Are the Canadiens getting desperate?
In their last twenty games, the Habs have won five times, and scored more than two goals in a game just four times. In their past twenty games, the Canadiens have scored an average of 1.85 goals-per game (37 GF in total). The best goals-against average in the league right now belongs to John Gibson at 1.84, followed by Braden Holtby at 1.90. Not even the best goalies in the league could have made much of a difference had they been in the Canadiens' crease over the last 20 games with such low goal-support.
So what gives? The Habs are still in the tailspin that started at the end of November when their goal-scoring engine ran out of gas. The Habs were, at the time, one of the top scoring teams in the league, so much so that even after scoring only 37 goals in their past 20 games, the Canadiens are still ranked ninth in the league in goals-for-per-game average.
Marc Bergevin made a move yesterday, sending Jarred Tinordi to Arizona, and acquiring John Scott and Victor Bartley in a three-way trade with Arizona and Nashville. The depth move did not address the woeful scoring situation, and seemed to rustle the feathers of Habs fans becoming impatient with the general manager's perceived lack of action.
The Canadiens arrived in St. Louis yesterday around the same time the trade was announced. The Blues are coming off a 4-1 loss at home against the Hurricanes on Thursday, and are also struggling with injuries of late. The Blues recently stopped a five-game losing streak, but with the loss against the 'Canes on Thursday are now 3-4-3 in their past ten games. The Blues aren't getting much help to pull themselves out of this lowly run, as Alexander Steen will be out tonight after sustaining an injury in Thursday's 4-1 loss.
The Habs, on the other hand, will be getting Dale Weise back into the fold, as he returns after missing four games with an upper-body injury. Michel Therrien has Weise back together with David Desharnais, who will be flanked by Alex Galchenyuk on the left wing. It looks like Therrien will be using Galchenyuk on the wing for the foreseeable future, as he stated he liked what he saw from that combination in Thursday's loss against the Blackhawks.
Jacob de la Rose will also play his first NHL game this season after being called up from the IceCaps yesterday.
Mike Condon gets the start tonight, perhaps (as Jared pointed out yesterday) a sign of Michel Therrien's urgency to win a game, as the Habs play in Chicago tomorrow night and will either have to play Condon in back-to-back games or run with Ben Scrivens, who is still seeking his first win since being acquired.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): TVA Sports
In Canada (English): Sportsnet
In the Blackhawks region: FS-MW
In the United States: NHLN-US
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Tomas Fleischmann||Lars Eller||Paul Byron|
|Jacob de la Rose||Torrey Mitchell||Brian Flynn|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Mark Barberio|
Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Devante Smith-Pelly, Victor Bartley
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body) Tom Gilbert (lower body)
|Robby Fabbri||Jori Lehtera||Vladimir Tarasenko|
|Scottie Upshall||Paul Stastny||Troy Brouwer|
|Patrik Berglund||David Backes||Ty Rattie|
|Dmitrij Jaskin||Kyle Brodziak||Ryan Reaves|
|Joel Edmundson||Alex Pietrangelo|
|Colton Parayko||Kevin Shattenkirk|
|Chris Butler||Robert Bortuzzo|
Injuries: Alexander Steen (upper body), Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Steve Ott (hamstring), Jay Boumeester (upper body), Jake Allen (lower body), Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), Magnus Paajarvi (upper body)
Check out the enemy over at St. Louis Game Time.