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Mon, Oct 15 7:30 PM ET Detroit @ Montreal TSN2, RDS, FS-D


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TONITE, OUR BELOVED HABS INVITE THE DETROIT RED WINGS TO THE BELL CENTER

 7:30 PM ET  Detroit @ Montreal   TSN2, RDS, FS-D

 

NEED TO KNOW, OR NOT. 

The matchup: This is another divisional game for the Canadiens, who are off to a surprising 2-1-1 start after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in a shootout at the Bell Centre on Saturday. It was Montreal’s second win in eight days against the high-powered Penguins. The Red Wings are still looking for their first win of the season after an 8-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. The Red Wings are off to a 0-3-2 start, and the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are taking bets on whether Jeff Blashill will be the first NHL coach fired this season.

 

Offence by committee: The Canadiens don’t have a player in the top 50 in the NHL scoring race, but they’ve been able to roll four hard-working lines and have been creating offence with speed and an aggressive forecheck. The latest hero was off-season acquisition Tomas Tatar — he came from Vegas in the Max Pacioretty deal — who had two goals and an assist Saturday. Tatar’s commitment to playing a two-way game was on display when he turned the puck over in the offensive zone, but then raced back to break up a Pittsburgh rush with a strong backcheck.

Dee-fence, dee-fence: The Canadiens rank eighth in defence, allowing 2.5 goals a game, while the Red Wings have allowed 4.4 goals for the worst record in the NHL. Antti Niemi was pressed into service Saturday after Carey Price was hit with the flu, and he played well down the stretch to earn the win. Detroit has problems in goal. Veteran Jimmy Howard has a 2.92 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. Jonathan Bernier, who signed a three-year contract in the off-season, has a 5.59 GAA and an .825 save percentage in two losing appearances.

Faceoffs getting better: The Canadiens have the worst faceoff record in the NHL, but things are improving. They won 52 per cent of the draws against Pittsburgh. Coach Claude Julien tried to protect rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi — he played a season-low 11:24 Saturday — but the rookie won six of eight faceoffs, including a third-period draw against Evgeni Malkin. He has a success rate of 54.1 per cent on the season. The team’s top faceoff performer is Jonathan Drouin, who played his best game of the season against the Penguins. He’s winning faceoffs at a 57.2 per cent clip.

Injury updates: Price’s condition will be re-evaluated Monday. Nicolas Deslauriers continues to skate, but he’ll have to work on his strength before he gets back in the lineup. His facial injury has made it difficult to eat solid food. Defencemen Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson may return to the Detroit lineup Monday after missing time with upper-body injuries, but Dennis Cholowski and Danny DeKeyser are both questionable. DeKeyser left the Boston game Saturday with an upper-body injury. Defenceman Mike Green is definitely out; he has been sidelined by a virus that attacked his liver.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Knowing that CJ likes to ride his lineup after a win i'll assume Pleky is playing tonight in his 1000th game

The sooner the better.  I love pleks but we need the distraction of this 1000th game to be gone. If we keep him around as insurance, great but he should not be in the lineup unless we have injuries at this point.  

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39 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I think I will tune in tonight. My first game of the new season. Go Kotkaniemi!

Youve been missing some good ones. This is not last year's team. Julien actually has built a system that fits these players and either he (or his new assistants) have decided to ice the best 20 man roster every night. Its very refreshing.

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Shaw is questionable for tonight (flu) but Carey is back (although acting as backup) after sitting one game out with his own flu battle. 

Looks like Peca would take his spot, not Scherbak, if that is the case.  Makes you wonder what the plan is with Nikita.   Julien and Co must be trying to get something through his head.  So far this season theyve been very open to playing youth and speed so its surprising they are not giving him a chance at all. 

 

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4 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Would like to see Kotkaniemi moved up to number one line tonight against a weaker team like Detroit to give him some experience.

Agreed.  I like byron and Armia but neither are the type of guys that will compliment JK at this stage.  Would love to see Gallagher, Tatar, Lehkonen or Hudon type players line up next to him.  Wouldnt separate Domi-Drouin after last game. 

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8 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Would like to see Kotkaniemi moved up to number one line tonight against a weaker team like Detroit to give him some experience.

Here too. I'd also like to see him get 1st wave PP over Armia. He's letting Gally stand in front of the net while he cruises the perimeter, so his size certainly isn't being used. Might as well throw out the kid.

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7 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Here too. I'd also like to see him get 1st wave PP over Armia. He's letting Gally stand in front of the net while he cruises the perimeter, so his size certainly isn't being used. Might as well throw out the kid.

This.  Armia is a solid bottom 6 player but I do not think he should be getting PP time on our first 2 waves.    I know that teams often will keep young rookies off the PP while they fine tune things but the PP is basically the definition of "sheltered minutes" - it sure wouldnt hurt to put JK there. 

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21 minutes ago, maas_art said:

This.  Armia is a solid bottom 6 player but I do not think he should be getting PP time on our first 2 waves.    I know that teams often will keep young rookies off the PP while they fine tune things but the PP is basically the definition of "sheltered minutes" - it sure wouldnt hurt to put JK there. 

I agree. The kid makes good decisions in tight spaces and i think he would excel given more time and space in situations like the PP. I sure wouldn't risk him on the PK just yet, but i can see him excelling in that area down the road too. It's really hard to believe he's so young. We certainly didn't see that kind of maturity in Chucky's game out of Junior and i thought he did well for his age. 

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10 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

I agree. The kid makes good decisions in tight spaces and i think he would excel given more time and space in situations like the PP. I sure wouldn't risk him on the PK just yet, but i can see him excelling in that area down the road too. 

Agreed. Within a couple of years he's going to be used in every situation, im certain. We havent had a centre like this, who projects to play all situations at this high a level - for a looooong time.  Still has to prove he can do it of course but boy is he on the right track.

10 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

 It's really hard to believe he's so young. 

You can say that again.  Its not just his age its the ease with which he just adapts to anything and everything that is thrown at him.  I have never seen any player fix things in his game as quickly as him.   

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29 minutes ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

This. More of a liability than a benefit IMO.

To me he's worse than at least 12 other guys.  DLR and Deslauriers would be the only 2 i think he's maybe on par with but in both cases at least they have some long-term value.  Neither is more than a 4th liner but both are young enough to be in our plans for the near future. 

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54 minutes ago, maas_art said:

To me he's worse than at least 12 other guys.  DLR and Deslauriers would be the only 2 i think he's maybe on par with but in both cases at least they have some long-term value.  Neither is more than a 4th liner but both are young enough to be in our plans for the near future. 

Hopefully after this 1000th game stint is over we'll move on.

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John Lu: "Julien said Niemi was slated to start against RedWings regardless of Price’s health. He added that Niemi deserves the start after his W vs Pittsburgh, and that Price hadn’t skated in 3 days, so all factors favoured Niemi tonight."

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Lines for tonight:

 

Tatar - Danault - Gallagher

Drouin - Domi - Lehkonen

Byron - Kotkaniemi - Armia

Hudon - Plekanec - Peca

Mete - Petry

Reilly - Juulse

 Ouellet - Benn

*Shaw (flu) is questionable.

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