Game 5 : Sabres @ Habs


Coming off a win in their last game, the Buffalo Sabres are in Habs nation tonight to face off in the first of six meetings between these division rivals.  

While the Habs look for a much needed win, the Sabres are ready to keep things rolling as they have enjoyed a 3-1-0 start to the 2011-2012 NHL season.  Ryan Miller vs Carey Price.  This is a goaltender showdown.

If there is a game to turn things around, it's tonight for the Montreal Canadiens.  It what appears to be an early season slump, Montreal has struggled with consistency.  They don't look to be the defensively sound team they were last year.  It's still early in the season but with players like Markov, Spacek and Campoli sitting on the sidelines I think  it's becoming clear what the problem is.  If things continue this way, look for the team to bring in some veteran support.

Defense hasn't been an issue for the Sabres to start the season.  In their first 4 games they have only given up 9 goals.  Not surprising considering their blue line.  Myers, Ehrhoff, Regehr to name a few.  

Thomas Vanek is the hero over in Buffalo right now with 7 points in his first 4 games.  Luke Adam isn't far behind him with 6 points.  Adam seems to be looking to steal a spot in the Sabres top 6 this year.  For the Habs, Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty are both on pace for a point per game. 

No news on the injury front in Montreal.  Habs are still without Campoli, Markov, Spacek, White and Cammalleri, although Cammalleri could return later this week, and Markov could behin skating.  Buffalo is without Johan Hecht.

Both teams will be fighting hard tonight for the win, and with this being the first meeting between the two division rivals, it makes it all that more important.  Look for a quick start to the game and a close finish.

Game time is 7:30pm and the game is being aired on RDS and TSN.

Bon Match!



General Panic in Twitter land for Habs fans? Check.

Montrealers losing patience in their team just 4 games into the season? Check.

Fans already giving up on Erik Cole? Check. (See Prax's Erik Cole article)

What's going on Montreal? You guys sound like a bunch of Leaf fans in mid season form!  C'mon, give the guys a break.  4 games in and I'm reading some fans are throwing in the towel.  I'll be the first to admit that I've been frustrated a few times this season by some of the efforts I've seen, but to give up this early is out of the question.  It takes time for a team to gel, especially with additions to the top six.  Injuries don't make things any easier either.  

Basically what I'm trying to say is have a little patience.  The Habs are a systematic team.  They need a few games.  Yes, perhaps they could have gotten a bit of this done in the pre-season but that's a "shoulda,woulda, coulda" way of thinking.  The Canadiens will be fine.  The chemistry is starting to build.  The blue line will come together and Price will get the support he needs.  Chill out, we're only 4 games in, 78 more to go!


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George Prax's picture

Couldn't agree with you more Jay. Way too early to panic. I've seen some good, some bad, some ugly so far but they're getting there. The team that couldn't score has two 5 goal games, and almost everyone is contributing. Things are beginning to gel and the Habs will only be getting players back at this point. Won't be long before that starts translating into wins, and what better time to start than tonight?

Habs can't go three winless games at the BC, and Price can't go back-to-back games with a bad performance. 2-1 Habs, Cole finally gets a goal.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Cole's ability to break out in the neutral zone is second to none for the Habs. He's going to be a major part of our success. Needs some time to adapt to our system and not playing with questionably the best center in the game. I think the biggest cause for concern is the youth on our blue line at the moment. But like you said, at this point, we will only gain our injuries back. Well, let's hope at least.

George Prax's picture

There's really nothing we can do about the defense troubles. Diaz and Emelin are rookies and are going to have their ups and downs, Weber shouldn't even be there, Gill's notorious for his slow starts. PK's allowed to have a bad game once in a while and Gorges can only do so much. I wish they kept Hamrlik and found a way to dump Spacek, but it is what it is. Hopefully Markov's closer than he seems, or else Gauthier's going to have to make some phone calls.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Apparently there were 2 scouts of Montreal's at the Leafs game last night, and Franson is not happy in Leaf land. I'd be pretty stoked to have him as a hab. Put up very respectable numbers in Nashville. 20-30 points and a plus player. Would help our situation if Markov is out as long as he probably will be , lol. Agreed about the rest of the guys.

George Prax's picture

FYI, Markov's staying in Florida another week, and now I'm hearing rumors he might not even play until December. Not looking good.

Jason Pietroniro's picture