Habs/Red Wings: A Night To Remember

In a season, you go through dry spells as a team and as individuals. You have nights where nothing is working, no matter what you try. Other nights, it’s the opposite. You can do no wrong. That’s the kind of night that the Montreal Canadiens had against the Detroit Red Wings, in a convincing 8-1 win, let by the line of Jonathan Drouin, Max Domi and Andrew Shaw. On Niklas Kronwall‘s bobblehead night, the entire Red Wings’ team turned into bobbleheads searching for answers against a relentless Habs’ team.

The three Canadiens’ forwards combined for 12 points on the night. Domi led the way with a five-point night, Drouin had four assists and Shaw scored his first career hat trick in a game where, let’s admit, there was only one team on the ice.

Tomas Tatar opened the scoring against his former team with his 22nd of the season. Brendan Gallagher (27), Joel Armia (7) and Domi (21-22) with a pair of goals rounded up the scoring for the Canadiens.

Aside from the magic night from this line, here are a few key points from that game:

  • Led by Nate Thompson (82%) and Phillip Danault (76%), Habs’ centres had a rare dominant night in the faceoffs’ circles with a combined 65% success rate.
  • The Habs only had four giveaways all night, to the Red Wings’ 11.
  • The Red Wings went 0 for 5 on the powerplay, and the Canadiens did not receive the benefit (or misfortune the way it clicks) to have a powerplay all night.
  • The most utilised forwards was because they all killed penalties. Dale Weise has to least amount of ice but still managed over 10 minutes.
  • Shea Weber (who else) led the team with 22:27 minutes and Brett Kulak‘s 16:01 minutes was the lowest amongst defensemen.
  • In his first game for the Habs, Christian Folin has an assist, four shots on goal, three hits and was plus -3 in 17:30 minutes of ice time.
  • Jimmy Howard allowed six goals on 22 shots before being relieved by Jonathan Bernier, who allowed the last two goals on eight shots.
  • At the other end, Carey Price was playing the second game of a back to back and he stopped 28 of the 29 shots directed on him.
  • Filip Zadina did NOT fill the Habs’ net as he promised he would do at the last Draft. He had no points, three shots and was minus -1 on the night.

Let’s not get carried away over one game folks, but the boys needed a night like that as it’s only their third win in their last nine games. The next game will be Friday night, at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.

Advertisements

Tankin’ For Dahlin: The Race

RasmusDahlin

There you have it folks. The last week of activities in the 2017-2018 NHL season is about to start and it’s a six horse race… to the bottom. The grand prize? A Swedish defenseman by the name of Rasmus Dahlin, who is often compared to former Detroit Red Wings legend Nicklas Lindström. All things considered, it’s not a bad prize for finishing near the bottom of the standings for having a season of misery, isn’t it?

As the NHL has released the odds of picking first overall in its draft lottery, teams are now jostling for position in hope to get the better draft picks comes June in Dallas. Teams looking to improve are looking at those odds closely, and all are dreaming of picking first overall and land a franchise player. Those odds are as follows:

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 6.18.26 AM

With a week left to the regular season, it has now become a six-teams race to the finish and anyone can get that elusive first overall pick. Here are the NHL standings for mediocrity prior to Friday’s games:

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 5.54.12 AM

Individual Teams Schedule Remaining

Let’s take a look at the remaining schedule for those six teams, shall we? In order, from top to bottom…

NHLdetS

With four (4) games remaining, the Detroit Red Wings will be playing three (3) home games and one (1) on the road. Three of the four teams they will be facing are out of the playoffs’ race, with only the Columbus Blue Jackets (3rd in the Metropolitan division) being playoffs’ bound.

NHLmonS

The Montreal Canadiens will finish the season playing five (5) games in eight (8) nights. All but one team (Detroit) are playoffs’ teams and three (3) of those games will be on the road. That’s a tough schedule ahead of Claude Julien‘s team.

NHLvanS

Winners of three consecutive games, the Vancouver Canucks have been playing some better hockey as of late. They will be at home for three (3) more games before finishing the season in Edmonton against the Oilers. Columbus and the Los Angeles Kings are fighting for a playoffs’ spot but both the Arizona Coyotes and the Oilers are out of contention.

NHLottS

The Ottawa Senators needed overtime to finally end a six-game losing streak last night against the Florida Panthers. That is rather mind-boggling for a team that finished in the final four in last year’s playoffs, and for a team that’s healthy as we speak. It must be full “tank mode” in Ottawa. They have two very winnable games against Detroit and Buffalo, but Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and Boston won’t be a walk in the park for the Sens down the stretch.

NHLariS

Symbol of mediocrity year after year, the Arizona Coyotes will once again be in the hunt for another good draft year. The St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks occupy the two Wild Card spots in the Western Conference, while the Calgary Flames and the Canucks are out of the race. Two games at home, two on the road for the desert dogs.

NHLbufS

Ah the Buffalo Sabres… every year is supposed to be the year when they get out of the basement and yet, here they are again. Not an easy schedule to end the season either in Buffalo as they will have to square off against the likes of the Nashville Predators, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers (all on the road), with only the Senators as a bit of a reprieve at home.

So here you have it folks. Place your bets and see where the chips land after the dust settles comes April 8th, when it’s all set and done and the final standings are finalized. What will the Habs’ draft odds be when the seasons is all played out? Your guess is as good as mine, but if I were a betting man (which I’m not), I’d say that Marc Bergevin‘s team should finish in the bottom-five in the NHL. Sad and disappointing for sure, but with the team having eight (8) picks in the first four (4) rounds (including four in the second round), and with the possibility of adding one more if the LA Kings make the playoffs, finishing lower means better choices at the draft table… or the possibility of trading up to get an even better one. Try to enjoy this final week folks, as that’s the last you’ll see of this year’s edition of the Canadiens… thank goodness for that! Go Habs Go!