Canadiens @ Flyers: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch
From a team that needed the points to a team whose coach won’t let them not need the points, the Canadiens look to take something from the second game of a back-to-back.
Montreal Canadiens @ Philadelphia Flyers
How to watch
Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flyers region: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Streaming: ESPN+, RDS Direct, TSN+
On Monday night, the Montreal Canadiens played a hockey game in Buffalo. The result was only important to one team: a Sabres squad still trying to catch the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Case in point, as the match entered a shootout, Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis treated the skills competition as if it were a practice, sending out Mike Matheson, Jesse Ylönen, Johnathan Kovacevic, and Michael Pezzetta in successive rounds — all of which were sudden death to boot. It was a chance to have some fun, see what his players had to offer, and give someone an opportunity to play hero.
At the start of the night, I don’t think anyone would have picked Pezzetta as that someone.
Hockey is a funny game sometimes — and there are eight left in the 2022-23 season for the Canadiens. Next up, a date with the Philadelphia Flyers in the City of Brotherly Love.
Tale of the Tape
|43.7% (30th)||Scoring-chances-for %||45.7% (26th)|
|2.84 (26th)||Goals per game||2.68 (30th)|
|3.66 (28th)||Goals against per game||3.26 (20th)|
|17.1% (28th)||PP%||15.6% (32nd)|
|73.2% (29th)||PK%||74.9% (27th)|
The last time that the Habs and Flyers met, the result was a conclusive 5-2 victory for Les Habitants. It was a game highlighted by Ylönen’s first career multi-point NHL game, but it was also Philadelphia’s sixth defeat in a seven game stretch. Four more losses in their next five games would spell the end for general manager Chuck Fletcher, whose ouster was met with borderline euphoria by the Philadelphia faithful.
The Flyers’ on-ice fortunes did not immediately change with the coronation of interim general manager Daniel Brière, but they have already won four games during Brière’s seven-game tenure. In contrast, the Flyers amassed four victories during the last 18 matches of Fletcher’s reign. All of this recent success has pushed Philadelphia away from the bottom of the league — away from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Chicago Blackhawks — and closer to the Canadiens in that ‘5-10% chance of winning the lottery’ tier.
Winning, naturally, brings a smile to the face of John Tortorella, who recently went on record requesting, politely (of course), that the fans stop sending him letters about tanking. “There’s no such thing as professional athletes tanking,” the famously tacturn bench boss said last Friday. “They would not be able to live with themselves if they went home and did something to try to disturb an outcome of a game. It is asinine. Just don’t bring up that subject. It’s wrong.”
All of this means that Tuesday should be a good night for the Canadiens either way. A loss in a back-to-back against a team — riding a hot streak — that hasn’t played since Saturday wouldn’t be an unexpected outcome. A win would showcase the continued development of this team’s determination and spirit. Remember, the Canadiens are victors of three of their last four matches, and will definitely look to make it four out of five as they build momentum towards an important opportunity to improve their draft position on Thursday against the Florida Panthers.
Sit back and enjoy the ride. Sometimes, it gives you a Rafael “Hatty”-Pinard or a Michael “Tiger Williams” Pezzetta. Savour it when it does.