As a result of a 1-9-0 stretch since December 5, the Habs have erased the narrative of hope and joy surrounding the team, and turned a fanbase united only weeks ago into one bickering about what is wrong, and what to do. Whether the coach should be fired, or why this is just one person's fault. Others look at the stats and scratch their heads. This has to be back luck, right?
On the gamesheet, the Habs have been playing decently, and if you were to read the games based on the data alone, the Canadiens appear to be suffering from the effects of bad PDO (shooting percentage + save percentage). When that happens, you lose, so logically this is what is happening. The Canadiens team save percentage is currently .910, which goes to show that it's very difficult for two back-up goalies to fill a role in a system designed around MVP-level goaltending.
The Canadiens are on the road for their fourth of eight on the road-trip, and will be taking on a team with the best team save percentage in the league at .924, and arguable the best goalie in the league right now in Braden Holtby. The Habs were able to beat Holtby twice in their last outing, which is slightly above his current goals-against average of 1.96.
The Canadiens did play very well in that game, outshooting the Caps 35-19 on 73 shot attempts in the 3-2 loss. Alex Ovechkin was held to a single shot, and the Caps as a whole were held to just 43 shot attempts.
The Caps are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, and sit atop the Eastern Conference with 54 points, 9 points up on the Habs who hold the Atlantic Division lead by only one point with more games played than the teams chasing them.
Mike Condon gets the start tonight after a solid performance in Tuesday's game against the Wild in which he allowed 2 goals on 22 shots. Jeff Petry is back in the lineup, after missing two games due to an upper body injury sustained in Dallas. This stabilizes the Habs' defense, giving them a better chance tonight to put a stop to their five-game losing streak.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): TVAS
In Canada (English): CBC, CITY
In the Capitals' region: CSN-DC
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Lars Eller||Alex Galchenyuk||Daniel Carr|
|Tomas Fleischmann||Tomas Plekanec||Paul Byron|
|Brian Flynn||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Nathan Beaulieu||P.K. Subban|
|Andrei Markov||Jeff Petry|
|Alexei Emelin||Jarred Tinordi|
Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Sven Andrighetto
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body) Brendan Gallagher (broken fingers), Tom Gilbert (lower body)
|Alex Ovechkin||Nicklas Backstrom||T.J. Oshie|
|Marcus Johansson||Evgeny Kuznetsov||Justin Williams|
|Jason Chimera||Jay Beagle||Tom Wilson|
|Brooks Laich||Michael Latta||Andre Burakovsky|
|Nate Schmidt||John Carlson|
|Karl Alzner||Matt Niskanen|
|Dmitry Orlov||Taylor Chorney|
Scratched: Stanislav Galiev, Connor Carrick
Injuries: Brooks Orpik (lower body)
Check out the enemy over at Japers' Rink.