All Habs Weekly Forecast: Canadiens Look to Make Gains Against Eastern Rivals

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(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

by Tyler Prater, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, KY — This upcoming week the Canadiens will play two at home before heading to Boston on Sunday. Last week the Habs went 3-1 and the sooner we all forget about Sunday’s game the better. Montreal will open their week Tuesday against Buffalo.

Calendar: February 2 – 8
MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
 
 
 
 
HOME HOME AWAY

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Montreal Canadiens
  • The Habs (32-14-3) are coming off a 3-2 loss against Arizona last Sunday and look to turn things around Tuesday. Montreal has moved up to second in the Atlantic Division, just one point behind Tampa Bay, and sixth in the league with 67 points. They are 6-3-1 in their last ten games played.
Players to Watch
  • Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty saw a lot of well-deserved praise last week after scoring the game-winning goal against both, the Rangers and the Capitals. He now has 23 goals this season (8th).
  • Carey Price. Price had back-to-back shutouts last week, totalling four this season (5th), and he is also second in the league with a .933 save percentage.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Price and the Habs’ defence have brought their goals against average down to 2.24 goals against per game (1st). The Canadiens also have the highest faceoff win percentage at 53.9 per cent.
  • Montreal’s power-play dropped down to 16.2 per cent (25th).

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Tuesday

Buffalo Sabres
  • The Sabres (14-33-3) are coming off a 5-2 loss against Vancouver last Friday and they are really struggling. Buffalo went 0-12-0 for the month of January, but they have proven to be a pain for Montreal this season. The Sabres are eighth in the Atlantic Division and last in the league with 31 points. They are 0-10-0 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Tyler Ennis. Ennis leads the Sabres 30 points, gaining six in his last five games.
  • Chris Stewart. Stewart scored both Buffalo goals in the 5-2 loss last Friday and has four goals in his last four games.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Buffalo doesn’t have much to brag about but they have made things hard on the Habs this season. They are 1-1-1 against Montreal so far this year.
  • The Sabres are struggling all over the board. They are last in the league with an 11.4 per cent power-play and average just 1.76 goals a game.
Matchup
Tuesday February 3 | Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 1, 2015) SABRES
67 (6th) Points 31 (30th)
17-6-2 (home) Home/Away Record 4-20-1 (away)
2.55 (22nd) Goals per game 1.76 (30th)
2.24 (1st) Goals Against per game 3.56 (30th)
27.4 (26th) Shots per game 22.9 (30th)
30.7 (23rd) Shots Against per game 35.0 (30th)
16.2% (25th) Power-play 11.4% (30th)
84.3% (5th) Penalty-kill 73.7% (29th)

Season Series

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Saturday

New Jersey Devils
  • The Devils (19-22-9) last game was a 3-1 win against Florida last Saturday. They play Toronto Friday then Montreal Saturday. New Jersey is sixth in the Metropolitan Division and 25th in the league with 47 points. They are 6-2-2 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Mike Cammalleri. Cammalleri had a goal and an assist in his last game and has six game-winning goals this season (1st).
  • Jaromir Jagr. Back from an illness and he already has a goal in the 3-1 win against Florida last Saturday. Jagr might be old but he’s still a top-level player and still puts plenty of pucks in the net.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • The Devils struggle to score at even strength but with a man advantage they flourish, with a power-play at 20.4 per cent (9th).
  • New Jersey averages just 2.2 goals per game (28th) and their penalty-kill struggles at 80.1 per cent.
Matchup
Saturday February 7 | Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 1, 2015) DEVILS
67 (6th) Points 47 (25th)
17-6-2 (home) Home/Away Record 10-15-2 (away)
2.55 (22nd) Goals per game 2.20 (28th)
2.24 (1st) Goals Against per game 2.64 (18th)
27.4 (26th) Shots per game 24.4 (29th)
30.7 (23rd) Shots Against per game 30.5 (22nd)
16.2% (25th) Power-play 20.4% (9th)
84.3% (5th) Penalty-kill 80.1% (22nd)

Season Series

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Sunday

Boston Bruins
  • The Bruins (27-16-7) last game was a 3-1 win against Los Angeles last Saturday. They play the Islanders Saturday before hosting Montreal Sunday. Boston is fourth in the Atlantic Division and tenth in the league with 61 points. They are 8-1-1 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Milan Lucic. Lucic had a goal and two assists last week against the Islanders and has four points in his last three games.
  • Brad Marchand. Marchand has four goals in his last five games, including two in the 3-1 win against the Kings last Saturday.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • The Bruins are a good defensive team. They only allow an average of 2.38 goals against per game (5th) and their penalty-kill is strong at 83.1 per cent.
  • Boston’s offence is struggling with a 2.64 goals a game average (21st), leading many to question why they got rid of Tyler Seguin.
Matchup
Sunday February 8 | Boston, MA.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 1, 2015) BRUINS
67 (6th) Points 61 (10th)
15-8-1 (away) Home/Away Record 16-7-4 (home)
2.55 (22nd) Goals per game 2.64 (21st)
2.24 (1st) Goals Against per game 2.38 (5th)
27.4 (26th) Shots per game 30.1 (14th)
30.7 (23rd) Shots Against per game 29.7 (18th)
16.2% (25th) Power-play 18.0% (18th)
84.3% (5th) Penalty-kill 83.1% (9th)

Season Series

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