Game Day : Habs @ Pens
The Montreal Canadiens are in Pittsburgh tonight to take on the Penguins in an eastern conference showdown. Always a special game, especially since the elimination of the Penguins two years ago, during Montreal's trip to the conference finals. Will tonight be another frustrating game for Habs fans? Or will Montreal give us a rare entertaining game?
Coming into tonight's matchup the Penguins are leading the season series 2-0, with two games remaining. Like Montreal, the Penguins have faced a ton of adversity concerning injuries but have found ways around it, something the Habs haven't been able to master. In order for Montreal to make this game interesting they need to get their power play going, they currently sit dead last in the league. Pittsburgh on the other hand have their power play clicking, currently sitting in 10th in the league at 18.8%.
Evgeni Malkin has elevated his game in the absence of Sidney Crosby, collecting 54 points in 39 games played so far this season. His off season goals of bulking up and returning to his elite style of play that we saw in 2009 are being realized in every game he suits up for. With Kris Letang back in the lineup, you can expect Malkin's production to come even faster. Kris Letang has already collected 20 points in 23 games on the blueline.
The Habs "2 and 1/2 men" line may not have scored a goal against the Capitals earlier in the week, but they were easily the best line on the ice once again. Scoring chance after scoring chance, they just could not find the back of the net. Expect to see them in full swing tonight, especially after the long meeting the team had this past Wednesday, addressing their power play issues and their inability to go to the net.
I won't lie, it's becoming harder and harder to find worthy material to post about the Habs this season other than about the controversies or the problems the team is going through. The only true positive that can be taken out of this season other than our one successful line combination is that the season is almost over. This team will not make the playoffs, nor will they finish in a bottom 4 position. This is quite possibly the worst Habs season I can remember in the last decade.
Carey Price and Marc Andre Fluery should get the starts in goal tonight. Expect another flopped from the Habs tonight.