bench? The three ex-Canadiens greats playing for the Blueshirts? Or the prospect that netted us Scott Gomez (whose goalless drought makes Rick Nash's drought look like another less severe stretch of overpaid underperforming play)?
Let's start with the Canadiens. The Habs are supposed to return the same lineup as Game 6 and 7 so that means more of Beaulieu and Briere and there's little argument on those decisions. Beaulieu (with Weaver) has given the Habs a very solid and mobile third pairing and another PP option. Briere has put together, with the help of Chara - oops sorry, a very solid playoff so far and I still think we haven't seen his best game this year. Nor have we seen the best possible Habs lineup this year....but soon.
Alexander Galchenyuk is cleared for contact and has been practicing on the left side of White-Parros. He's still not cleared for games, but I expected we will see him when the series shifts to New York.
I don't envision the Rangers altering their lineup from Game 7 vs Pittsburgh.
Who do you envision opening the scoring in this series?
Puck drop is at 1 PM
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Brendan Gallagher|
|Michael Bournival||Tomas Plekanec||Thomas Vanek|
|Rene Bourque||Lars Eller||Brian Gionta|
|Brandon Prust||Daniel Briere||Dale Weise|
|Andrei Markov||Alexei Emelin|
|Josh Gorges||P.K. Subban|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Mike Weaver|
Scratches: Francis Bouillon, Jarred Tinordi, George Parros, Ryan White, Travis Moen, Douglas Murray
Injuries: Alex Galchenyuk (lower body)
The Rangers start today with the following lineup:
|Rick Nash||Derek Stepan||Chris Kreider|
|Carl Hagelin||Brad Richards||Martin St. Louis|
|Benoit Pouliot||Derick Brassard||Mats Zuccarello|
|Brian Boyle||Dominic Moore||Derek Dorsett|
|Ryan McDonagh||Dan Girardi|
|Anton Stralman||Marc Staal|
|John Moore||Kevin Klein|
Scratches: J.T. Miller, Daniel Carcillo, Jesper Fast, Raphael Diaz
Check out the opposing side at Blueshirt Banter
This game will be carried on CBC and RDS in Canada and NBC in the US.
You can stream the HNIC (CBC) feed here.