The last time the Canadiens lost a game was on a balmy spring night in Tampa Bay, Florida. It's been 164 days since that fateful night that saw the Canadiens series' comeback fall short when it appeared possible they could overcome a 3-0 series deficit to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Although that night sticks out as one of the bigger letdowns in the past few seasons, it seems to have set the tone for how the Canadiens have played to begin their 2015-16 campaign. They seem to be playing for something bigger than just the games at hand, and are not taking their foot off the gas for a second.
The Canadiens are first in the league in wins (7), points (14) and shots-per-game average (34.3), and are ranked 7th in shots-against-per game average (28.1). The Canadiens have also been the only team in the league at this point to run the exact same lineup in all of its games (barring the 1 game Mike Condon started in net -and he will get the start again tonight), and have only 4 players out of the 18 without a point. The Canadiens are playing like a team determined to not let up at any point this season, no matter who their opponent is.
This determination will come in handy tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, a team who is playing much better hockey at this point of the season already when compared to their dismal 2014-15 campaign (at the end of which they were rewarded with the right to draft Jack Eichel). Even though the Sabres have only won 2 of 6 games, they have been one of the stingier defensive teams in the league to this point, allowing an average of 24.3 shots in regulation and a mere 45 shot attempts against on average in regulation. On the offensive side, the Sabres have improved very much from the team that finished dead-last in the league last season, and are generating more shot attempts for than against at a rate of 51.8 CF% (compared to last season when they had a league-worst 37.5 CF%).
If there is one circumstance that can break the streak the Habs are on right now, it is a game against the Sabres. Surprisingly, last season the Habs only won 1 of the 4 games played against Buffalo, and that was won in a shootout. The Habs are actually looking to break a losing streak against the Sabres tonight, as the Sabres have taken the last 3 games played between these teams, all 1-goal decisions.
The puck drops at 7:00PM EDT.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): CITY-M
In the Sabres' region: MSG-B
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Lars Eller||Alex Galchenyuk||Alexander Semin|
|Tomas Fleischmann||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Brian Flynn||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Tom Gilbert|
Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Paul Byron
Injuries: Michael Bournival (post-concussion syndrome)
|Evander Kane||Ryan O'Reilly||Sam Reinhart|
|Tyler Ennis||Jack Eichel||Brian Gionta|
|Matt Moulson||Zemgus Girgensons||Marcus Foligno|
|Nicolas Deslauriers||Johan Larsson||Jamie McGinn|
|Josh Gorges||Rasmus Ristolainen|
|Jake McCabe||Mark Pysyk|
|Mike Weber||Cody Franson|
Scratched: David Legwand, Carlo Colaiacovo
Injuries: Robin Lehner (ankle), Zach Bogosian (lower body)
Check out the enemy over at Die By The Blade.