Game Day : Caps @ Habs
It's another home game tonight for the Montreal Canadiens and who better to face off against than the Washington Capitals. Ever since the famous seven game series that saw the 8th place Habs eliminate the 1st place Caps two years ago, this matchup has always brought a smile to the faces of Habs fans nation wide. Desperate times call for desperate measures and the timing could not be any more perfect.
The Capitals have enjoyed a pretty decent 2011-2012 season and have gone 7-3-0 in their last ten games and sit 2nd in their division. The Habs haven't had it as easy, having gone 4-5-1 in their last ten and sit dead last in their division. Let's not count the Habs out of this one though, as they always seem to be able to elevate their game against the Pride of Washington DC.
Since the "big trade" that brought in Rene Bourque and saw loser Mike Cammalleri shipped out of town, the Habs seem to be playing with a little bit more gusto in their step, and I wouldn't expect anything to change going into tonight's game. Forward Max Pacioretty is red hot after having a mediocre few weeks. Along with his linemates, Erik Cole and David Desharnais, the line of 2 1/2 men combined for 9 points last game.
The Capitals have their fair share of talent up front but have lacked a consistent leader this season. While their goal leader, Alex Ovechkin, leads the team with 18 goals, he has only scored 1 in his last 6. Let's not forget about the lack of production the Cap have gotten from Alexander Semin, a player who possess the ability to be one of the leagues elite. While he has seemed to have woken up lately, collecting 14 points since the start of December, his numbers are still not that impressive. Semin usually plays well against the Habs so you can expect him to try and use this as a momentum builder.
Another player who deserves some mention, and I cannot believe I'm writing this, is Scott Gomez. After missing most of the season, Gomez returned a few games back and seems to be playing with a different demeanor. In what looks to be a possible solid line, Gomez has been paired up with Tomas Plekanec and Mike Blunden. Although we have seen Gomez paired with other players since his return, he seems to look most comfortable playing the wing alongside the players mentioned above. We'll see if he keeps the effort up tonight.
Carey Price has been confirmed already this morning to start the game off for the Habs in net. No word yet on whether he will be facing Tomas Vokoun or Michal Neuvirth.
Game starts at 7:30pm and is being aired on RDS and TSN.