On a day that proved to be pretty quiet on the trade front, with the Habs only making one trade that saw Devante Smith-Pelly shipped to New Jersey for Stefan Matteau, the Habs are in California to start a four-game road trip that has them in the Golden State for the next three games before wrapping up the trip Saturday in Winnipeg.
The Habs sit five points out of the final playoff spot, which is held currently by the Pittsburgh Penguins with 70 points in 60 games (two less GPs than the Habs). The next rung up on the playoff ladder is a logjam of four teams with between 73-76 points. Needless to say, the Canadiens still have a chance because of math, but will need pretty much every single point with 20 games remaining to make a surprise entrance into the playoffs.
The Sharks currently sit sixth in the West, and are somewhat secure in their playoff hopes being third in the Pacific Division, 12 points up on the fourth place Vancouver Canucks. The Sharks put themselves in a very good position over the past ten games, going 6-2-2, while the lower ranked Pacific Division teams all put up losing records over their past ten.
If the Habs are going to make the playoffs, it will have to be in a WildCard spot as they sit nine points back of the Atlantic Division top three. The Habs are like a marathon runner with a couple of kilometers to make up in the last leg of the race, and if they're going to do so, not only can they not miss a step, they need to dig as deep as humanly possible to pick up speed.
Lineup Notes: Newly acquired waiver-wire pick-up Mike Brown will play on the fourth line alongside Michael McCarron and Torrey Mitchell; Brown's injection into the lineup means no other real changes to the lineup from Saturday's win over the Leafs.
Newly acquired Sharks' goaltender James Reimer will miss his second opportunity to start for the Sharks in a row as he is still dealing with immigration issues.
The puck drops at 10:30 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): Sportsnet East
In the Sharks region: CSN-CA
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice, NHL.TV
|Max Pacioretty||Lars Eller||Sven Andrighetto|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Jacob de la Rose||Philip Danault||Paul Byron|
|Torrey Mitchell||Michael McCarron||Mike Brown|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Greg Pateryn|
|Victor Bartley||Mark Barberio|
Scratched: Lucas Lessio, Morgan Ellis
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body), Daniel Carr (lower body), Jeff Petry (lower body), Brian Flynn (lower body), David Desharnais (broken foot), Tom Gilbert (lower body), Nathan Beaulieu (lower body)
|Tomas Hertl||Joe Thornton||Joe Pavelski|
|Patrick Marleau||Logan Couture||Joonas Donskoi|
|Matt Nieto||Nick Spaling||Joel Ward|
|Melker Karlsson||Chris Tierney||Dainius Zubrus|
|Marc-Edouard Vlasic||Justin Braun|
|Paul Martin||Brent Burns|
|Brenden Dillon||Roman Polak|
Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Matt Tennyson
Injuries: Tommy Wingels (sprained left shoulder)
Check out the enemy over at Fear the Fin.