All Habs Weekly Forecast: Canadiens Visit Wings, Sens, Host Panthers, Jackets

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(Photo by Jeff Sanzare/NHLI via Getty Images)

by Tyler Prater, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

(Photo by Jeff Sanzare/NHLI via Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, KY — This upcoming week the Canadiens play two on the road and two at home with stops in Detroit and Ottawa before hosting Florida and Columbus. Last week Montreal went 2-0-1, continuing their trend of setting the bar lower against non-playoff teams resulting in an overtime loss to Edmonton and a close call with Toronto.

Calendar: February 16 – 22
MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
 Detroit_Red_Wings_logo Ottawa_Senators_logo Florida Panthers bluejackets_logo
AWAY AWAY HOME HOME

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Montreal Canadiens
  • The Habs (36-15-4) are coming off a 2-1 win against Toronto last Saturday and start their week Monday against Detroit. Montreal has moved up to first in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the league with 76 points. They are 7-2-1 in their last ten games played.
Players to Watch
  • Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher had a goal in the game against Toronto last week and has 30 points this season. He might not get on the score sheet often but he does a lot that goes unnoticed to help the Habs win games.
  • Tomas Plekanec. Plekanec had a goal and two assists in his last three games along with two shorthanded goals this season (5th).
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Montreal continues to be the best team in the league at faceoffs with a 54.0 per cent win percentage. The Habs also still lead the league with the best goals against average at 2.22 goals against per game.
  • The Canadiens have struggled all year to get shots on net and average just 28.3 shots per game (25th), well behind Chicago who leads the league with 34.6 shots a game.

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Monday

Detroit Red Wings
  • The Red Wings (31-13-10) are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss against Winnipeg last Saturday and start their week against Montreal. Detroit is third in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the league with 72 points. They are 7-2-1 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Tomas Tatar. Tatar has seven points in his last five games and 41 points this season.
  • Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk has a tremendous amount of offensive talent and has no problem finding the back of the net. He has six points in his last five games.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Detroit has the best power-play in the league at 26.3 per cent as well as a good defence and goaltending that only allows 2.43 goals against on average (6th).
  • The Red Wings put up good numbers on offence but they don’t take a lot of shots, which hurts their scoring chances. They average 29.6 shots a game (20th).
Matchup
Monday February 16 | Detroit, MI.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 15, 2015) RED WINGS
76 (5th) Points 72 (9th)
16-8-1 (away) Home/Away Record 17-4-7 (home)
2.58 (21st) Goals per game 2.70 (16th)
2.22 (1st) Goals Against per game 2.93 (7th)
28.3 (25th) Shots per game 29.6 (20th)
30.4 (22nd) Shots Against per game 27.3 (3rd)
16.8% (24th) Power-play 26.3% (1st)
85.2% (6th) Penalty-kill 82.9% (10th)

Season Series

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Wednesday

Ottawa Senators
  • The Senators (22-22-10) are coming off a 7-2 win against Edmonton last Saturday and start their week against Carolina before playing Montreal Wednesday. Ottawa is sixth in the Atlantic Division and 23rd in the league with 54 points. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Erik Karlsson.  Karlsson has five points in his last three games and 200 shots this season (5th).
  • Kyle Turris. Turris has both a goal and an assist in his last two games for a total of four points in those two games.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Ottawa is having a rough year but their penalty-kill has been one strong point all season at 83.2 per cent (9th).
  • The Senators give up a lot of goals, averaging 2.72 goals against per game. Unless they put of seven-point nights more often than last Saturday, it’s hard to win games letting up so many goals against.
Matchup
Wednesday February 18 | Kanata, ON.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 15, 2015) SENATORS
76 (5th) Points 54 (23rd)
16-8-1 (away) Home/Away Record 12-9-5 (home)
2.58 (21st) Goals per game 2.76 (15th)
2.22 (1st) Goals Against per game 2.72 (20th)
28.3 (25th) Shots per game 30.1 (13th)
30.4 (22nd) Shots Against per game 32.4 (26th)
16.8% (24th) Power-play 17.6% (19th)
85.2% (6th) Penalty-kill 83.2% (9th)

Season Series

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Thursday

Florida Panthers
  • The Panthers (24-19-12) last game was a 2-1 overtime loss against St. Louis last Sunday. They play Toronto Tuesday and Montreal Thursday. Florida is fifth in the Atlantic Division and 20th in the league with 60 points. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Nick Bjugstad. Bjugstad has three goals in his last four games and leads the Panthers with 35 points this season.
  • Aaron Ekblad. The first overall pick of the 2014 draft has two goals and one assist in his last five games and has 32 points this season.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • Florida struggles all over the board but one area they have done well in is getting plenty of shots on net with an average of 31.4 shots per game.
  • The Panthers really struggle on the power-play with a 14.9 per cent rating as well as scoring on even strength, averaging just 2.36 goals per game (25th).
Matchup
Thursday February 19 | Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 15, 2015) PANTHERS
76 (5th) Points 60 (20th)
20-7-3 (home) Home/Away Record 12-11-6 (away)
2.58 (21st) Goals per game 2.36 (25th)
2.22 (1st) Goals Against per game 2.64 (16th)
28.3 (25th) Shots per game 31.4 (7th)
30.4 (22nd) Shots Against per game 30.0 (20th)
16.8% (24th) Power-play 14.9% (27th)
85.2% (6th) Penalty-kill 79.9% (21st)

Season Series

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Saturday

Columbus Blue Jackets
  • The Blue Jackets (24-27-3) last game was a 6-3 loss against the Islanders last Saturday. They will play Pittsburgh Thursday before heading to Montreal Saturday. Columbus is sixth in the Metropolitan Division and 26th in the league with 51 points. They are 4-6-0 in their last ten games.
Players to Watch
  • Nick Foligno. Foligno has seven points in his last five games and has a five-game point streak going.
  • Scott Hartnell. Hartnell also has seven points in his last five games and has a six-game point streak.
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
  • The Blue Jackets have a strong power-play at 22.1 per cent.
  • Columbus gives up a lot of goals, allowing an average of 3.13 goals against per game (26th).
Matchup
Thursday February 19 | Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS  (statistics as of February 15, 2015) BLUE JACKETS
76 (5th) Points 51 (26th)
20-7-3 (home) Home/Away Record 12-13-1 (away)
2.58 (21st) Goals per game 2.56 (23rd)
2.22 (1st) Goals Against per game 3.13 (26th)
28.3 (25th) Shots per game 27.9 (27th)
30.4 (22nd) Shots Against per game 33.1 (28th)
16.8% (24th) Power-play 22.1% (6th)
85.2% (6th) Penalty-kill 80.4% (20th)

Season Series

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