I don't know how much you need a win from the Canadiens tonight. I don't know how much you want Dustin Tokarski to steal this game (or at the very least play as adequately as he did in Game 2). But after a rough week at work, I really need something good tonight. My workplace has sort of rallied around the Canadiens and as their fortunes go, so goes the mood in the office. The Canadiens win, meetings are upbeat and jovial peppered with "Did you see that game last night?" and "I'm so glad Douglas Murray is out of the lineup". When the Canadiens lose... well it's not so much fun.
While it certainly isn't up to Tokarski to win this series, all eyes are definitely on him. The Dustin Tokarski situation reminds me a lot of the Jussi Markkanen situation in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. Starting goalie goes down with a knee injury, back-up comes in to replace and displays nothing that elicits confidence, coach rides the "third stringer" for the rest of the series. Edmonton very nearly won the Cup that year, taking Carolina to Game 7 and losing 3-1. The details are different, but I like the message - stick with the more talented guy and ride him the rest of the way, the goaltending doesn't have to been otherworldly, just slightly above average. Tokarski can do it and I like that Therrien believes in him.
Now do we believe that Vanek can turn it around? I'm not sure he can, but I do know that moving him off the top two lines probably improves the scoring chances of those lines. Vanek has been baffling and certainly hasn't done his linemates any favors. Vanek will line up with Briere and Bournival or Prust on the left side. Ian Murray made some great line deployment suggestions. I am hoping that Bournival draws in and the projected lineup for the Canadiens reflects that. UPDATE: Prust is in on the fourth line alongside Briere and Vanek.
No lineup changes for the Rangers. Derick Brassard is still out with an undisclosed upper body injury.
Puck drop is at 8 PM
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Brendan Gallagher|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Tomas Plekanec||Brian Gionta|
|Rene Bourque||Lars Eller||Dale Weise|
|Brandon Prust||Daniel Briere||Thomas Vanek|
|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: Carey Price (knee - out for the series)
The Rangers start today with the following lineup:
|Rick Nash||Derek Stepan||Chris Kreider|
|Carl Hagelin||Brad Richards||Martin St. Louis|
|Benoit Pouliot||Dominic Moore||Mats Zuccarello|
|Daniel Carcillo||Brian Boyle||Derek Dorsett|
|Ryan McDonagh||Dan Girardi|
|Anton Stralman||Marc Staal|
|John Moore||Kevin Klein|
Scratches: J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Raphael Diaz, Justin Falk
Injuries: Derick Brassard (upper body injury - day-to-day)
Check out the opposing side at Blueshirt Banter
This game will be carried on CBC and RDS in Canada and NBCSN in the US.
You can stream the HNIC (CBC) feed here.