Saturday night. Toronto and Montreal. Can it get any better?
A 14-game winning streak against the Toronto Maple Leafs is on the line, as the Montreal Canadiens will face off against their age-old rival tonight at the Bell Centre. A high-octane game could be exactly what the Habs need to spark the offence after a rather rough start to the season.
The Habs are coming off a hard-fought 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, in which they struggled to score despite putting up 42 shots on goal. The Canadiens had some very good stretches of play in this game, and showed a lot of positives. Artturi Lehkonen was moved onto the first line alongside Jonathan Drouin and Max Pacioretty, and will most likely remain there tonight after being very effective in that short stint in the Chicago game.
Toronto, meanwhile, is coming off their first loss of the 2017-18 season, falling 6-3 to the New Jersey Devils. Despite the loss, the young Leafs have been firing on all cylinders this season, having scored 22 goals in four games thus far. To no surprise, Auston Matthews leads the way with six points, as he is the engine that drives the offence.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: CBC (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the United States: NHL Network
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Game Centre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|0.38||5v5 goal ratio||1.37|
Despite Montreal struggling to put up offence this year, it’s not for a lack of trying, as the Canadiens have 155 shots on goal; fourth most in the NHL. It’s almost impossible for the Canadiens to remain at a 2.6% shooting percentage, so it is only a matter of time until the Habs begin to put the puck in the net. The power play is bound to break out as well, as they looked extremely threatening last game, but couldn’t convert despite hitting a few posts in the process.
The Leafs present a great chance for the Habs to put their scoring woes aside, as Toronto’s defence was exposed by the Devils last game, and is arguably facing a more skilled forward corps in Montreal.
As mentioned before, the Habs have amassed a 14-0-0 record against Toronto, stretching back to 2014. Carey Price is a large part of this winning streak, as he has seen success against the Leafs his whole career, with a 23-13-1 record.
Tonight, this game will be in the spotlight, as two of the NHL’s most storied franchises face off yet again. Montreal desperately needs to steal the show in order to silence the critics, and get themselves back on the right track.