The Habs will look to get back into the winning column on Wednesday as they
host rival Boston, the leaders of the Northeast Division. Montreal will
have a ‘new’ face in the lineup for this one as Ryan White will make his season
debut after playing in four games with AHL Hamilton last week. It’s
unknown as of yet who he will be replacing in the lineup but the previous two
Montreal practices may be an indication.
On Tuesday, Scott Gomez was front and centre after having some lengthy
discussions with assistant coach Randy Ladouceur. Wednesday, it was Andrei
Kostitsyn who stole the limelight suggesting that he’s not happy and may want
out in the near future. As both played sparingly on Monday against
Carolina, they are the leading candidates to be watching from the press box
tonight. Dressing the more conventional lineup of twelve forwards and six
defencemen is also an option. Joining whoever comes out will be Travis
Moen, Yannick Weber, and Petteri Nokelainen. Moen is now out indefinitely
after suffering a setback from his earlier injury while the other two are
skating but not yet ready to return.
The Habs come into this contest playing better hockey than the Bruins in
recent games. In their last 10, Montreal has a 6-4 record while Boston is
just 4-5-1, one of those losses coming last night to the New York Rangers.
With a win, the Canadiens could have a chance at pulling within just five points
of the final playoff spot in the East depending on how 8th place Toronto fares
The potential lines are as follows (assuming the Habs sit a defenceman):
1) Special Teams – Montreal’s powerplay has been surprisingly good as of late
as they vaulted all the way up to 28th in the league. (Okay, it’s not a
huge jump but it’s progress.) Despite coughing up a pair of goals while on
the penalty kill against the Hurricanes, the Habs still lead in that department.
Keeping up the hot streak on the PP and strengthening the PK will be critical.
2) Use the crowd – With the rivalry being what it is and the outside shot at
the playoffs being still in sight, the atmosphere at the Bell Centre should be
electric. That could be the early lift that gets the Habs going.
3) Carey Price – Although his win-loss record against the B’s isn’t the
greatest, his GAA and SV% are at 1.82 and .934 respectively. Boston allows
fewer goals on the road than they do at home so Price will need to be at his
best as this very well would be a low scoring game.
Puck drop is at 7:30 PM EST and can be seen on TSN, RDS, and NBC Sports in