Floundering Flyers Host Red Hot Habs
The Montreal Canadiens are preparing to do something no Canadiens team has done since the 1976-77 season, and that is sweep the season series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Canadiens have won all three previous meetings this season out scoring the Flyers thirteen to five. In each of the last two meetings a Montreal Canadiens player tallied a hat trick. On January 25th Jan Bulis scored four times when recording his first career hat trick and just eleven days later Michael Ryder potted three goals earning his first NHL hat trick.
Cristobal Huet was named defensive player of the week this morning and it is crucial that he maintain that form in tonight’s game as Simon Gagne expected to bolster the Flyers offence who has managed just five goals in their past four games. The Flyers are currently the only team in the Eastern Conference holding a playoff spot with a record below .500 in their past ten games.
With a regulation win tonight Montreal would move to within eight points of the fifth place Flyers and hold two games at hand on the struggling club. The Flyers will be scratching and clawing for every possible point as well because they currently trail their divisional rival the New York Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead and home ice advantage for the first round in the playoffs by four points.
Montreal’s offence has been potent since the Olympic break scoring twelve goals in the first three games of this road trip. Chris Higgins was runner up for offensive player of the week scoring four goals and adding one assist in those three games. Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev have also enjoyed post Olympic success each recording four points in those three games.
1. Mike Ribero led the Canadiens in +/- last game, he was a +3.
2. Cristobal Huet will look to continue his success against Philadelphia he has never lost to the Flyers although he has only played them three times.
3. Saku Koivu has been help goalless in his last ten games.