The Habs had a strong showing against the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers, and a less-impressive effort (though they did get three out of four available points) in a road series against a New Jersey Devils team currently outside the playoff picture.
This week saw the first game of the season for Christian Thomasthe first ever NHL game for Bud Holloway, Sven Andrighetto's first goal of the year, and Carey Price 's last action for quite some time after re-aggravating his previous injury in Wednesday's game.
The Habs took fewer shots on goal this week, as theblocked a lot of Montreal's attempts, and the Devils' two-man forecheck worked very hard throughout their two games.
Let's see the team numbers:
|Average this week||27.7||3.00|
Here are the numbers for the roster. You can click a column's heading to sort it. (S = shots; G = goals; P = points)
|Player||Position||GP||Exp. S||Actual S||Pace S||Exp. G||Actual G||Pace G||Exp. P||Actual P||Pace P||Sh%|
Stats from WAR On Ice.
Devante Smith-Pelly was the early standout last week, scoring two goals on Wednesday. Sven Andrighetto had his first and second goals of the year, as well. But all the attention was turned toward Alex Galchenyuk, who had four goals in the three games played, good enough to earn third star of the week honours in the NHL.
As said last week, he was the player who needed to step up in the absence of Brendan Gallagher, and he absolutely did. The turnaround started when Michel Therrien put Galchenyuk with Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec when the team was trailing on Friday. He scored three goals in four periods after that lineup alteration.
Holloway and Thomas played their first games of the year, and were able to generate one and three shots on goal, respectively.
Some things to watch for this week:
- Price will be out long-term, and Mike Condon will be their goaltender for at least the next six weeks. How do the skaters react knowing they won't have an elite goaltender backing them up until the mid-January?
- Daniel Carr could see his first NHL game, as could Jarred Tinordi once his conditioning stint completes
- Paul Byron had a strong start to the season, but has failed to generate any shots in recent games.
- We could see the expected regression from the David Desharnais line after recording 14 shots last week, but no goals.
The Habs can't take their opponents lightly because no one will take the Habs lightly now. They will have to up their game to generate more shots this week and get back to their 31-shots-per-game average. That won't be an easy thing to do with the amount of young players in the lineup.