It was only a few short weeks ago that the Montreal Canadiens and their contingent of rowdy fans stormed into the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and halted an Islanders 4 game-winning streak with a 3-1 victory. Fast-forward to tonight and the Islanders (30-13-1) are on another 4 game winning streak, and once again are set to square off against the Canadiens (27-13-3). Only difference is, the Isles and their raucous supporters are traveling north of the border looking to extend the streak to 5.
The Blackhawks haven't had the start to the season that they would have liked: heading into Tuesday night, they were 6-5-1, their 13 points just good enough for 10th place in the West. This wasn't where Chicago was supposed to be, even among the powerhouse Central division. Part of it was the team's skewed performance: despite averaging a league-best 37.9 SOG/game (not to mention all the blocked and missed shots), the pucks just weren't always going in, even when the Blackhawks were grossly outshooting their competition. Prior to tonight, 10 of the Blackhawks' twelve games were 1-goal affairs, with two determined in OT, and two in the shoot out. Statistics...
On Saturday, there were two versions of the Philadelphia Flyers to be observed.
Through the first two periods, the Flyers looked like a team that was on its way to win the first game of the season. But in the third, they were a team that barely came away with a point.
The Flyers blew a 3-0 lead in the third period, ultimately losing 4-3 in the shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Flyers (0-2-1) lost their third straight game, starting the season with three losses for the third straight year.
"It sucks," winger Wayne Simmonds said. "We were up 3-0. Obviously you don't get the two points, you’re disappointed."
The Islanders head into Montreal to continue to play out the string of this disappointing season as the Canadiens have everything in the world to play for. Translation, the guys in white could be in for an ugly night.
The Chicago Blackhawks will face another Original Six team on Saturday night as they play the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montréal.
Last year, the Canadiens completely missed the playoffs and languished near the bottom of the league for most of the shortened season. This year, the team has turned around completely: with a 25-15-5 record and 55 points, they're sitting at third in the Atlantic division. They have a strong penalty kill - 3rd best in the league, at 86.3%.
Additionally, eight Habs will be representing their home country in the Olympics: Carey Price and P.K. Subban for Canada; Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin for Russia; Max Pacioretty for the U.S....