All Habs Weekly Forecast: Canadiens Aim to Get Back on Track

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(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

by Tyler Prater, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, KY — This upcoming week the Canadiens go on the road for two games, then finish the week at home on Saturday against the New York Islanders. The Habs had a rough previous week, going 0-1-1, with a heartbreaking over-time loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday.

Calendar: January 12 – 18
MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
 
 bluejackets_logo  Ottawa_Senators_logo
NewYorkIslanders 
AWAY AWAY HOME

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Montreal Canadiens
  • The Habs (26-12-3) are coming off a hard week, gaining only one point in the standings. They have a few days to regroup before starting their week Wednesday at Columbus and hopefully getting back in the win column. Montreal has dropped to second in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the league with 55 points. The Canadiens are 7-2-1 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty has been on a streak lately, scoring a goal in each of his last four games. The 6’2” winger also has 146 shots this season (5th).
  • Tomas Plekanec. Plekanec has three points in his last four games as well as two short-handed goals this season (4th). The Czech native has also seen a rise in his playing time, averaging 20 minutes on the ice in his last two games.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Montreal’s puck possession has been a big factor all season, especially winning faceoffs, with a win percentage of 54.3 (2nd), right behind Detroit’s 54.4 per cent.
  • The Habs’ power-play continues to burden them, dropping even further to 13.7 per cent.

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Wednesday

Columbus Blue Jackets
  • The Blue Jackets (18-19-3) are coming off a 5-2 loss against the Islanders last Saturday and start their week Wednesday against the Canadiens. Columbus is fifth in the Metropolitan Division and 25th in the league with 39 points. They are 5-4-1 in their last ten games played.
Players to Watch
  • Nick Foligno. Foligno leads the Blue Jackets with 40 points this season, picking up eight in his last five games. The 27-year-old also has nine power-play goals this season (2nd).
  • Ryan Johansen. Picked to represent Columbus in the 2015 All-Star game, Johansen has five goals in his last five games; boasting a 100 per cent shooting percentage against Toronto and Dallas last week.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • The Blue Jackets’ power-play has been tough to stop this year, sitting second in the league at 24.5 per cent.
  • Columbus has had a hard time keeping the puck out of their net, allowing an average of 3.25 goals a game as well as struggling to score, averaging only 2.5 goals per game (24th).
Matchup
Wednesday January 14 | Columbus, OH.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of January 11, 2015) BLUE JACKETS
55 (8th) Points 39 (24th)
13-7-1 (away) Home/Away Record 9-10-2 (home)
2.58 (20th) Goals per game 2.50 (24th)
2.29 (3rd) Goals Against per game 3.25 (26th)
27.4 (26th) Shots per game 27.1 (28th)
30.5 (23rd) Shots Against per game 33.4 (27th)
13.7% (27th) Power-play 24.5% (2nd)
85.3% (7th) Penalty-kill 79.9% (20th)

Season Series

  • First meeting this year.

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Thursday

Ottawa Senators
  • The Senators (17-16-8) are coming off a 5-1 win against Phoenix last Saturday and start their week against Dallas on Tuesday. Ottawa is seventh in the Atlantic Division and 22nd in the league with 42 points. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Clarke MacArthur. MacArthur has four points in his last five games and four game-winning goals this season (5th).
  • Mike Hoffman. Hoffman has three goals in his last five games and is enjoying a plus-19 rating (8th) this season.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Ottawa has had a rough start to the season but their penalty-kill has been a consistent strength at 82.8 (9th).
  • The Senators give up a lot of scoring chances, allowing 32.7 shots against per game (26th).
Matchup
Thursday January 15 | Kanata, ON.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of January 11, 2015) SENATORS
55 (8th) Points 42 (22nd)
13-7-1 (away) Home/Away Record 8-5-4 (home)
2.58 (20th) Goals per game 2.61 (19th)
2.29 (3rd) Goals Against per game 2.66 (19th)
27.4 (26th) Shots per game 29.7 (18th)
30.5 (23rd) Shots Against per game 32.7 (26th)
13.7% (27th) Power-play 16.9% (21st)
85.3% (7th) Penalty-kill 82.8% (9th)

Season Series

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Saturday

New York Islanders
  • The Islanders (28-13-1) are coming off a 5-2 win against Columbus last Saturday and play Pittsburgh Friday before heading to Montreal on Saturday. The Isles are in first place in the Metropolitan Division and fifth in the league with 57 points. They are 6-3-1 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Kyle Okposo. Okposo has three points in his last three games and 28 assists this season (6th).
  • John Tavares. Tavares has 19 goals this season (8th), picking up four in his last five games.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • The Islanders have a hot offence, averaging 2.98 goals per game.
  • New York’s penalty-kill is one of the worst in the league at 76.5 per cent. Hopefully the Habs can take advantage of that and get some scoring chances on the power-play.
Matchup
Saturday January 17 | Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of January 11, 2015) ISLANDERS
55 (8th) Points 57 (5th)
13-5-2 (home) Home/Away Record 14-9-1 (away)
2.58 (20th) Goals per game 2.98 (7th)
2.29 (3rd) Goals Against per game 2.74 (21st)
27.4 (26th) Shots per game 32.6 (2nd)
30.5 (23rd) Shots Against per game 26.9 (2nd)
13.7% (27th) Power-play 18.6% (15th)
85.3% (7th) Penalty-kill 76.5% (26th)

Season Series

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