Consider this - the Montreal Canadiens have six wins so far this season, making them 6-5 heading into Pittsburgh tonight. Of those six wins, five have come in either overtime or a shootout. Only one, a 5-1 route over the Islanders, resembled anything close to a blowout.
Needless to say, things haven't exactly take off on the right skate for Montreal but they sure are improving quickly. In the first two games of the season, the Habs had to fight extra hard to earn the second point in two consecutive overtime wins over Toronto and Buffalo, respectively. What followed was a five-game losing streak against the likes of Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Colorado and Ottawa. However, the Habs have recently turned it around a bit and will look to win a fifth straight game tonight.
Carey Price was in net for four of those five losses and hasn't started a game since losing 3-1 to Ottawa on October 17. His last win came against the Sabres on October 3.
After the jump we compare Montreal's two goaltenders, look at the big names on the Habs and assess who the Pens will face tonight.
Jaroslav Halak is the likely choice for Montreal, as the backup netminder is 4-1 and a winner in four straight starts. To compare the two:
|2009 - Carey Price||6||357||2||4||20||3.36||176||156||.886||0|
|2009 - Jaroslav Halak||6||316||4||1||12||2.28||134||122||.910||0|
No doubt an exceptional difference. Halak looks like the favorite for tonight.
Other players you want to keep an eye on: Montreal's point leader Mike Cammalleri (5, 7a), Tomas Plekanec (2g, 8a) and of course Scott Gomez (2g, 5a). The Canadiens' first line of Cammalleri, Gomez and Gionta is all about speed and efficient passing. They play to catch guys out of position and then capitalize on the slip up. If Pittsburgh wants to counter this line they'd best be served if they didn't chase. Holding ground against a pass-happy team like the Habs will pay dividends in the end. All you have to do is preach patience and discipline.
Pittsburgh looks to rebound after a loss to the Devils on Saturday while Montreal hopes to extend the win-streak to five. Puck and open thread drop at 7:30.