Habs Weekly Forecast: Diaz, Gionta, Plekanec, Markov, Price

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

by Jocelyne LeBlanc, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

MONCTON, NB. — So far the Montreal Canadiens have played three games this season and have a record of two wins and one loss. They’re currently on a two-game winning streak and are ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Players to Watch for the Week of January 27 to February 2, 2013

The Canadiens will play four games during the week of Sunday, January 27 to Saturday, February 2. Listed below are a few players to keep your eyes on during this upcoming busy week.


Raphael Diaz (Defense; No. 61)

Diaz is currently the Canadiens’ number one point producer with five points (all assists) in just three games. He played his first NHL season with the Habs last year, earning 16 points in 59 games. Diaz is on a three-game point streak, so he’s definitely a player to watch.

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Brian Gionta (Right wing; No. 21)

Montreal’s team captain is also on a three-game point streak with three points (2 goals, 1 assist). In fact, he scored the Canadiens’ first goal of the regular season in their opening game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After missing over half the season last year with injuries, it’s nice to see Gionta back in action and tallying points.

Tomas Plekanec (Center; No. 14)

Plekanec is the third Canadiens’ player who is on a three-game point streak with three points (2 goals, 1 assist). He finished last season fourth in points for the Habs with 52 points in 81 games. He also led the team last year with three shorthanded goals.

Andrei Markov (Defense; No. 79)

Markov has sure made an impact and it’s only the beginning of the season. In the last two games, he recorded three goals and an assist. As a matter of fact, all three of his goals were scored on the power play and two of them were game winners. After several injuries over the past few seasons, it’s nice to see him back in the lineup and healthy. He is currently ranked second in team points and first in goals scored.

Carey Price (Goal; No. 31)

Price is definitely on a hot streak. In his first three games this season, he had a total of 85 shots against him and only let four in. With a 1.34 goals against average and a .953 save percentage, he is definitely an important asset to the Canadiens. And only letting one goal past him in each of his last two games, let’s hope that a shutout is in this young goaltender’s near future.

Special teams

We certainly need to keep an eye on Montreal’s power play. Of the nine goals the team scored this season, five of them have been on the power play. On the other hand, three of the four goals scored against the Canadiens were when they were a man down, so penalty-killing is also on our radar.

Well, the first week of the long awaited NHL season is now finished and for the Montreal Canadiens, it was an incredible one for their defensemen, especially Diaz and Markov. Listed below are their upcoming four games:

Sunday, January 27 – New Jersey Devils at Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens and Devils faced each other four times last season with New Jersey winning three of those games. Against the Devils last season, Tomas Kaberle recorded four points.

Tuesday, January 29 – Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens and Jets played each other four times last season with Montreal winning three of those games. Last season versus the Jets, Tomas Plekanec tallied six points, while Travis Moen and Lars Eller each recorded five. In fact, Eller recorded all five points during their January 4, 2012 matchup when he scored four goals (along with one assist) for the first time in his short NHL career.

Wednesday, January 30 – Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators
The Canadiens and Senators faced each other six times last season with Montreal taking four of those games. Last season against the Senators, Erik Cole recorded seven points, including a hat trick during their last matchup on March 23, 2012. David Desharnais and Tomas Plekanec each tallied five points against the Sens last season.

Saturday, February 2 – Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens and the Sabres played each other six times last season with Buffalo taking five of those games. Last season versus the Sabres, Erik Cole and David Desharnais each tallied four points.

Comments are closed.