When it was announced that both Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais would be missing well over a month, few expected the Habs to respond with an historic offensive explosion. Saturday night, however, that’s exactly what they did.
With Max Pacioretty leading the way, the Canadiens nearly burnt out the goal light, scoring 10 on the Colorado Avalanche. Tonight, with as much momentum as ever, they will look to create some separation in the Atlantic Division as they host the Boston Bruins.
The rival Bruins haven't had quite as noteworthy a week, as they've now dropped three straight games, including losses to both the Avalanche and Maple Leafs.
Though they will hope to stop the bleeding tonight so as to not fall further behind the Ottawa Senators for second in the division, the Bruins face a tall task: they have yet to beat the Canadiens through two meetings so far this year.
Riding a high from Saturday night, a win over the Bruins would do a lot of good for these Habs, especially as they head into a tough back-to-back this weekend. Complacency kills, however, and fans will hope a double-digit evening doesn't breed overconfidence.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet (English), RDS (French)
In the United States: NHLN-US, NESN
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Gamecenter Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|52.69||Score-Adjusted Corsi %||54.80|
|1.58||5v5 Goal Ratio||0.98|
The Bruins have, for the most part, been an incredibly competitive team this season. They have managed to control the flow of play for much of the year, leading the league in even-strength Corsi-for percentage. That has not, however, translated into many goals.
Boston finds themselves in the bottom third of the league when it comes to goals for per 60 minutes. That makes the job all that much harder for Tuukka Rask, who has been tremendous between the pipes this season. The Habs, however, have historically been Rask’s kryptonite, and the Bruins’ sluggish offence will need to find a way to outscore a Canadiens’ lineup that has netted over five goals on average in their past four games.
While there is concern in Boston for the offence as a whole, a couple of players have performed at an elite level. Brad Marchand is continuing his play from a career year last season, with 25 points thus far. David Pastrnak, meanwhile, has taken the league by storm; his 18 goals is second-best league-wide, trailing only Sidney Crosby.
The difficulties lie elsewhere for the Bruins, and they begin with Patrice Bergeron. Undoubtedly one of the most versatile pivots in the league, Bergeron has struggled this season as he has registered just eight points through 26 games. David Krejci, as well, is on pace for his worst season since his rookie year in 2007.
Part of the problem, perhaps, has been an anemic power play in Boston. With a success rate of just 13.9%, the Bruins have potted the third-fewest power-play goals in the NHL. Their failures here have been off-set somewhat by an impressive penalty kill, but keeping goals out of their net hasn’t been the problem.
For the Bruins to be successful, they’ll need to find a way to crack Carey Price, and slow Montreal’s offence. The Habs, on the other hand, need simply stay the course. Without question, the three days between tonight’s contest and the Canadiens’ next will go by a lot faster if they can pick up two points this evening.