Guest Ricochet Posted March 8, 2008 Report Share Posted March 8, 2008 The Canadiens head into the Kingdom Saturday afternoon (4PM EST) in a best of the east meets worst of the west confrontation. The Habs began their western crusade following a takeover of 1st place in their conference and looked to rule with an iron fist over their sun inflicted rivals. On their arrival to the west coast, the Canadiens were burnt in more ways than one. After wading into the Shark infested moat and getting cooled off, the Habs took a long nap in the sun to lick their wounds. One of the hottest teams in the east, they were quickly humbled by the blazing sun and wandered into the desert nursing bites and burns. The Coyotes were hungry and quickly descended on the the hapless Habs and it was looking like they would fall prey to Phoenix's pack tactics. Price stood tall and roared in defiance and his team rallied around him. Unshouldering their guns, they fought back and the pack dispersed, leaving the Canadiens triumphant, still hot and still burnt. After trial by water and trial by fire, these Habs have shown they can hang with the western teams and will look to crown the Kings and secure their position at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. It should be Aces over Kings in the City of Angels, but the odds always favor the house. While L.A. is 3-5-2 in their last 10 and Montreal sports a 7-3-0 record, it isn't a game that can afford to be taken lightly. With a win, the Habs lock up first in the East for even games played and carry momentum into the all important match against Anaheim on Sunday. A quick and clean win is in the Habs' best interest, so they can get some needed rest between games. With L.A. hot off a victory against a sinking Ottawa, they will be sparked and that makes them dangerous. Lower ranked teams are always a wild card because they play without pressure, fear or consequence. Montreal will need to stick to their cards and put on their poker face, don't flinch, don't bluff. Play strong and don't fold a winning hand. L.A. could find themselves in trouble if they don't play disciplined hockey. Montreal's PP rank is 1st overall and L.A.'s PK is ranked 27th overall. The Kings will likely find themselves in deep and often if they can't stay out of the box. Halak will be starting for Montreal for the first time this season and after a year of playing in the minors he will be hungry and eager to prove, but will need the support of his team. Ersberg is coming off a 40 save shutout performance, but it is possible we will see Cloutier, who posts a 6-3-0 record and 2.04 GAA against the Canadiens. Kostopoulos will be in the lineup for Montreal after a long succession of healthy scratches. Kovalev enters the game with 18 points in his last 11 games (4 goals 14 assists) and Plekanec is on a 4 game point streak in which he has notched 6 goals and 2 assists for a total of 8 points. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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