Preview: Calgary (10-4-1) at Montreal
(8-9-0) – November 10th,
The Montreal Canadiens will look to
halt their one-game losing skid as they face the Calgary Flames this Tuesday
The two teams played earlier this year in Calgary, with the Flames winning 4-3
in a closely battled match. Eric Nystrom, Staffan Kronwall and Jarome Iginla scored
for Calgary, while Scott Gomez, Guillaume Latendresse and Tomas Plekanec replied
for Montreal. Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves in the losing effort
while Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves for the win. Calgary is riding a
3-game winning streak and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, while Montreal is
Calgary’s workhorse, Miikka Kiprusoff, (9-3-1,
2.68 GAA .912 SV%) is likely to get the start for Calgary, whereas Halak (5-2-0,
2.85 GAA, .893 SV%) will be called upon
for Montreal. Rene Bourque leads the Flames in scoring (6G, 11A) while
Jarome Iginla has been heating up of late and was named the NHL’s first star
last week (4G, 2GWG). Mike
Cammalleri (7G, 7A) and Tomas Plekanec (4G, 10A) share the scoring lead through
17 games with 14 points. Calgary is one of the more potent teams on
offense with an average of 3.4 goals per game, which is good for 3rd in the NHL.
Montreal is among the basement-dwellers in that department, with an average
of 2.47 goals per game, and have only scored 2 goals in the past 2 games.
Montreal’s depleted defense is equally pitiful with an average of 3.18 goals
against per game, while Calgary maintains a better average of 2.87, and have
looked much better in that department lately.
Calgary boasts the 5th best powerplay in the
NHL with a conversion rate of 24.5% with the man advantage, while Montreal falls
in at 24th with a 15.2% success rate. Montreal’s powerplay continues to
struggle without Andrei Markov, and have gone 1 for 13 over the last 5 games.
For the most part, Montreal doesn’t receive as many chances on the powerplay as
their opponents, and must force the other team to take more penalties. Furthermore, Montreal’s powerplay is
fraught with too much individualistic effort and must buy into a simple,
team-oriented strategy to be successful. Brian Gionta and Marc-André
Bergeron lead the Habs with two powerplay goals while Iginla lead the flames
with 3 goals with the man advantage. Calgary employs the 11th-best penalty
killing percentage with 82%, while Montreal weighs in with a 76.4% success rate
(25th). Montreal went 0 for 1 on the penalty kill the last time these two
teams met, surrendering a goal in just 21 seconds.
Andrei Markov (ankle), Ryan O’Byrne (knee),
Georges Laraque (back),
Matt D’Agostini (head) and Hal Gill (foot) are all out tonight with injury while
Calgary’s Fredrik Sjostrom (hand) is questionable. Based on the morning skate,
Marc-André Bergeron, Kyle Chipchura and Greg Stewart will be healthy scratches.
Jay Leach, acquired off of waivers last weeks, will see his first game as a
Canadien, and will be paired with Mathieu Carle on defense. Andrei
Kostitsyn will skate on the top line with Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez while
Mike Cammalleri will play with Tomas Plekanec and Maxim Lapierre. The
Canadiens will be wearing their vintage red and green uniforms from the 1910-11
The puck drops at 7:30 EST and can be seen on
RDS and Sportsnet-W.
This preview was written by Matt