Isolating the Canadiens' past five games, it appears this team is in a slump for the first time this season. The causes are many: injuries, bad luck, rookies being fed into the lineup in roles reserved for veterans. Whatever, the cause, the effect has been four regulation losses in the past five games, a shooting percentage of 5.4 percent, and in none of the past five games have the Habs scored more than two goals.
So while some may place the blame on Mike Condon, who is doing everything he can to win games despite allowing a goal or two "he should have had", when the team in front of you is putting up over 30 shots a game on average, and only scoring two-goals a game, only a handful of goalies in the league would be capable of winning those games.
The Habs had very little time to adjust to last night's loss, but even still, Michel Therrien is making changes to the lineup that include removing Nathan Beaulieu, who has been in Therrien's doghouse of late, and replacing him with Greg Pateryn. It also appears like Christian Thomas will be out in place of Charles Hudon who will play his first career NHL game. Therrien's isolation of these two players comes as a result of each player making one evident mistake: Beaulieu on a turnover that resulted in the Bruins' second goal, and Thomas on a retaliation penalty he took in the second period.
Maybe I'm speculating (I don't think I am), but Therrien does have a history of having a very short leash with young players, and obvious mistakes such as those made by Beaulieu and Thomas last night he magnifies by punishing them as Therrien believes not doing so fosters an atmosphere of indiscipline. The good news is the Canadiens have the depth in personnel, so that the players coming into the lineup aren't slouches. I'm looking forward to seeing Hudon play his first NHL game, and I'm also a big fan of Greg Pateryn.
The Red Wings are one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference at the moment. The Wings haven't lost a game in regulation since November 14, 12 games ago. The Wings have been playing tight games, with 11 of their past 12 games being decided by one goal, with 9 of those games going to overtime or a shootout (the Wings went on a run of five straight games that went to overtime or a shootout).
Dustin Tokarski will get his first start of the season tonight. Tokarski will be seeking his first win since last March when he put up a 33 save performance in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Tokarski's last NHL regular season start was a 3-2 shootout loss against the Devils last April.
The puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): CITYM
In the Red Wings' region: FS-D
Elsewhere: NBCSN, NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Alex Galchenyuk||Sven Andrighetto|
|Lars Eller||Tomas Plekanec||Paul Byron|
|Tomas Fleischmann||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Daniel Carr||Brian Flynn||Charles Hudon|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Greg Pateryn||Tom Gilbert|
Scratched: Nathan Beaulieu, Christian Thomas
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body) Brendan Gallagher (broken fingers), Torrey Mitchell (lower body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)
|Dylan Larkin||Henrik Zetterberg||Justin Abdelkader|
|Darren Helm||Pavel Datsyuk||Brad Richards|
|Tomas Tatar||Riley Sheahan||Gustav Nyquist|
|Joakim Andersson||Luke Glendening||Tomas Jurco|
|Niklas Kronwall||Mike Green|
|Danny Dekeyser||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Brendan Smith||Alexey Marchenko|
Scratched: Jakub Kindl
Injuries: Kyle Quincey (right ankle surgery), Johan Franzen (concussion-like symptoms), Drew Miller (broken jaw), Teemu Pulkkinen (dislocated shoulder)
Check out the enemy over at Winging It In Motown.